Thursday, April 22, 2010

What is evangelization and what does it mean now that you are Catholics?


What is evangelization and what does it mean now that you are Catholics?

Evangelization is to make Jesus visible to the world, it is a duty and part of Christianity to proclaim the Good News which Jesus Christ taught us to do. Evangelization is not only a job for priest,
bishops, and deacons. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez states it like this, “Evagelization begins in the heart that has been evangelized (which is all of you in this room right now),the heart that has known God's mercy and love. We cannot be silent about what we have seen, heard and felt. We cannot help but to proclaim and testify to the great difference that Jesus Christ has made in our lives.” (Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, S.T.D. In; You will be my witnesses)

As Catholics we have a bigger mission and greater responsibility than our brothers and sisters in Christ have. Why you might ask? Just as Jesus was hated so is the Catholic Church. Acknowledging this should strengthen you to work harder at evangelizing. We must stand firm and proclaim the truth. Yes, the truth is something that a lot people don't like to hear at times. This is why Jesus was hated, because he was the truth.

There are three points that influences people to become Catholics.
The first is the person has a world view of Christianity.
The person has felt at least a minimal need for spiritual life.
The person has a bond with someone in the Church that provides a facilitating relationship for entry into the Church.
We as new Catholics can provide this assistance to those around you, now that you all have witnessed the truth. You all are in the Church that Jesus Christ has established. It is your duty now to go make relationships with those outside of the Church and plant your seeds into the culture of today. You all will make a crucial difference in today's society. Now there are five steps we should know about evangelization;

1. Witness Christ;
We witness Christ by loving, caring and forgiving those around you, we witness him with the way we represent him, with showing love and forgiveness to others. People tend to listen to those that not only preach but lead by example. Be positive about anything you do in life. Remember we have our God on our side. We must be good listeners and not be to critical of those who are unaware of the word of God. We as Catholics must be loving, caring and forgiving in order to bring more people to the truth.

A perfect example of living your life like Christ, is St. Francis of Assisi. He had a famous saying that states; “It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.” And there are all the other saints as well who walked as beacons of light.
2. Share your faith;
Sharing your faith is something pretty simple to do yet it is hard at the same time because it depends on who you are talking to. This is why we must listen and understand before we speak and share the Good News. We must be able to explain the teachings of Christ in terms of what it means to be Catholic.

When we have the knowledge of Jesus' teachings, being silent is not an option.
We must know that sharing that knowledge is very important to help our brothers and sisters around the world to understand and know the word of God.

One can start by sharing this good news with your loved ones and those nearest to us. To set them free with the truth that will bring such love and joy to their lives. We want to share this truth with the world so that everyone can know Jesus Christ and of the gift of salvation. Anyone who has heard the good news and who has been converted is expected to BEAR witness to God.

3. Offer the option for Love;
As Pope John Paul II told America's youth, “I offer you the option for love, the option for Christ.”

Giving the option of love is being at the service of all your friends, family, neighbors and yes, even you enemies, it is wanting to share your source of happiness with those you love. When we do this we offer the greatest service because, we are showing them Jesus' love and mercy though our actions.
We must pray and ask God to whom you should reach out to: if it be a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend or a family member. When we ask God for these opportunities to share our faith, we receive the courage to do so. The Holy Spirit will not let you down. We are now walking with Jesus Christ and his Church.
There are people out there that are inactive Catholics who would come back home if only someone like you and me would invite them to come along with us to Church, or simply by spending some time with them. Take your time to know this person that God brings to you. Look to see where they lay with their spiritual life and give them a hand where they need it. Show them what Christ has done for you. Be there for them when they need you. Invite them to come to mass with you some day, begin a Bible study group, invite them on a mission or on spiritual renewal programs at you parish or if you hear of one anywhere else. In order to offer this option of Love we ourselves must be active and not inactive. Do not be afraid or shy about it because God is holding us in his hand and our blessed Mother in her heart. What else do we need?

4. Challenge today's culture
Us as Catholics should be able to challenge the Culture of today now that is very necessary, especially when it comes to the culture of death. This is a perfect example of when we have to contradict the “modern” culture. We should not allow the culture of death to silence and overpower us!

Evangelization sometimes involves “upsetting values, lines of thought, and models of life that contradict the Word of God and the plan of salvation.” No one ever said it was going to be pleasant and easy, for good reason we call the path to heaven the narrow road. Remember some people do not want to hear the truth. “Only dead people go with the flow, living people go against the flow.” God told us to be firm in our faith. Don't let the culture of death bulldoze you down!

Listen to how Jesus challenged the hypocrisy in his time. (Matt 23:23)
“How terrible for you, teachers of the Law and Pharisees! You hypocrites! You give to God one tenth even of the seasoning herbs, such as mint, dill, and cumin, but you neglect to obey the really important teachings of the Law, such as justice and mercy and honesty. These you should practice, without neglecting the others.

