Successful evangelization and catechetical initiatives must be focused on
the parish and parish life.
“In all its activities the parish encourages and
trains its members to be evangelizers.”
Encounter Jesus in Others
Christ commands us to be his witnesses to the ends of the earth. We
are to proclaim his Good News to all people, everywhere and at all
times. After Christ promises the disciples that the Holy Spirit will
come upon them, he ascends into heaven. The disciples, rather than
heeding Christ’s command to be his witnesses, stare “intently at the
sky.” It takes “two men dressed in white garments” asking, “Men of
Galilee, why are you . . . looking at the sky?” for the disciples to begin
to realize the meaning of Christ’s command (Acts 1:10-11). How
often do we fail to realize that we are called to be Christ’s witnesses to
the world? Do we realize that our Baptism, Confirmation, and recep-
tion of the Eucharist bestow on us the grace we need to be disciples?
Are we like the disciples staring at the sky rather than inviting those
around us to experience Christ’s love and mercy through the Church?
How often do we reach out to our missing brothers and sisters by
inviting them to join us at Mass or by asking why they no longer
feel welcomed at the Lord’s Table? The answers to these questions
underlie the mission of the Church, especially in the call of the New
Once we have encountered Christ, as did the disciples, we are sent forth
on mission “to the ends of the earth” to invite others to this encounter.
The response to this encounter with Christ needs accompaniment.
To create a culture of encounter and witness, we must live explicit lives
of discipleship. We are called not only to believe in the Gospel but to
allow it to take deep root in us in a way that leaves us incapable of silence:
we cannot help but to announce the Gospel in word and in deed. This
missionary outreach is at the heart of discipleship. “Being a disciple means
being constantly ready to bring the love of Jesus to others, and this can