By Tony G.
What is evangelization? Evangelization comes from the Greek word “euangelion” which means to spread the good news. In Roman times this word had a military connotation. It was used to describe the messenger who was sent by the emperor or a king to spread the good news of his military victory. In the New Testament, St. Paul applied this military term to Christianity. But instead of bringing the good news of a military victory by a king in this world, St. Paul brings us the good news of the ultimate victory of our Divine King, Jesus Christ, over sin and death, in the next world. Today evangelization means bringing the Good News of Jesus Christ to all people and seeking their conversion through the divine power of the Gospel. In the Gospel of Mark Jesus told his disciples, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole of creation.” Sometimes the greatest barrier to evangelization is ourselves, because we can’t give what we don’t have. Like St. Paul, are you living the Good News? Do you demonstrate a zeal for the Lord? As you go about your day are people attracted to your joy? I think we would all agree that our society is in a state of moral decline. So what are you going to personally do about it? Do you hide your faith in public? Are you ashamed to mention God to your family and friends; and to your coworkers? If so, pray to the Holy Spirit to give you the courage to boldly proclaim Christ to those around you. Because we desperately need to bring God back to our society. That being said, evangelization doesn’t mean clubbing people over the head with a Bible. It can’t be forced on someone. In order to convince someone to start a personal relationship with Jesus, we need to first establish a personal relationship with them because people don’t care what you know until they know that you care. Evangelization is about planting a seed of conversion in someone’s heart, then allowing the power of the Holy Spirit to take over. So we need to reach out and meet people where they are at–then gently guide them to Christ with patience and charity. This could be a long and drawn out process. But with persistence and prayer miracles do happen. Let me leave you with one last thought. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” So I ask, are you living out the mandate of Jesus to go out and spread the Good News? Who have you evangelized today in your words and deeds? For Saint Paul Street Evangelization of the Emerald Coast, I’m Tony G. Have a blessed day!