Saturday, 27 October 2007 01:43

What is Evangelisation?

ImageEvangelisation is, first and foremost, the spreading of the Good News of Jesus Christ, and it is a step of our Christian walk that naturally follows on from a meaningful encounter with Him.  There are many examples of Evangelisation throughout the New Testament and within these occurrences there are common themes.

(1) Jesus is there.

Jesus is the messiah: the one the prophets have spoken about - the chosen people have heard so much about him.

But there’s more to Him than that…

He reveals the love of the invisible Father God: Jesus shows in a tangible way - in a way that we can see, hear, touch, taste - what the infinite love of God is like. He brings with him the promise of the Kingdom of heaven, a kingdom of love, justice, mercy, happiness and peace.

And yet there’s still more: Jesus Christ is God, the Son! And He is everything the human heart really needs to be truly happy!

(2) Someone discovers some truth about Jesus’ identity.

When we read scripture, the end of the story has been ‘spoiled’ for us, so to speak: We have the luxury of knowing who Jesus is. We know that He isn’t the average man, and that He is actually the Son of God. But try to imagine what it would have been like for the other people in each story: they don’t know how the story ends; they are just meeting Jesus for the first time.

The people in the Gospel have some realisation of Christ’s hidden, true identity – they discover that He is more than just a normal man. Jesus reveals something more of who He is. They realise that He is the Christ, the Saviour of the World, God the Son. They get a bit closer to the full truth of who Jesus is, and they realise that this truth about Jesus is Good News, - Great News, even!

It is true that many had incorrect expectations about what the Messiah would be like when He came, but to meet Jesus in the person, and to experience His infinite love – it must have surpassed anything anyone could have hoped for in a Saviour. For those who believe in Him, Jesus is better news than they could have ever dreamed of! He is the best news they have heard in their entire life! He is not just the Saviour of the World, He offers to be our own personal Saviour, too, and He is everything we need to be truly happy.

(3) They Share what they have found!

When each person encounters something of the wonder of Jesus, they can’t just keep it to themselves; they have to share it! They think of all the other people they know who have also been waiting for the saviour.

In all the Gospels, Jesus’ followers burned with a desire to proclaim this Good News, so that others might come to follow Him, too. Mary, Andrew and Philip shared the News with those closest to them: friends, family, loved ones. But the News was so good that the Samaritan woman even shared it with her enemies, with the townspeople who had rejected her.

Others, still, do not even restrict themselves to the people they know, but burn with enthusiasm to travel to far off places, so that all might have a chance to know the Good News, and Jesus himself commissions his Church to share the Good News “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1: 8). After all, it just wouldn’t be fair to think that Jesus – God the Son and the Saviour of the World – was here and that someone wasn’t told about it.

What about us?

For us today, we have not met Jesus face-to-face in the same “natural” way that His first disciples did - almost two thousand years ago. However, many of us have still met Him in a profound “supernatural” way in the sacraments, especially in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, where He gives us His life in His Body and Blood, and in the Sacrament of the Reconciliation, where we confess our sins and experience God’s forgiveness through the ministry of the priest. Many have also encountered Jesus through their prayer and personal devotion. St Jerome once said that “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ”, and similarly, many people have grown to know Jesus through the Gospels, too.

Often, our own realisation of who Christ is can be just as exciting for us as it was for those we hear about in the Gospels. It is a profound discovery to find in Jesus exactly what we need for lasting joy and eternal life. Just like His first disciples, we too can burn with enthusiasm to share the Good News of Jesus with our friends and family, that they might have the same joy that we have found.


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Read 19893 times Last modified on Monday, 20 October 2014 14:05

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