"Nobody is a Christian for oneself alone. The gift of faith is given to us so that by word and example, we may become witnesses before others."
-Pope John Paul II
St. Bart's was blessed to welcome Dr. Christian Washburn to speak on the subject of Vatican II and Evangelization. The presentation was less about
how to share the faith with others, but more of a reminder to us that the foundation of truth needs preparation
before we can stand on truth. Dr. Washburn did a beautiful job supporting the idea of "one cannot give what one does not have." There are a few truths we need while we prepare ourselves to share our faith. Let us review them.
1.) With our baptismal promises of having our ears opened to the needs of others and our lips joyfully proclaiming the good news of Christ, with the support of our brothers and sisters in Christ from St. Bart's Faith Community, with the Holy Spirit living in our hearts, and with our friend Jesus who walks with us every step of the way, we are preparing ourselves to venture out on MISSION. But not just any mission, the great call that Christ commanded us to fulfill. We are to go and preach the good news! What is the good news? That Christ lived, died, and resurrected for YOU!
Matthew 28:19-20 "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
2.) What is the GOAL of Evangelization? Is it to fill the pews, create more volunteers or committee members? No. It is to make disciples, which are followers of Christ.
6 Steps to Be a Disciple of Christ
1.) Foster a personal relationship with Jesus.
2.) We are friends to Jesus but he is still above us
and we are subordinate to him.
3.) Embrace the cross.
4.) Renounce all things to Christ.
5.) Accept Christ's truth (ex. Luke 10:27, Romans 12:1).
6.) Be "Fishers of Men". Disciples make other disciples.
The second part of the talk was a reminder of the purpose of Vatican ll.
Evangelization!!!! All people are called to be a part of the one true church.
So, what is "New" about the New Evangelization?
1.) We need to be personal. An iPhone with social media faith sharing capabilities is not going to cut it. We need face to face, personal friendships with people.
2.) Missionaries are traveling to OUR country to evangelize us! What does that say about our need to re-learn our faith?
3.) We are encountering a culture of people who deny the supernatural, who do not believe in miracles, and who will side with science and reason.
Lastly, Dr. Washburn closed with a Q and A and here are a few nuggets of encouragement when encountering others.
We must be re-evangelized before we can go out and evangelize to others. One cannot give what one does not have. Pray about what that means for you personally.
Reaching others when there is resistance: Strive for
authenticity of faith in your friendships with people of all beliefs.
Practice having a faith dialogue with other Catholics you trust to get feedback and to feel more comfortable taking about Jesus.