A young Protestant called a Catholic radio show to clarify church teaching. After giving the answer, the host asked, “Why aren’t you Catholic in the first place?”
The caller’s simple but unforgettable answer made me so speechless – “because I was never invited to be one.”
Many Catholics think that evangelization – sharing of the Christian faith – is a Protestant thing. True enough, it was only when I became an Evangelical Christian that I met people who were so passionate about this.
I saw how they preached the gospel in the bus, schools, market, and wherever it was possible for them to speak about God. I also experienced going house-to-house and sharing about how Jesus loves us. I learned from Evangelicals how to really bring Christ to everyone wherever we go.
We are called to evangelize
While not everyone is called to share the gospel in a very radical and public way, all of us baptized Catholics are commissioned by Jesus to naturally bear witness to our faith in the most ordinary circumstances of daily life.
In fact, sharing our faith should be our primary concern as ordinary Catholic Christians. Let’s look at what the popes have been telling us:
- St. Paul VI said in Evangelii Nuntiandi that evangelization is the vocation of the Church and its “deepest identity.”
- St. John Paul II reminded us in Redemptoris Missio that it is our “supreme duty to proclaim Christ to all people.”
- Pope Francis emphasized in Evangelii Gaudium that every Christian should be actively engaged in evangelization.
What could be clearer than those? After all, didn’t Christ commission all of us to win souls for Him (Matt. 28:19)?
Evangelization is not an option. It is our mission.
The world needs witnesses
Being a convert, I believe that our Catholic Faith, once properly understood and lived, gives so much hope to this aching world. We are called to be witnesses of how God heals the world through His Church.
- How many cases of depression and despair would have been prevented if only people realized the healing power of Confession?
- How many people would have tremendous conversion knowing that it’s really Jesus that they receive in the Eucharist?
- How many young people would have been spared from countless heartaches if they only discovered the beauty of chastity?
- How many couples would have avoided contraception if they only understood the beauty of natural family planning?
- How many mothers would have been saved from lifelong trauma if they were only enlightened about the evil of abortion?
- How many families would have been restored and strengthened if they saw true examples of faithful marriages?
- How many Catholics would have not left the Church if they only saw us Catholics being faithful to our vocation?
A lot of people depend on our daily struggles in living AND sharing our Catholic faith. Christ needs us to be his presence in the lives of the people we live and work with.
Will we fail our Lord or will we say YES to His call?
In the next post, I will share practical tips on how any Catholic can evangelize in the most ordinary and natural way.
What do you think? Share your thoughts.
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