7. We don‘t know our faith stories
Day after day, week after week, most Catholics go through the motions of life: Sunday Mass. Repeat. We are simply unaware of how God is at work in our lives on a daily basis. All evangelisation begins with sharing our experience of what God has done in our lives. Was it an answered prayer? A grace that you received? Breaking an addiction to a particular sin? Or a physical healing that you experienced?
When we experience Christ and fail to share it, we are missing out on an opportunity to share about the goodness of God to others around us. The relationship that we have with Christ is not simply a concept, but a real and tangible one. A God that is personal, one who is involved in our everyday life. A God that is close to His people and desires a relationship with them.
8. We feel unworthy to evangelise
Sometimes we are reticent about evangelising because we recognise that there are still many areas in our lives that are not consonant with the Gospel. We feel that we are not worthy to speak of Christ because our lives are not a good reflection of His.
The truth is that evangelisation has absolutely nothing to do with our worthiness and everything to do with God’s extravagant mercy and love for us unworthy sinners. The good news that we are proclaiming is precisely that we are loved sinners, and that we have experienced God’s love reaching down to the depths of our darkness and lifting us up into new life. The good news we proclaim is not about our fidelity, but about God’s faithfulness to us and how his mercy is greater than even our gravest sins.
9. We are afraid of rejection
Living the life of a disciple does not promise us popularity. In fact, many Catholics rightly observe that fidelity to the truths that Christ has handed down to us through the Catholic Church would put us in opposition to many of the normative values of the world today. Understandably, it is easy for us to feel that we would rather blend in with the rest of the world rather than risk ridicule and rejection by our families, colleagues and friends.
And yet, the beauty of our faith never shines more brightly and gloriously than when it shines in darkness! It is human to want acceptance and approval, yet the power of the Holy Spirit can enable us to transcend our instinct for self-preservation. The question is whether we ask for this grace!
10. We have not experienced the joy of the Gospel in our own lives
It is human nature to want to share what gives us great joy. We often hasten to share good news of promotions, weddings, new babies and delectable cuisine. Perhaps at the root of most Catholics’ reluctance or inability to evangelise is the fact that they have not yet been struck by God’s grace in their own lives. They cannot say, “I was in prison, but now I am free! I was blind, but now I see! I was hungry and alone, but now I am filled with the love of Christ!“
When we have experienced the salvation of God in our own lives, there is a joy that cannot be contained – it floods our hearts, edging out fear, and we find ourselves eager to tell the world about the amazing Person that has redeemed us and set us afire with love.
11. We do not have an intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ
Sometimes, people go through a powerful conversion experience and for a short while, they want to evangelise. But as time passes and the reality of their old life sets in, many lose their initial fervour and enthusiasm to bring Christ to others. They have not been able to mature their relationship with God from a powerful encounter to a deep, intimate and personal relationship.
The journey from seeker to disciple, from disciple to apostle, and from apostle to saint is one that takes a life-time. It is not primarily a journey of external activity but one of interior growth that can only take place when our souls are nourished with an ever-deepening prayer life. It is this interior life – this intimate connection with Christ – that fuels us with the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to live lives of Beauty, Truth, and Goodness. It is the Holy Spirit that channels God’s healing and transformative power through us earthen vessels to touch the lives of others through our unique personal vocations.
The bottom line is: If we have an intimate, personal, and growing relationship with Jesus Christ, we will very naturally become evangelising and missionary Catholics.
End of Part 2.
Written by VITA Scribes.
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