Just as the Advent season prepares us for the Incarnation, and the Lenten season prepares us for the Resurrection, we know that the celebration of the Easter season prepares us for Commissioning: “Go, make disciples of all nations.” The Gospel readings of this season serve as a primer in discipleship: the model of the Good Shepherd, the vines bearing much fruit, the command to love one another as Christ has loved us. Yet, though it is, indeed, Good News, spreading the Gospel is hard work! There are many barriers in our way: limits of time and resources, an unfriendly or inhospitable popular culture, and – sometimes the biggest barrier of all – ourselves.
In today’s episode, we explore the topic of evangelization – how do we in pastoral ministry reach beyond those already active and in attendance? What works? What doesn’t? What mindset must we cultivate in order to be successful? We’ll also discuss two subsidiary topics: maintaining healthy balance, and navigating the culture wars being waged within the Church. To do so, we’ll hear from two people renowned for their efforts at evangelization: Fr. James Martin, SJ, and Jean Vanier.
Fr. James Martin, SJ, is a Jesuit priest, editor at large of America magazine, consultor to the Vatican's Secretariat for Communications, and author of numerous books, including the New York Times bestsellers “Building A Bridge,” "Jesus: A Pilgrimage," and "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything." You can find out more about his ministry and speaking engagements on his Facebook page.
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