Evangelisation
Introduction

When looking at Evangelisation, there are three stories from the New Testament which provide valuable insights.

Three stories of Evangelisation from the Gospels:

Illustration Mary Visits Elizabeth (Lk 1: 39 – 56)
In the story of the Visitation, Church tradition often refers to Mary as “the first missionary”.
Illustration Jesus’ First Disciples (Jn 1: 19 – 50)
Thirty years later Jesus called his first disciples. The story is told by St John the Evangelist.
Illustration Jesus talks with a Samaritan Woman (Jn 4: 1 – 42)
Lastly, the Gospel of John tells the story of Jesus speaking with the Samaritan woman at the well.
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Church Teaching on Evangelisation

ImagePope Paul VI said that for the Church to evangelise, it means bringing the Good News into, and transforming, every level of humanity, and making the whole of humanity new in the process .

This starts with the need for individuals to be converted and renewed by lives lived according to the Gospel, but the Church should not stop there. As the hearts of individuals are changed by Jesus’ love, they will more and more shine the Light of Christ to those around them in their lifestyles and workspaces.

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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. The three scenes mentioned above, plus many more throughout the New Testament all have a few things in common.

Firstly, 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…

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What is New Evangelisation?

new-evangelisationThe XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops gathered from 7-8 October 2012 to discuss the theme: The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. The New Evangelisation is directed to three principal settings.

1.Ordinary Pastoral Ministry, which seeks to help believers to grow spiritually so that they can respond to God’s love ever more fully in their lives.
2.The baptized whose lives do not reflect the demands of Baptism, to help them experience a conversion which will restore the joy of faith to their hearts and inspire a commitment to the Gospel.
3.Those who do not know Jesus Christ or who always have rejected him. All of them have a right to receive the Gospel. (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium 15)

 
Documents on Evangelisation

Read what the Vatican, the Pope, the Bishops and theologians have to say about Evangelisation.

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Who must be evangelised?

ImageOurselves
Looking at it this way, we are reminded that we all fall short of perfection in some way, and we see that we all need to be converted more and more to Christ. In fact, when we talk about evangelisation, we must begin by evangelising ourselves. Prompted by the Holy Spirit within us, we must seek to deepen our faith, continuously turn away from sin in repentance, and seek to draw ever closer to God. We should constantly strive to be better, answering the call to “be holy, as God is holy” and seek to be converted more and more into His likeness through His grace.

Those in our Church
Our Church and parish communities are comprised of people who are journeying in faith. As we journey together, we as Christians must be open to both evangelising and being evangelised by those in our faith community. This means building up the community – not in a way that is bossy, preachy, critical or judgemental of fellow members of the Body of Christ but in a way that shows others Christ’s love for them.

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The Role of the Holy Spirit - How Do We Evangelise?

ImageJust before His ascension, in the Great Commission , Jesus commands the Apostles, “Go… make disciples of all nations” and we His Church are commanded to do the same. However, this commandment isn’t given in isolation. While Christ has invited us to bring the Good News to the whole world, we cannot achieve anything if we are only working from our own strength. We must remember that the command is only possible because it is followed by the assurance, “behold, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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Why Evangelise?

ImageThe following are some reasons as to why we should evangelise

Because Jesus Christ commanded us, the Church, to do so.
The Church’s Mission is to be missionary. In what is called “the Great Commission” Jesus said to his disciples:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

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Theology for the Third Millennium

In early July this year Archbishop Bruno Forte from the Archdiocese of Chieti-Vasto in Italy presented at a variety of events in Melbourne. Along with Cardinal Pell, Archbishop Forte is one of twenty members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. A noted theologian, Archbishop Forte is also a member of the Papal International Theological Commission. Whilst in Melbourne the Archbishop presented at the Orientale Lumen Conference Australasia, engaged in a public conversation with Professor Tony Kelly CSsR from Australian Catholic University at the Helder Camara Lecture and presented a public lecture on the New Evangelisation at Australian Catholic University. As part of his busy schedule Archbishop Forte engaged in a conversation with delegates at the Australian Catholic Theological Association Conference. Take up and read this engaging and thoughtful text prepared and presented by one who is at the heart of the Church's mission to engage in a New Evangelisation. At the very end of the article you will find a link to the text of another of the Archbishops presentations in Melbourne 'Theology of Beauty: a way to unity?' This may also be of interest to some readers.

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