Praise the Lord, now and forever! I am extremely excited because I know that God is in charge and He is blessing us with every spiritual gift in heaven. Do not worry, do not fear, God is with us because we are His adopted children.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses according to the riches of his grace which he lavished upon us. (Ephesians 1:3-8)
There are so many times that we can be discouraged, anxious, fearful and even depressed over violence in our streets, the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges in our world. Rejoice! You are an adopted son or daughter of our Lord Jesus Christ! We have received every spiritual blessing in the heavens! There is no need to fear. God is with you! You have been chosen to bring others to Christ!
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go bear fruit, and that your fruit should abide; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16)
I believe more than ever in this challenging time that everyone needs to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. You are that good news. You have the heart of Jesus and with that heart you can share the reality that they are not alone, Jesus is with them, with all the angels and saints.
We were all baptized to be evangelists, when we received the sacred chrism to be “Priest, Prophet, and King!” At Confirmation, we became “warriors for Christ.” In the Second Vatican Council, we were reminded that “evangelization is at the very heart of the church.” Saint Pope John Paul II told us, “I sense that the moment has come to commit all the Church’s energies to a new evangelization. No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church, can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples.”
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI called a Synod, a gathering of 250 cardinals and bishops from around the world, in October 2012 to declare the “Year of Faith” and define the “New Evangelization.” He told us, “Directed to the whole world, its many cultures and peoples, to those who have never heard of Christ and those who have heard the good news but forgotten what it means to follow Christ.” To be an evangelist doesn’t mean you have to go to a foreign land. I believe that God has put you exactly where you are supposed to be, with your family and friends that need to hear that they are loved by Jesus unconditionally.
Right before Jesus ascended into heaven He gave us marching orders:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19-20)
He said to them, ‘Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; and they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mark 16:15-18)
We have not been left orphans, through the power of the Holy Spirit. He will give us the words to say and who to talk to. It often comes when we least expect it! Great miracles of evangelization are waiting for your “yes!” There is someone or many people who are waiting for your testimony for them to discover Christ. I truly believe it!
Our purpose in life is to make a difference and to proclaim the truth about our life and future. To tell others that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6)! I love the 10th chapter of Romans because it is so clear regarding the importance of evangelization:
But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!’ (Romans 10:14-15)
You are those feet! We were born to love Him, know Him and serve Him! How do we love and serve the Lord? By telling others about Him! Some argue that they are too busy, not qualified, won’t know what to say, and, the one I hear the most, don’t want to offend anyone. The reason you are qualified is because it is not you speaking but the Holy Spirit speaking through you. He will give you the timing and the words to say. Do not fear or worry, but just say yes to being a servant of the Lord and doing His will. And remember, the extent to which we want to share our faith, we will be given the opportunity!
Deacon Steve Greco is a permanent deacon of the Diocese of Orange, California, serving at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Irvine. He is also founder and president of Spirit Filled Hearts Ministry (www.spiritfilledhearts.org), which engages in Catholic evangelization, the promotion of spirituality and support of the foreign missions. Deacon Greco goes into greater detail about sharing one’s faith in his 2020 book Be Not Afraid, available through the Spirit Filled Hearts Ministry website.