What is Evangelisation?
The word 'evangelisation' comes from the Greek euangélion which means "good news". Jesus gave witness to the purpose for which He was sent: His mission was the proclamation of God's love to all people in the fulfilment of God's promises, "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim the good news to the poor'... Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing. (Luke 4:16-21).
The Church is its very being "prolongs and continues" Jesus, and "it is above all His mission and His condition of being an evangeliser that she is called upon to continue. Evangelisation is, therefore, not only "the grace and vocation proper to the Church", but it is "her deepest identity."
Pope Francis states, "the parish is the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God's word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelisers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a centre of constant missionary outreach."
In the parish community, there are at least three ways in which we evangelise. Firstly, we share beyond the parish with those who do not know Jesus Christ and who have refused Him. Secondly, we share the Good News with infrequent church attenders, encouraging them anew to a deeper relationship and fresh engagement with Jesus and with the life of His body, the Church. Thirdly, we share the Good News in ordinary pastoral ministry to inflame the hearts of the faithful.
All Christians are called to be stewards of the gifts that God has given us, employing them effectively for the good of others, "as each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace" (1 Peter 4:10). Such stewardship calls us to consider how the gifts of our communities, temporal resources and parish personnel are cared for and placed in fruitful service of disciple and evangelisation.
Like the many parishes, our parish has relied on volunteers for leading and running parish groups and ministries. For all the baptised children of God are called to build up the Church's communion, the body of Christ, and engage their gifts toward this end according to their vocation.
To be agents of evangelisation in becoming a missional parish, let us all be invitational, intentional, and bold parishioners to encourage others to be part in the works of our Lord Jesus Christ to the world.