Part III: The Focus of the New Evangelization
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” Mt 11:28
Pope Benedict XVI describes some of the contemporary situation confronting modern man, including secularism, globalization, and social communications, the economy, scientific and technological research, and civic and political life. Many of these societal realities are positive, but when taken to the extreme, they can lead to disillusionment and weariness.
This is where the New Evangelization comes in. As fellow Christians, as kindred spirits in the Church, it is our mission to continue to be evangelized, refreshed, and to seek out the hope that is in our heavenly leader, Jesus Christ. In this way, we can fully share our faith with others, especially those burdened and fallen away from the table of the Lord for one reason or another. Ask yourself a few questions: How do I touch people’s lives? How do I interact with others in a spirit of love? How do I explain how the faith addresses modern concerns? Interaction with those who are away from the Lord is part and particle of the New Evangelization, but we must do so with love and respect.
Again, the 3rd commandment is discussed as part of the key of evangelization. Secularism has led to a diminishing recognition of Sunday as the Lord’s Day, a holy day of prayer and rest. It is through the full participation of the Mass that those burdened with life’s trials and tribulations can find some solace. “Our hope is not in a program or philosophy, but in the person of Jesus Christ, who comforts those who are burdened.”
As examples of the New Evangelization, before we begin to talk to others about our faith and desire for their return, we must be examples of what that Christian life is. How do we spend our Sundays? How do we dress for Mass? We certainly need to be refreshed in our own faith journey in order to share it with others.
In my previous post, “What does it mean to be TOO Catholic” I list several things that I practice as a Catholic; some have been labeled as TOO Catholic to me directly. Several dear readers responded to this post and all were appreciative for the share. Some wish they could be better, but all sounded passionate about their Catholic faith. YES!
So this is where the New Evangelization comes in!