On Monday 2 March, Dave Evans, from the Vicariate for Evangelisation, Catechesis & Schools, threw out a a series of amusing anecdotes as he bounded back and forth across the Parish Hall. But every slide and every story highlighted a key point in the Pope’s call for us all to become Evangelists.
Dave urged parishioners not to become overwhelmed by ‘grey pragmatism’, drowning in administrative detail, but to focus again on the central tenet of our faith – encountering Christ in our everyday life. How many of us, he asked, slip into small-mindedness, allowing small irritations to erode our Christian spirit (as we glare coldly at the person occupying “our” pew, or mutter darkly at some imagined offence).
If we are truly Christian, we should put it into practice all the time – not save it for great projects. How many of us, self-conscious and anxious not to appear too enthusiastic, dolefully intone ‘Thanks be to God’, having forgotten that Mass should be a joyful experience!
Evangelisation is not a project, to be undertaken for a set time. Rather it is an attitude of mind – the desire to get out there and tell and show what being a Catholic is all about. We tend to be embarrassed to profess our faith. When we hear the final words of Mass Go and proclaim the Good News, we only really hear the “go” and rather forget about the proclaiming. But we are all called, and in sharing our faith, we gain far more than we give. We do not have to “market Christianity”, but we do need to re-evaluate our lives, and consider how well we are serving others.