Monday, April 17, 2017

Pope Paul VI - Enlightening a Joyful Spirit in One Another

In the continuing series on evangelization and the Church, we turn to the writing of Pope Paul VI.  He is known one of the most significant writers on evangelization and author of Evangelization in the Modern World .  In this writing he states, “Evangelizing is the grace and vocation proper to the Church…she exists in order to evangelize, that is to say, in order to preach and teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, and to perpetuate Christ’s sacrifice in the Mass…” 

We are the church, the people of God.  We are called to live our call to holiness within our vocation.  Pope Paul VI called a Holy Year beginning in 1975 in which he asked the church to “proclaim the Gospel to all people.”  Beginning that year, it was his hope to bring a renewal to humanity; to bring the Good News to all through utilizing all methods we have, our witness of life, sharing scripture, catechizing, mass media, personal contact, engaging in Sacraments and devotions.  Still today, we have all of these for our use in bringing others to faith.   Just think of the many different social media outlets and other communication mechanisms available to us today over 1975. We have so many ways we can evangelize in 2017. 

Yet the basics of our faith sharing remain the same, since the time Jesus’ first apostles walked the earth.  There is still a need to explicitly proclaim the Good News and witness to the Father’s love, with the salvation of Jesus Christ at the center of the message as a sign of hope.   We are each called to do this in our everyday life in looking for those around us, wherever we find ourselves in the world for those in need of love, hope and joy.  

We each at our core are spiritual beings.  Evangelization is being able to look beyond who a person appears to be, to look into their eyes and discover through conversations what spiritual food they are in need of this day.  We each can do at least one thing each day to enlighten a joyful spirit in those we meet. In this way, the recipients of evangelization could be anyone, and if we all do this together as an evangelizing church intentionally the recipients could be everyone.  

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