Grace to you!
Today, I share a couple of thoughts on evangelization.
As you may have known, [New] Evangelization in Christianity is, for the most part, about bearing witness to the life of Christ. It is witnessing to the Good News of Christ, the news of salvation to every part of society, wherever people are. It is also about being agents of renewal through the power of the Spirit to those cultures and peoples who used to believe but no longer have the same zeal they once had. One could also say it is renewal and "in-servicing" with and in the life of Christ. For more systematic definitions, I suggest reading Evangelii Nuntiandi of Pope Paul VI and Evangelii Gaudium (the Joy of the Gospel) of Pope Francis.
Evangelization is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Fathers called the Holy Spirit, "the principal agent of evangelization" (Paul VI, Evaneglii Nuntiandi, n. 75; John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, n. 21). The Holy Spirit has a way of directing us to where there are needs for renewal. The Spirit uses people, circumstances, events, and sometimes heavenly angels to lead us. If we listen, we will be able to speak, evangelize, bear witness to the rejuvenating life of Christ.
Sometimes, God directs us through His angels. Scripture calls the angels, "ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation" (Heb 1:14).
Some biblical instances show how God's angels can give us a lead to what the Lord wants and how we may start. A fantastic example is about the story of Philip, one of the seven deacons in the book of Acts of the Apostles.
Scripture says: "An angel of the Lord said to Philip, 'Rise and go toward the South to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza' . . . and he rose and went" (Acts 8:26-27). Consequently, he followed the lead and evangelized an influential Ethiopian. The latter needed a teacher to explain to him the prophecy he was reading.
Many times we look for a lead from God. We are discerning what to do, where the Lord is leading us, how we can do it? It seems we can’t find one.
I found those nearing retirement more concerned with "what next?" All their years as younger people, they planned how to retire, but once they are in their mid-fifties onward, a weird feeling of "what next" grips them.
You have the lead. Only you may not have been silent to listen. Let it not be that we are too busy to pay attention to the whispers of God on what to do.
God sends His angels to minister to our needs, providing us with the lead. Don't you realize that each of us has a guardian angel, whose sole job is to guide us at God's command? "He has put his angels in charge of you, to guide you in your ways" (Ps 91:11)
God's "angels" could also be the advice of a friend, a family member, or even a co-worker pointing out something you never took seriously. It could be the intuition to change a particular line of action. It could come from an idea you had listening to a boring sermon.
The angel was the helping hand when you needed it most. It could be the unusual visitor who asked you out for dinner. It could be the pet in the house, reminding you of what loyalty, faithfulness is in a relationship. It could be the dream to scale the heights of your aspirations.
Follow the lead. There is no need to procrastinate.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday, Easter Week 3: Act 8:26-40; Jn 6:44-51
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.