By MONSIGNOR ANTHONY RANDAZZO
EVANGELISATION is all the rave at the moment.
It seems that every time you hear a churchperson speak, the word appears somewhere in the talk. But evangelisation does not happen simply by repeating the word “evangelisation” over and over again.
The Good News of Jesus Christ, the only news which is good for all people, is at its best when it is told, recounted, relived.
The great narrative, which is the Good News actually involves us in it. And to this end, retelling the story of salvation, and more specifically the story of how Jesus saves each one of us, is what evangelisation is all about.
The starting point is always Jesus. His story is the story. His story changes our lives and once our lives are changed our own story is changed for the better.
Personal knowledge of Jesus and the unconditional love he has for all people opens the heart to a deep sense of joy. When people are loved they are joyful and joyful people live in peace and harmony with others.
The Good News of Jesus Christ brings love, joy and peace to human lives and to the world. Love, joy and peace are gifts of the Spirit and Jesus cultivates these gifts in the hearts of His disciples as sure signs of salvation.
These gifts draw the believer deeper into the living Gospel so that each person who searches for Jesus ultimately becomes so filled with His life that their own faults, troubles, and solitude are washed away and a true life is possible, life to the full (cf. John 10:10).
Before we become too self-absorbed in our own experience of Jesus Christ and what he has done for us, it is good to remember that the Gospels are full of encounters with people who have never heard of Jesus.
When they meet him, their stories become one with His story and their lives are changed forever.
Announcing the Good News to others, especially those who have not heard it before, is the mission of all people who live in Christ.
Pope Francis reminds us that all people “have a right to receive the Gospel” and that all “Christians have the duty to proclaim the Gospel without excluding anyone” (Evangelii gaudium 15).
Evangelisation is not a speech, a process or an event. It is a way of life that encourages, transforms, renews and gives shape to our lives. It is the telling and retelling of the great narrative of Jesus – the Good News for all people.
Monsignor Anthony Randazzo is the rector of Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary, Banyo.