What Does it Mean to Evangelize?

To evangelize is to show the open arms of Jesus on the cross, saying: “I did it all for you.” That is what really transforms the heart and brings us to experience a new life.

Juan Ávila Estrada
26.11.2013 // PRINT
UK Catholic/Mazur
Evangelization (the act of “preaching the good news”) is the Church’s “Great Commission”; it is the reason for which she was founded, sent, and supported by the power of the Holy Spirit.
 
This good news is nothing other than the love of God – an unconditional love that is as absolute, as truthful as the cross; a love that is not just “for humanity” (an expression that speaks much but says nothing), but for me and for you. It is a love that is not the product of greed or personal achievement, but rather the benevolent generosity of the Lord.
 
It is a love so freely given that it is neither deserved nor contingent on changes in our attitude and behavior (although we can choose to accept or reject this love by means of our actions).
 
It is not easy to evangelize, for it requires a personal experiencing of God’s love: his tenderness, his compassion, his desire to “make all things new” in me. Without it, we can simply convey the truths of faith as revealed in Scripture, but at the risk of becoming cold Christians who advocate these concepts without allowing them to transform their lives.
 
Evangelizing is not the act of threatening all those who do evil with eternal damnation, nor is it the raising of the sword of justice against all sinners, marginalizing and labeling them as lost. Neither is it declaring them enemies of the cause itself, for their ignorance may be preventing them from seeing the truth, which is Jesus.
 
To evangelize is to show the open arms of Jesus on the cross, saying: “I did it all for you.” That is what really transforms the heart and brings us to experience a new life.
 
To evangelize is to kindle a light. But how is this done? By showing truth. What truth? The truth of a person, the truth that is Jesus Christ: “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” But this knowledge of the person of Jesus is not limited to “know things” about him; rather, to truly know him is to live the experience of his love, to understand that what he did directly relates to me.
 
One does not evangelize by filling heads with abstract concepts. A faith that is perceived only by reason can make religious fanatics out of us; on the other hand, a faith that only touches the emotions can become unstable. But a faith that interacts with our reason, will, and emotions is a powerful thing that transforms life significantly.

It is here that our behavior is transformed. It is here that we learn that by faith, one surrenders his life for the good of others.
 
To evangelize is not to open the gates of hell for sinners, but to declare the love of God to each person so that this love leads to conversion. It is to show the face of the Church: a face of mercy and respect; a kind and welcoming face of a Mother and Teacher.
 
To evangelize is to heal the wounds that afflict us by means of God’s love.

Hispanic Ministry Resource Center

HMRCThe Hispanic Ministry Resource Center (HMRC) of Claretian Publications was created in 1990. It grew out of the desire of the Claretians to provide resources to pastoral agents working with Hispanic communities throughout the country. There was, at the time, a great scarcity of materials, produced in Spanish in the United States and culturally appropriate for the ever growing population of Catholic Hispanics. About 8,000 parishes in the country had some measure of Hispanic ministry but no resources that would respond to the real needs of their people.From the beginning, the philosophy of the Center has been to look at the real population and its reality and culture in the United States. There was a firm decision from the start to produce new materials rather than translating them from existing materials, or importing them in Spanish from other countries where, while the language is the same, the reality varies. The attempt, then, has been to speak from the languages and the cultures of the Latino community in the United States.The Hispanic Ministry Resource Center (HMRC)‰ÛÓa pioneer in bilingual Hispanic Ministry nationwide‰ÛÓoffers a wealth of resources, publications, programs, and materials for use in your catechesis, formation programs, parish or community. In addition, the Hispanic Ministry Resource Center has been very active in the Hispanic ministry national scene, participating in major events as well as in activities of the different agencies of the Archdiocese of Chicago. It belongs to the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry.It also offers services such as workshops and catechist training classes in collaboration with national organizations, dioceses, and parishes.

Relevant Radio

Relevant Radio exists to assist the Church in the New Evangelization by providing relevant programming through media platforms to help people bridge the gap between faith and everyday life.

Mike Landry (www.iamthird.ca)

Mike Landry serves as Chaplain to six Catholic Schools in Western Canada, and his posts at www.iamthird.ca is an extension of that ministry. Mike offers commentary on current events, spiritual reflections, and explanations of our Catholic faith in a manner that is relevant and engaging.

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