Monday, 16 April 2007 07:49
Written by Keith Strohm
Hello everyone! I'm back from a rather protracted bout with writing and editing deadlines. Thankfully, I think I managed to hit my deadlines and remove those particular monkeys from my back!
The youth ministry program at my parish is wrapping up its year (we had our final meeting last night and a retreat next weekend), and this has me reflecting on a few things related to sharing the faith.
At some point during the year, as the "moderators" (youth ministers) were discussing the possibility of making some substantive changes in order to deepen and improve the ministry, one person exhibited resistance to a proposal that the moderators make a commitment to actually come to every meeting and prepare for their talks by proclaiming that "this isn't my job."
My initial thought (which I never voiced, unfortunately) was that this might not be your profession, but it's their (the teens') eternal life. What we do (or don't do) in terms of our own lackadaisical or half-hearted approach may have a direct effect on the eternal destination of the young men and women God (through the pastor) has entrusted to our care.
Of course, this expands beyond youth ministry to all elements of intentional discipleship. If, indeed, the Church's deepest and most profound identity is found in evangelization, then living out a life of faith isn't just about securing my own salvation, but also helping others experience the saving love of Christ.
In fact, my own salvation is, if I am correctly listening to the voice of God speak through the Tradition of the Church, intimately bound up with the salvation of others. To love my neighbor as myself includes sharing with them the transformative power of the gospel. If I won the Lottery, I would want to share my good fortune with those I love.
How much more have we been given in Christ Jesus. And how much more have we been called to share!
Evangelization is a way of salvation for others--and for ourselves--because it leads to the Way, Jesus Christ.