Written by: Marijan Presečki, evangelizer

Europe is once again looking for its Christian roots. It is baptized, but it does not exude the spirit of the Gospel. The same can be said for the situation in Croatia and Croatian society. In the document “Called to Holiness” (published by HBK, Zagreb 2002), the Croatian bishops put the entire program of new evangelization and renewal of the Croatian national fabric into the concept and realization of holiness. And holiness here means perceiving and upholding all what is good and valuable and removing all what does not meet the requirements of the Spirit. Pope John Paul II emphasized, “that the ideal of Christian holiness must not be misunderstood, as if it included some kind of extraordinary life, which can only be lived by some great men of holiness.”  On the contrary, the paths of holiness are manifold and appropriate to the vocation of man, which is why the Pope demands, “that everyone is convincingly offered again this “high place of the regular Christian life.”

It should be emphasized that our society and the Church have specific wounds that need to be healed.

We should be aware that our sufferings, problems and disappointments are not only different but more difficult and versatile than all other former communist countries. Therefore, it is necessary to create the conditions to eliminate the causes of weakness, apathy and meaninglessness as efficiently as possible. The Pope and the Croatian bishops, therefore, conclude: “The remodelling of the Christian fabric, of the Christian communities themselves, is a condition for the remodelling of the fabric of society itself.  And this transformation is not possible without a new evangelization and a new evangelizing and missionary zeal and enthusiasm.” (Called to Holiness, n. 96).

The new evangelization is a requirement of this historical moment in which especially trained lay evangelizers must know man well, his anthropological reality, and connect thoroughly with Jesus of Nazareth. Pope John Paul II wrote: “It is not a matter of inventing a new program.” 

So, it is not about a new religion and program, but the conditions and situations of life of modern man have become different and newA lukewarm and superficial faith is not enough to solve and face the problems of today’s man of faith.

The word evangelization itself is a derivative of the Greek word euangelion, which means “good news” or “happy proclamation”; something like a welcome that brings complete comfort to an anxious heart.

The goal of evangelization is to make man happy, to bring him to the fullness of life – the experience that God loves him so that he too can love people, the world, heaven, but also himself as Jesus Christ loves him.

To evangelize means to bring to people the joy that the herald already has in his heart. That is why one who is not evangelized cannot evangelize. The proclamation is not catechesis and religious teaching, but it is a proclamation of the Gospel that entered the evangelizer, that revived him, made him man of joy and peace, made him humane, brought him closer to Jesus Christ.

Our Founder Tomislav Ivančić points out that an evangelist must not only be a speaker but a convincing witness, which means that he has the experience of his being and the experience of the Holy Spirit.

In the end, let’s remember that in the media, the news is sent, listened to and watched every day and is addressed to everyone. In this way, we too should provide and spread the Good News to all in many ways and forms. Dear reader, this is my small contribution to understanding the urgency and importance of the new evangelization.

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