A lot of people do not stand to speak about the conversion of non-Christian people, also partly regretting the ritual folklore of other religions, which would go unavoidably astray by welcoming salvation in Jesus. Though preserving usages and customs of peoples is certainly a good thing, do we agree on asserting that, because of that, they have to renounce Jesus?
Others do not want to speak about, because of the other two monotheistic religions, that is Hebraism and Islamism. Nevertheless, the Hebrew too are called to welcome the Novelty, which is Christ, while keeping what in their tradition is a valuable anticipation and preparation of this novelty. At to Islam, I want to remember a testimony by Fr. Tardif, who saw a whole Muslim family to get converted during a Catholic Charismatic Renewal prayer meeting, since the healing of a woman among them had suddenly convinced them all of Christ’s divinity.
As we can read in Isaiah , again in our time the Lord is sending us to Peoples…Thus, instead of fearing the announcement coming from their faith – as sometimes we do – why don’t we ask the Spirit to be able to conquer them (in the sense of attracting and convincing them) to our Lord Jesus Christ?
The receivers of evangelization are all men. The whole mankind. And if we do not take that into due account, on the doomsday the Lord will side with these “poor”, who were hungry and thirsty of Him and who were not fed and watered by us, while we were lost in opportunistic questions.
Time and the “the ends of the earth” are the receivers of the Gospel announcement as well.
This is our time and such is our world, with its different cultures, mentalities and ways of living (social, political and economic). It’s us the living people in this century and it is up to us the responsibility of passing on the faith in Jesus to the next generations, just as our parents in faith passed it on to us. I am deeply grateful to all those crowds of believers to whom I owe my faith today.
Such is our earth: wherever a man and a woman able to listen to us may be. We can never stop, partly because borders can be still re-drawn and because, as we said before, what we thought as an acquired territory, needs to be continuously re-evangelized.
But me too I need that. Continuously, every day, I need to announce to myself that God loves me, that He created me for Him and that He sends me to evangelize.
In fact the first world the Lord sends us to has got a name and a story we know very well, since it is our name and story. Only if we accept that the Gospel to strongly penetrate this world, in order to “till” us inside, so more and more converting us to Jesus, thus we can be genuine witnesses of a message that we really live throughout. “Go ye into all the world” , yes, but like mature and convinced people, not like full -of- dreams –and- sentimentalisms children. The Lord needs practical and brisk people, also being, at the same time, available to be re-created each time as a new creature for that moment’s mission.
All evangelization work is also conditioned mostly by our personal Christian testimony, which shall always go before and with the service of the Word. We are evangelizers firstly because of what we are and not because of what we say or do.
- Von Balthasar wrote: “We are Christians only when Christianity is shown as believable through us for the world”. If, on the contrary, we are not seen as credible and trustworthy people (also considering that, through us, people’s trust is given to Jesus), we are not evangelizers yet, nor Christians.>
- Alberta Avòli and Roberto Ricci – “They lived together”
No.5, “Guidelines” Collection, The Risen Jesus Community Edition –pages 77-78 and 79-80.