The New Evangelisation is a call to all Catholics, working in communion, to:
• Renew our faith and our relationship with Jesus, the Word of God;
• Live our faith daily, through prayer, worship and service;
• Share our faith with everyone, through our proclamation and witness in every sphere of life, using approaches relevant to today’s society.
Above all, we know that the first initiative always comes from God the Father. Indeed, “He has loved us first” (1 Jn 4:19) and that He alone “gives the growth” (1 Cor 3:7). When we, like Mary, follow the lead of the Holy Spirit and co-operate with the divine initiative, we too will become – with Christ and in Him – evangelisers!
Bring to prayer a time in your life when ‘joy in the Lord’ welled up with ease, and another time when it was born of deep trust like a tiny flame in the dark. Let the Lord speak to your heart.
Am I tempted to give in, to be a ‘sourpuss’? Do I really believe that Christ’s love is ultimately victorious? In what ways can I be ‘living water’ in a spiritually parched environment?
Pope Francis acknowledges that grief is also part of life. He understands the grief of people who endure great suffering. “Yet slowly but surely we all have to let the joy of faith slowly revive as a quiet yet firm trust, even amid the greatest distress:
‘My soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is…But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end…’ (Lam 3:17,21- 23,26).”
Pope Francis describes the Church as a pilgrim people: The Church…is more than an organic and hierarchical institution: she is first and foremost a people advancing on its pilgrim way towards God. She is certainly a mystery rooted in the Trinity, yet she exists concretely in history as a people of pilgrims and evangelizers, transcending any institutional expression, however necessary
Sometimes we are tempted to be that kind of Christian who keeps the Lord’s wounds at arm’s length. Yet Jesus wants us to… touch the suffering flesh of others.
Salvation is always the free gift and initiative of God, “who loved us first” (1 Jn 4:19). It is never something we can earn or bring about by human effort alone.
He hopes that we will stop looking for those personal or communal niches which shelter us from the maelstrom of human misfortune and instead enter into the reality of other people’s lives and know the power of tenderness. Whenever we do so our lives become wonderfully complicated and we experience intensely what it is to be a people…
“Does it get any better than this?” I remember asking my wife, Jeannie. Anyone looking at my life in 2004 would have agreed that I was very blessed—a beautiful wife, three remarkable children, a lucrative career in banking, and a passionate walk with the Lord.
Soon afterward, God spoke a clear word to my heart: “I’m going to answer your prayer for brokenness.” From that time on, the “wheels started to come off” in virtually every area of my life. My faith in him was going to be severely tested and I was going to embrace the cross and the “fellowship of His sufferings” (Philippians 3:10) like never before.