Evangelization is sharing our relationship with Jesus Christ to all those we meet and it is about spreading the fire of God’s Love to create a world of missionary disciples! This is done by living the Good News of Jesus Christ’s freely offered salvation through our deeds and our words.
Our modern world “listens more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if [they do] listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses.”(EN, 41) Today, how we witness to the Gospel matters more than ever. But actions alone are not enough; the Word must be proclaimed for “there can be no true evangelization without the explicit proclamation of Jesus as Lord.”(EG, 110)
The Kerygma – the core proclamation of Jesus’ saving death and definitive resurrection – is what evangelization is ultimately all about. All expressions of evangelization must ultimately move on to the Kerygma, the Great Story of God’s Love. This Great Story implicitly holds all that the Gospel contains. Our own “story” and the stories of others, every testimony and witness eventually must move away from ourselves and move on to His Story. It is only the power of His Story that personifies the amazing Love of God in His Son. It is only the power of His Story that can bring us into an initial relationship with our risen Lord.
Only then, only after this initial conversion of heart and will can further catechesis take on personal interest – which is the prerequisite for learning any subject well. So, while catechesis is necessary for nurturing and sustaining the seed of first faith, evangelization is what brings about that first faith. And, while deeds of service are absolutely necessary to authenticate the love of Christ in a hurting and skeptical world, without the witness of evangelization it remains only a humanitarian act.