TRAINING IN THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FOR PARISH LEADERS

THE FRUIT OF THE TRAINING IN THE NEW EVANGELIZATION

by Susan McCollam

Ask And You Shall Receive

After I made the decision to follow Jesus, I began to grow in a sense of service. I began to ask the Lord, "How am I to serve you?" Time passed and the answer came. He was calling me to be his witness.

At first I didn't find this hard to deal with, but then the word "evangelization" began to creep into my vocabulary. I found the word repulsive because I related it to people who preach a lot and ask questions like, "Have you been saved?"

As my awareness grew of what the Lord was asking of me I began to really struggle. I had so many questions. I asked the Lord, "Why, how, when, Lord; where, who, what? Lord, lead me for I know not the way." Well, ask and you shall receive! Here I am in training for evangelization that is filling me with answers.

My questions:

WHY?

On entering this training one of the first things I learned is that because I am a Catholic Christian, it is my duty to be His witness. Jesus' last words to us were, "Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation." I realized He was speaking to me, and to all of His followers.

HOW?

How, Lord, am I to be your witness? I have learned that first of all I am to be a witness by my very life. CHRISTIAN LIVING is the most important type of evangelization because people relate to what they can see. I must undergo conversion of heart and outlook on life.

Secondly, I must be able to EXPLAIN and justify my way of life. In other words, I must be ready to proclaim the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the Kingdom and the mystery of Jesus. These two points reach full development when the Good News is seen, listened to, accepted, and made one's own.

Thirdly, there is COMMUNITY. To grow in the way of the Lord, it takes a supporting community of believers: the Church.

Fourthly, the process begins again because those who have seen, accepted, and entered into community must now REACH OUT to others.

WHEN?

When, Lord, am I to be a witness to my faith? Always! In the midst of a hectic morning getting the three older boys off to school while the two little ones are yelling for more cereal. I'm to be a witness to my husband even when he is down and irritable because of the pressures of work. I am to be a witness to the little boy who has been labeled "bad" because his behavior has been so misunderstood. Right now, I have a tremendous urge to be a witness to my fellow Catholics who I can tell are really questioning and searching. I was once one of those Catholics.

WHERE?

Where, Lord, am I to be your witness? Everywhere! I used to be a Sunday Catholic, and the rest of the week I lived a very pagan life. But I am to be a witness in the world and to the world all the time.

WHO?

Who am I to witness to, Lord? To everyone who crosses my path. Right now I find it easier to be a witness by my life than to proclaim Jesus' name. The only people I can talk to about Jesus are those who I can tell are really searching. Maybe they will change. All I can say now is, "His will be done."

WHAT?

What, Lord, am I to proclaim? When people would ask me questions about my faith, I had no answers to give them. Now I am able to talk about the naked gospel and its four basic truths, and of my personal experience of the Lord.

I encourage all of you to pursue training in evangelization and learn how to share your faith.

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