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What is Evangelization?


And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.

The Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church discussed the question of Evangelization at their meeting. Patriarch Lubomyr, commenting on the theme of the Synod, pointed out that evangelization first of all means spreading the Good News brought  by Jesus Christ that the human being, in spite of his sinfulness, can be saved thanks to God’s mercy and grace. “ Each of us is a sinner and needs God’s Help. It is a great joy for us that it is possible to leave the state of sin and become a child of God. Everyone who has already received the Good News must become stronger in it and share it with everyone who hasn’t heard about it for whatever reason. This is evangelization.”

Archbishop Tawil , of the Melkite Catholic Church, envisioned an Eastern Catholic Church open to all Americans. He eloquently spoke of this in a famous Christmas pastoral letter:

One day all of our ethnic traits " language, folklore, customs " will have disappeared. Time itself is seeing to this. And so we cannot think of our communities as ethnic parishes, primarily for the service of the immigrant or ethnically oriented, unless we wish to assure the death of our community. Our Churches are not only for our own people but are also for any of our fellow Americans who are attracted to our traditions which show forth the beauty of the universal Church and the variety of its riches.

By our Baptism, we are called to become part of the Body of Christ .  We unite ourselves to the greatest Kingdom of the World. In particular we as Ukrainian Greek Catholics have a treasury of rich tradition, strong faith and theology which is not only for Ukrainians or Rusyns, or Greeks but for all people. We as a church have been the best kept secret for all believers in the universal church. We are called as believers to share this good news with ALL peoples. We have accepted a way of living which unites us with the greatest source of power, love, peace, justice, courage, faith, and vision possible to any human being. This process of salvation, of becoming like God, being centered and focused on doing His will, compels us to share this GREAT NEWS with those around us.

Many of us may think, like the early Apostles, that we are not worthy to preach the Gospel; we’re not educated enough, we’re afraid, and we stop before we start.  The truth is that every one of us, no matter what our state in life, carries the message of Jesus to those around us.             

How many times in a day will we tell someone, “I’ll pray for you” or “Pray to God, he’ll help you” or “ I love you and so does God, lean on us”  All these simple statements are evangelization. When we present our God as a source of OUR strength, a source of OUR hope, and a God who loves us, heals us and forgives us.. we ARE preaching the Good News that Jesus has to offer.  With this realization we are given the courage and the mission to push past our comfort and get into the action of being channels for Jesus’ voice to be heard.  Everywhere people are thirsting for the water we possess: in Jesus we have the Truth to give them, the “Spiritual water” which will spring up within them to satisfy, and the power of God’s Spirit to give them Hope.

This website is dedicated to encouraging all those in the ordained and non-ordained ministries of the Church: from Bishop to Subdeacon,  from cantor to religious educator, from religious to lay people in their mission to evangelize. I invite you to make use of the Evangelization Blog  , to post questions, to offer suggestions, to give your vision for how to help spread the great news of God’s love and mercy to all whom we love and care for: family, friends, and new friends yet to be made by the power of faith in action.

There are some Simple Guidelines for each Parish to use to help define your mission as Church, practical applications to help your parish grow and flourish, and Workshops and Training seminars for continuing education on the faith.

Like St. Paul
  in his letters, I ask that God continue to extend to you.. “ His grace and His peace…” in the knowledge that indeed his grace is enough for us.

"Thus says the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the East country and from the West country; and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousness." -Zech 8:7-8

 
 
     
 
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