"Evangelization" can be a big, scary and intimidating word. We're told that we all need to evangelize, that this is the Church's core mission and yet we wonder what this means, who needs to be evangelized, what we're supposed to do and how we're supposed to do it. And since many of us don't have answers to these questions, we just don't evangelize, we leave it up to other people.
The results of this lack of evangelization over the past 50+ years have been devastating. People are leaving the Church in droves and even those still in the Church are drifting far from the core. 70%+ of church going Catholics today don't even believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.
Obviously, things need to change. And there is great news for you and I! Evangelization isn't as abstract as it sounds. It begins with us taking our faith life seriously- going to Mass every Sunday and on Holy Days of Obligation, going to Confession frequently (1x/month is a great practice) and cultivating a life of daily prayer. And once we begin this process, then we are ready to go out and evangelize (or spread the Good News). Once we are evangelized through the Sacraments and our prayer life, then God will naturally lead us out to serve our brothers and sisters according to His unique will for us. So don't think of evangelization as standing on street corners with Bible in hand shouting at people. And don't think it means that you need to sell everything and go serve the poor in Africa or Central America. It just means that you need to be on fire with love for Christ, with Him as the center and foundation of your life. And then this fire will naturally radiate out into all aspects of your life. No longer will you be afraid to share your faith with others. Instead, you will look forward to it. Moreover, when people see the peace and joy coming from you, they will begin to approach you with questions about the Faith! And this, my brothers and sisters, is the amazing life that each of us is called to, a life of intimate communion with our God, a life of proclaiming His goodness and greatness (i.e. evangelization). Plus, there are a number of organizations out there that are completely dedicated to making this as easy as possible for us, with Word on Fire (Bishop Robert Barron) leading the way.
And just in case you're still scratching your head and thinking, "I'm still not too sure what this Fr. Joe is talking about, or if I'm cut out for this," below is an excellent video from the US bishops (lead by Bishop Barron) outlining the crisis at hand in the US today and also highlighting some solutions. This blog will regularly feature helpful items from Word on Fire as well. So the bottom line is: Be not afraid, you can do this and you have so many resources to help you! So embrace Christ and get out there to help Him transform the world! God bless!