THE SCHOOL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: EVANGELIZATION
Rev. Fr. John-Mary Benedict Ntol Atep
“Evangelization will never be possible without the action of the Holy Spirit. …In fact, it is only after the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost that the apostles depart to all the ends of the earth in order to begin the great work of the Church’s evangelization” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 75).
Today we celebrate a great evangelizer in the life of the Church – The Evangelist St. Mark. St. Mark like other Apostles of Jesus Christ spoke the Language of the Holy Spirit as an evangelizer and a writer of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Evangelization is the primary assignment of every baptized and confirmed Catholic. It was never meant for only the clerics and religious but also for the laity. In a sense, everything we are labouring for in the Church is to pave way for a smooth evangelization of our hearts and the world. The importance of evangelization is best described by the Magisterium as follows: “Now if the Spirit of God has a preeminent place in the whole life of the Church, it is in her evangelizing mission that He is most active. It is not by chance that the great inauguration of evangelization took place on the morning of Pentecost, under the inspiration of the Spirit” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 75).
Since, we all have access to the Person of the Holy Spirit and I dare say that if you must benefit from the school of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit Himself, then you need to open up for the Holy Spirit to move you into the agency of Evangelization. For instance, Scripture displays the truth that the Holy Spirit inspired St. Philip to approach the Ethiopian Eunuch and evangelize him: “And the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and join this chariot’” (Acts 8:29). We need a similar push today! May St. Mark intercede for us. We can draw lessons from the foregoing experience by cultivating simple devotion to the Holy Spirit. The devotion of being conscious of His presence in our hearts and in all we do. The truth is that many of us do not remember the Holy Spirit and some think that you must belong to some societies in the Church before you can be bold to speak, pray and teach about the Holy Spirit. Please awaken the Holy Spirit in you quickly. Just a simple thought of Him can create a lot of wonders. Give it a try now!
The Church teaches that “Techniques of evangelization are good, but even the most advanced ones could not replace the gentle action of the Spirit” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 75). The gentle action of the Holy Spirit can be nurtured by desiring and living an inspired life. This leads us to the cultivation of the habit of INSPIRATION. To be inspired is to correct the sense of separation from God and to know and apply the presence of God in all we do.
“The Holy Spirit is the soul of the Church. It is He who explains to the faithful the deep meaning of the teaching of Jesus and of His mystery” (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 75). Therefore, a sound relationship with the Holy Spirit will make us to be restless until we share the good news of Jesus Christ beginning with our lifestyle in private and in public and our determination to spread the faith as we talk about our faith fearlessly, discuss matters of the faith shamelessly and contribute to the progress of the Church in various ways. The good news is that evangelization is a fruitful mission and ministry. Hence, Jesus Christ states: “Go out to the whole world; proclaim the Good News to all creation. He who believes and is baptised will be saved” (Mark 16:15).
Prayer (Mark 16:15-20): Practise self surrendering and consecration to the Holy Spirit.
ST. MARK – PRAY FOR US