Pope Francis draws our attention to new ways of spreading the Good News of the Gospel – New ways of evangelizing.
We are inundated with new ways of communicating with one another – all kinds of social media tools – email, twitter, facebook etc.. While Pope Francis is undoubtedly aware of the potential of all of these in spreading the Gospel, the one that he chooses to emphasise is the tried and tested person-to-person contact. In other words evangelisation is not just the preserve or duty of those who hold office in the Church. Rather it belongs to all believers. He writes in his Gospel of Life, 2013…
”Today as the church seeks to experience a profound missionary renewal, there is a kind of preaching which falls to each of us as a daily responsibility. It has to do with bringing the gospel to the people we meet, whether they be our neighbours or complete strangers. This is the informal preaching, which takes place in the middle of a conversation, something along the lines of what a missionary does when visiting a home. Being a disciple means being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can happen unexpectedly and in any place: on the street, in city square, during work, on a journey.
In this preaching which is always respectful and gentle, the first step is personal dialogue, when the other person speaks and shares his or her joys, hopes and concerns for loved ones, or so many other heartfelt needs. Only afterwards is it possible to bring up God’s word, perhaps by reading a Bible verse or relating a story, but always keeping in mind the fundamental message: the personal love of God who became man, who offers us his salvation and his friendship. This message has to be shared humbly. At times the message can be presented directly, at times by way of personal testimony or witness or gesture, or in a way in which the Holy Spirit may suggest in that particular situation. If it seems prudent and if the circumstances are right, this fraternal missionary encounter could end with a brief prayer related to the concerns that the person may have expressed” .