House Hold Reflection October 2015

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(Mt. 5:48).  As we grow in this Trinitarian life of love and communion, we too experience an irresistible urge from within to overflow – to share this love and communion with others.  Realizing this truth, St. Paul said: ‘the love of Christ urges me on’ (2 Cor. 5:14).  “For if I preach the Gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me.  Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!” (I Cor. 9:16).  Only when an individual or a community has sufficiently experienced this love and communion of the Blessed Trinity,can they  effectively move out to evangelize.  In the words of Pope Paul VI, “the Church is an evangelizer, but she begins by being evangelized herself” (Evangelii Nuntiandi 15).

The word ‘evangelization’ comes from two Greek words, eu meaning ‘good’ and aggelos meaning ‘one who brings message’ or ‘messenger’.  In the New Testament context ‘to evangelize’ could mean ‘to announce the good news’.  To evangelize above all means to bear witness to a transformation within a human being: because through the work of evangelization (teaching, preaching, healing, etc.), Jesus Christ ultimately restored worth and dignity to every person he encountered. The Christians of the first centuries summed this up by saying, “God became man so that man might become God!”  To evangelize on a much deeper level means making that person aware of the value he or she has in God’s eyes. Evangelizing means communicating these words of God that rang out five centuries before Christ: “You are precious in my sight, and I love you” (Isaiah 43:4).  Causing people to realize their worth in God’s eyes is not something optional, especially in a world where the vast majority of men and women live a life not realizing their real worth and dignity. 

Recently, after attending the Philip Course, almost all the participants invariably affirmed that they experienced the love of God so intensely that they felt an inner urge to share it.  Some of them were very active leaders who have contributed much to the growth of the Jesus Youth movement; yet they confessed that they had experienced a lacuna, and the Philip Course and the ambiance of fellowship enabled them to recapture the ‘first love’. How true it is that one who is not evangelized cannot effectively evangelize.  Perhaps, this is the right time to ask oneself as a Jesus Youth, "Am I sufficiently evangelized, that I can now effectively evangelize?"  Pope Paul VI reminded the Church, “she has a constant need of being evangelized, if she wishes to retain freshness, vigour and strength in order to proclaim the Gospel” (EN 15). In the words of Pope Francis, we must become the ‘joy of the Gospel’, the most powerful means of evangelization.
 

 

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