Spirituality – How Jesus Evangelized

Jesus_EvangelizationOur Holy Father has had his fair share of media appearances the last 100 days, and new stories about his witness concentrate on the marriage of his message and actions. Fr. Michael Cummins reflects today on the way Jesus evangelized perfectly through word and deed— and what basic things we can imitate as we accept the call of the New Evangelization.

I do not think that the New Evangelization is just about what we say as Christians, nor about what new technologies we use to proclaim the Good News but also about how and the manner by which we proclaim, “Jesus is Lord!”

When it comes to the work of apologetics or promoting/debating the faith or current issues or even just day-to-day encounters for that matter, I must admit that I have never been one for witty, “in the moment” comebacks. I think that this is due, partly, to the fact that my parents taught me from an early age not to regard a snarky attitude, in and of itself, as a sure sign of intelligence and also because I do not think that an exchange of one-upmanship in comments leads anywhere truly productive. Such an exchange tends to produce more heat in friction than light to illuminate, I believe.

I share this because there can be a tendency to view apologetics and the new evangelization solely in terms of formulating the wittiest comeback line that will effectively put the other in his or her place while affording a sense of superiority to the crafter of said comment. But in the entire gospel story I never find Jesus doing this. Our Lord certainly had truth to speak, he knew how to challenge and his wit is demonstrated time and again throughout the gospels but his words never belittled the other nor did they divide and hurt.

If the new evangelization is to be true then we must not just look at what Jesus said but also how he said it. This “how” just as surely as the “what” must inform all means of communicating the gospel message— whether that be the classic one-to-one encounter or a tweet to the multitudes.

Continue reading Fr. Cummins commentary on Word on Fire Blog