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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Evangelization: Jesus Christ In The Flesh

I thought about pre-emptying this discussion on the 8 Components with thoughts on Advent prep but it struck me that this is the best time to talk about Evangelization.

Most recently I have been dismayed by the disturbing trend to keep Christ out of Christmas-to not even say the word Christmas. At some schools children are not allowed to sing Christmas carols or say Merry Christmas, or Boston, who I believe put up their "Holiday Tree" (btw do they realize that the word "Holidays" comes from "Holy Days" tee-hee!). As my secretary guffawed yesterday "Happy Sparkle Season" we all laughed-but realized the increasing reality of the world desperate to keep Christ out of the season he is the central and foundational figure of.

clearly the world does not know the love of Jesus Christ. How many of those around us do? How often do we enflesh Jesus Christ to not only the kids but their parents and our fellow parish co-workers?

"Evanglizing means bringing the Good News of Jesus into every human situation and seeking to convert individuals and society by the divine power of the Gospel itself" (Go and Make Disciples, p.2)

Jesus Christ is in every part of our humanity. He is not a cloak we put on when convenient. Mary gave birth to a very real living baby. Jesus really did walk this earth. He really did get tempted. He really did eat and drink. He really did call on his Father when life got rough. He really did get mad at injustice and ridiculousness. He really did treat others with dignity. He really did get pissed off at the Pharisees. He really did get flogged, pierced and crucified. Real blood was shed. Real flesh was ripped. Death did come to him.

So too, the kids need to see real life. They also need to see what happens when life is in need of God the Father, and he responds. They need to see that death was not the end of the story. Death was defeated by Hope, by Resurrection.

"The starting point for the ministry of evangelization 'is our recognition of the presence of God already in young people, their experiences, their families, and their culture...' " (Renewing the Vision, p. 36, Challenge of Catholic Youth Evangelization, p. 7-8)
As well, I can't stress enough that it will be in your relationships with others that Jesus Christ in the flesh is most strongly experienced and witnesses. Why do people leave a church? "That pastor did this to me" or "the secretary at the Church was mean to me". Why do we struggle with others we are trying to minister to? Maybe because we show Christ in our imperfect lives.

Nonetheless, it only means that we need to pursue our relationship with Christ first and foremost and become even more evangelized, even in the midst of being an evangelistic witness of Christ to others.

Christ chose to take on humanity and all it's disappointments ('cept sin). Are we then surprised when our work with others is hard? He carried his humanity even to the Cross. How far will we carry Christ to others?


Anonymous MB said...

You didn't mean to type "emptying" in the first line there, but because of your interest in and dedication to this topic, it made me giggle. :)

6:33 PM  
Blogger TCYM Lounge said...

D'oh! Silly Me!

8:51 AM  

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