Wednesday, June 11, 2014

New Evangelization - What was wrong with the old one??

Nothing was really wrong with the "old" evangelization.  

In fact, my blog title is a trick question!

Evangelization is always "new" in the sense that in various ways we as Christians are presenting the "newness" of the Gospel to minds and hearts that need to revitalized by the Truth - The Truth Who is in fact a Person to be encountered.  There is always something "new" to be discovered in relationships (especially in our relationship with God!)

St. John Paul the Great called for a "New Evangelization" which would "re-present" the Gospel to a modern culture which has, by and large, detached itself from the Christian faith which birthed it.  Just as a child can pull away from it's mother's teachings and try to "make it's own roots" so our culture has left aside Christ in order to try and "recreate" itself in a new image. 

All of its efforts are failing.

Look at the suicide rate, the terrible rise in school shootings, the depression, anxiety, the hungry search for spirituality of various kinds, the brokenness from all too common divorces, the rate of abortion and how this effects men and women, etc etc and on and on.  

Our culture, our hearts are broken.

We have the solution and a ready made remedy for healing available.  It has been presented to our culture in the past but the present culture chooses to keep it there - in the past.

Here is where Christians, especially Catholic Christians, enter in.  They enter into the present moment to re-present in "new methods, new ardor, new expressions" the eternal truths which God has revealed through His Son and through that Son's Church (Jesus' "body" on earth.)

The Bible says that Jesus, Who is God's eternal Word, "became flesh and dwelt among us." That same Word, that same "Good News" from the Father speaking of hope, and life, and healing and forgiveness continues to be "enfleshed" through Christ's Church; through Christians who bring Christ into the now of every day life.  Christians are to represent Christ to the world, they are to re-present Christ in the present time in order to lift those who allow themselves to be encountered by Christ into eternity with Him and with the Father.

Say what?

In other words, Jesus is alive and He lives and can be encountered in many ways but especially wherever the Gospel is proclaimed and lived.  

St. Joan of Arc once remarked about Christ and the Church, "I only know that they are but one thing; and we shouldn't complicate the matter."

He speaks to you through those Who listen to Him: "Whoever hears you (disciples) hears Me."  That is because the message of the Father to the world - Jesus - lives  in the truth proclaimed because He IS the truth proclaimed.  God enfleshed.  God here and now.

Emmanuel.  God-with-us.

One way, one medium through which to listen to this message is through great talks on the faith connected to relevant topics for today. If you click on the "Lighthouse Catholic Media" icon on the right side of my blog you'll be linked to talks from some of the best and most gifted speakers in the Church today (to see it you may have to first switch the view to the "PC Version" of my blog by clicking the PC Version link at the bottom of the page.

There are Young Adult Downloads, Cd-of-the-Month Clubs, books, individual cd's.  You could even ask your pastor to get a "Lighthouse Kiosk" for your parish.

Wherever truth is encountered there is Christ.  For today's world that is something which needs to be brought back.  We need to remember our roots in Christ and so be "re-membered" into the Body of Christ, the Church.  The world is 
desperate.  Thank God there is a Savior.  Thank God, too, for Christians who can re-present the Gospel to a broken, fallen culture and start putting things back together again.

(That's Humpty Dumpty.. he's the one who "sat on a wall" and "had a great fall."  Unlike him, however, WE can be put back together again.)