Post-coffee mulling this Saturday morning: a key danger of defaulting to apologetics (well reasoned defences) for evangelization, is this:
People convert to an ideology. They fall in love with a beautiful idea. Christ stays as a headtrip. A philosophy.
And our hearts risk staying far from him.
Evangelization is also the fruit of a life well lived and loved. It is our witness, not just our witnessing.
‘If you love me, keep my commandments…’ love God with all your heart and strength and mind and body. And love your neighbor as yourself. This is the law of the prophets. All else will be added besides.
The danger in the Church today is converts of reverts who accept a beautiful truth of Faith, but keep the hardened laws of their hearts. Instead of hearts alive and on fire with love for the real, living person of Christ.
Christ is not an idea we accept.
He is a challenge to the end.
He’s a lovegift in the moment.
He’s a friend on our journey.
He’s the life in our bones.
To follow the commandments with the heart of a pagan gives us an angry people, fixated on justice. To follow Christ without the commandments leaves us loose and strange, bending before every wind.
But the truly riveting reality is that we are born into Christ, like switching on the WIFI on your phone, or taking your first real breath. This means hearts and minds not pulsing with lively blood, but alive and alove with God.
Maybe that’s one reason why evangelization is harder for Catholics.
We’re not tasked with knocking on doors and sharing the Word. We’re sharing the Gospel of the Word.
And that Gospel is shared through words and life. Both together. Body and soul. Human and divine.
We must all of us convert our vision and heart to Christ, not just the mind.
This is why Christmas and Easter are beautiful evangelization. They don’t lead with answers. They lead with eggnog and firelight and family gatherings, colored eggs and incense and fresh tapers. They lead with beauty and community.
And people on the outside look and wonder, and say ‘see how they love each other… give me reasons for the joy that is in you.’
Over plenty of coffee… 😇
What do you think?