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Friday, January 15, 2010

Reach Out or NOT!

I was with a group of catholic men the other day. We were discussing our role in evangelization. Some of the group stated that by living a holy and devout life, they were evangelizing the world. Others stated that we are to seek out people and have a pro-active role in converting and bringing people to Jesus and to the church.

There were many examples from the Men, personal anecdotal stories of how they were either converted or re-energized by Men and Women who did not preach to them, but simply lived their faith. It was reported that for many, a direct approach would have turned them away, but through observing their faith in action, the faith of quiet and humble men and women, that is what did the trick for them.

Some of the other Men stated that just living your faith, without an active approach in evangelization is missing the directive that Jesus gave to us to go out and spread the good news. They stated that our faith is not a "Me and God" faith, but one that continually reaches out to others, in words, in actions, and in love.

So what is the answer?

I think the answer is both.

I think we are to live a holy and devout life. Our actions and our lifestyle should represent our beliefs. We should undoubtedly appear to be unlike the secularists and pagans in the world. We should have a vibrant joy and happiness that stems from our knowledge and relationship with Jesus. There should be a depth in our convictions that comes from our faith, from our identity of belonging to the One Holy Catholic Church, the church that was instituted by Christ himself.

I think we also have an obligation to bring the good news to the world. However, I might have a little different spin on how this actually happens. If we truly love our faith, are immersed in the teachings, find joy in living the devotions, and have a friendship with Christ, we can't help but talk about and share our love of life, our love of Christ, our love of being Catholic.

I was talking to a person at work yesterday, and we were talking about the idea of sharing one's faith at work, and she responded "Well - everyone knows what your faith is," meaning that everyone at work, 100's of people know I am Catholic and know that I love my faith. To me, that was the biggest compliment, I had always hoped that through my actions and my behaviors I would be noticed as a Christian. I think we have all heard the question, "If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you. I would be convicted, and this brings me great joy!

So to end this post, the answer is, to reach out in our actions, in our behaviors, and in our words. We are to bring the love of Christ into the world. What other purpose, other than bringing children into this world and teaching them the faith, is there for a Christian?

We are to be God's Eyes, His Ears, His Hands, and especially His Mouth, and in all that we say and do, We are to be Christ to the world.

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