Pause for thought:
Which of these ingredients have you witnessed to in your daily life? How?
Excellent ingredients, excellent cake. It's the same for evangelisation
but the stakes are much higher.
The essential content of evangelisation can not be changed. The ingredients
- Witness to the Father's love. God loves us! How many people do we know
in our communities and families who are starving, or crying out, to hear
- Salvation is for everyone. No one is excluded from the banquet which
is eternal. How many marginalised people do we see in society who need to
- We are a people of hope. There is life beyond this one. Good has the
final victory over evil. We can find the source of this hope through prayer,
the Church and the sacraments. Limitless numbers of people in our parish,
school, family and professional life, need to hear this message of hope.
- Adapatable. By this we mean that evangelisation takes into account the
concrete situations of men and women's lives. We are to adapt our presentation
of the Good News to different situations, but this does not mean the content
changes. When we evangelise we must not start from where we are at, but
from where the people we are trying evangelise are at.
Try to put yourself in their shoes. This is at the heart of what the Pope calls "The New Evangelisation".
- A message of liberation. The Church proclaims and witnesses to liberation from evil. We work to liberate others from evils like famine and poverty. The work of CAFOD is a great example of that.
- Human advancement. We evangelise through working to combat situations of human injustice, to promote justice and charity, to work towards the human advancement of the needy and oppressed. Think of the needs of the homeless living on the streets of your nearest town.
- No reductionalism and ambiguities. All our charitable activities must be Christ-centred. Evangelisation is not merely a political or social activity. There's a danger we can push Christ out of the picture when it's Him that we're about.
- Evangelical liberation. Man is freed in a holistic sense through the proclamation
of the kingdom of God. That means body, mind and spirit.
- Spiritual proclamation must have primacy. We must not ignore the message of liberating salvation in our efforts to liberate men and women materially. Jesus is always our focal point.
- Involves a change of heart. Being evangelised means interior change and transformation. Look again to the Beatitudes, Matthew, chapter 5.
- Excludes violence. No evangelisation involves violence. When did Jesus hit or twist someones arm, literally, to get them to believe in Him?
- The Church's work for liberation. This is part of realising God's kingdom here on earth. The Church's social teaching is a rich treasure chest in this regard.
- Religious Liberty. Fundamental human rights can not be separated from liberation. No evangelising activity can deny this.