An example of how brave we should be is in (Acts 4:24-30;5:40-42). It shows us the boldness of St. Peter and St. John after being told not to speak of Jesus ever again. St. Peter shows his courage and loyalty in the first evangelical sermon after Pentecost. So then we have to be fearless and truthful when it come to evangelization and proclaim the word of God.

There are other Christian churches out there that are not shy about asking people to join them. Well we as Catholics should start doing these things as well. In oder to be able to open the worlds' eyes to the truth. For example right now we have about 100 Anglican parishes that will God willing be part of the Catholic Church. Thanks to both John Paul II and Benedict XVI. We should not lay behind the line but in the front line to get us some action for Christ. Evangelizing is opening the door to all our brothers and sisters and letting them into the fullness of truth.

5. Making the good better.
Everything in our life that is good, we must make it better. You should polish your goods to make them shine brighter then they ever did. How, is one to see you if you are not a beacon of light. God wants us to be set up high in a mountain and let the world know you walk with Him who is Love. With all the technology we have today, we should use it all for goodness. The internet, television, and radio are modern devices we should use for evangelization now more then ever. There are more evil things being aired on them then good. I now if the apostles were still here with us they'd be all over the net, and the air waves of the world to proclaim God's good news. Health care is good but not at the cost of the unborn
We all as Catholics must rise our voices and stand firm together to resist and overcome the hypocrites who teach heresy in our nation and all around the world and open the eyes and the hearts of our now blinded brothers and sisters. It is a part of Christianity for all to evangelize. There are many beautiful ways of evangelization. Remember we must stand strong in our new or renewed faith and be ready to defend it when necessary. We must not separate our spiritual beliefs from everyday life. To live a Godly life we must merge the two together. We must speak up and go against anything morally wrong that is imposed by todays society. Prayer is a powerful tool to use, but we also need to be proactive to overcome the injustices of the world. All Christians must stand together an go against anything morally wrong and have faith that we will succeed because like I've said before we are on God's side and he is in ours.
We must must never give in to a society that supports evil and immoral practices, simply because it's easier not to resist and go with the flow. Like I said before, “No one ever said life was going to be easy, and with good reason we call the path to heaven the narrow road.” Many people will say, “ Well the immoral injustices of society or the world don't affect me because I don't support it, so I don't think I should get involved.”
The truth is that it does affect everyone of us, if not now it will affect us in the near future. By not being proactive we are teaching our children we should not care about anybody else and only worry about ones self. This way of thinking does not help those who believe this or the rest of us trying to make a difference and lead by example. Our Church is our strength and the reason our church is strong is because of our unity. If we work together and oppose all that is immoral we are more likely to succeed.

It has been proven that when people are truly evangelized and keep the word of God in their heart, they are more likely to evangelize other people and are more likely to participate in the Church and stand firm against all the immorality we have to face daily as a society and valiantly defend our faith.
“Anyone who has discovered Christ must lead others to him. A great joy cannot be kept to oneself, it has to be passed on.” -Pope Benedict XVI (2005 World Youth Day)

Written by Matthew E. Trevino


Good sources to help you evangelize: 89.7Fm radio and

Friday, April 2, 2010

A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.

A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.

When one goes to Church we go to worship the Lord our God not to party or to get entertained. Our Lord Jesus Christ suffered for 40 days in isolation out in the desert and at the hands of those who did not believe in Him, and a lot of people claim church is boring. How sad it is that people can't even give our God at least one hour, once a week to really worship in His house. We must also understand that the church is the pillar and the bulwark of truth (1 Tim 3:15). We must remember the church is one body and in this body it has many members (1 Cor.6:15; 12:12-27, Eph 5:30, Rom 12:4-5), and i am not speaking of an invisible body but very visible body of the Church which is Jesus Christ. Jesus said if we have an unresolved grievance we should "tell it to the church" (Matt. 18: 17). How’s that possible if the church is "invisible" for some of you? St. Paul never speaks of the Church ever being in the spirit alone but always both spirit and in the flesh, because Jesus our God was both flesh and Spirit. God's Church is made of sinners and saints, and when He came down and gathered the twelve men He did not gather twelve individuals but a body of men. There is only one Church that I know of, that has been doing this for 2010 years. We are known as the first Christians and the one True Church. It's been known as the Catholic Church since the year 110A.D.. It has a strong back bone founded by our Lord Jesus Christ. He set the first foundation which is St. Peter, the rock of the Church. Yes the Church is built on St. Peter and it's also built on 11 other apostles. Christ founded a visible structure and unified doctrine. So for 2010 years this Church has been worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ every Sunday and every day of the week when we go to Church. Therefore, anyone who is satisfied with the notion of the Church being merely a disjointed spiritual union of believers is settling for something less than the Church divinely instituted and ordered by Christ. Jesus tells his followers, who make us the Church on earth, that they are "the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house" (Matt. 5:14-15; see also Luke 8:16,11:33).
-Matthew Trevino