The mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion. – St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, Dec 7, 1990
Evangelization is the business of Christ and His Church. It’s your business and it’s my business. To evangelize is to proclaim the message of Christ in word and deed and invite people to adopt the faith.
It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present-day society make all the more urgent. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize . . . – Venerable Pope Paul VI, Evangelli Nuntiandi, #14, 1975
It’s a contradiction of our vibrant faith to be a living member of the Catholic Church and go about our daily walk as though evangelization is just none of our business. We are baptized into the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ and His Church. We are baptized into His mission. We are baptized to evangelize.
If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire! – St. Catherine of Siena
Is your faith hot enough to set the world on fire?
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Being spiritually lukewarm is an epidemic of historical proportions in the Universal Church.
The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God’s creation, says this: “I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:15-16
This is the only reference to lukewarm in the entire Bible. It's both alarming and enlightening to consider that of all the egregious sins against the infinite love of God, He does not say because you are a murderer, a fornicator, a thief, a liar or an adulterer. Those are no-brainers. He says because you are lukewarm.
THE LAST HOPE OF SALVATION
As our spiritual preparation for the celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy, Jesus gave us a nine-day novena with the ninth and final day offered to Him for the very specific intention of the salvation of the lukewarm.
Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: "Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will." For them, the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy. – Divine Mercy in My Soul, #1228
WHAT I HAVE FAILED TO DO
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. – Edmund Burke, 18th-century statesman
Are you a good person doing nothing? Are you a sightseer or a pilgrim? Are you a spectator or a player? Are you a pacifier or an evangelizer? Are you an armchair Catholic or a Catholic warrior on the field of battle?
As Christians we must love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, but as Christians we must also stand up for what we believe and always be ready to fight for the Faith. The days in which we live now require heroic Catholicism, not casual Catholicism. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead be Catholics by conviction… We must be a fearless army…ready to give everything we have for the Lord, who gave everything for our salvation. – Bishop Daniel Jenky, (Peoria, Ill) April 14, 2012
I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! – Luke 12:49
The Church is full of good-hearted accidental Catholics who are not living a life of such whole-hearted conviction that they are setting the whole world on fire. The Church needs more trailblazers. Being good-hearted isn’t good enough. Living a life of whole-hearted, unwavering faith is what makes us the salt of the earth and the light of the world. It is a faith of uncompromising conviction that makes GREAT Catholics and true disciples of Jesus. It doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s what we do intentionally with the spiritual benefits and the gifts that we receive through the Sacramental life of the Catholic Church that puts the M in mission and the E in evangelization.
GOING AGAINST THE CURRENT
A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it. – GK Chesterson
Are you a dead fish just going with the flow, or are you alive and tirelessly swimming up stream against the current of worldly culture?
Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:2
Are you setting the world ablaze as a witness in your most personal choices, in your home, in the classroom, or in the office?
ARE YOU EVANGELIZING?
The most compelling form of evangelization comes when people are willing to share their personal encounter with Christ . . . As humans, we connect with stories. They move us, draw us in, and captivate our attention . . . We must tell our story and allow others to tell their stories as well. – John Abbate
You are a unique, one-of-a-kind, child of God! Do yourself and God a huge favor and erase comparisons from your book of excuses as to why you are not evangelizing. Comparisons to others will never bear fruit. You are the ONLY person who can tell YOUR story!
ARE YOU BOLDLY TELLING YOUR STORY?
Today Christ asks the baptized: 'Are you my witnesses?' And each one is invited to question himself sincerely: 'Do I live a strong, serene, and joyful faith? Or do I portray the image of a Christian life that is flagging, marred by compromise and easy conformity? – St. John Paul II, The World Mission Day, 1996
THE PROCRASTINATORS PRAYER
Come, O Holy Spirit!
Enlighten my mind to know your commands;
strengthen my heart against the snares of the enemy;
inflame my will…
I have heard your voice, and I don’t want to harden myself and resist, saying “Later… tomorrow.”
Nunc coepi! Now I begin! In case there is no tomorrow for me.
O Spirit of truth and wisdom, Spirit of understanding and counsel, Spirit of joy and peace! I want whatever you want. I want because you want, I want however you want, I want whenever you want. – St. Josemaria Escriva
Copyright 2017 Brian K. KravecI’m not an apologist, a scripture scholar or a theologian. I’m a crusty retired maximum-security prison guard. At the end of the day, like you, I’m an aspiring Catholic going about the business of Christ. We have much work ahead.
About the Author
Brian is a cradle Catholic, husband and father. He's the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Possibility Productions, a 501(c)(3) faith event evangelization apostolate in service of the Body of Christ. Brian has proudly served the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno on the Board of Directors for KNXT Catholic Television, is the Steward of St. Patrick’s Faith Event Ministry for his local parish and a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Brian and his wife are consecrated members of the Militia Immaculata. For information on the MI and Total Consecration visit Consecration.com.