The Joy of Evangelization

By: Ashley Rivera
Young Adult Participant

The Joy of Evangelization is off to a great start, with a great response from our young adult community. There are in between fifteen and twenty young adults who are coming to these eight week “missionary discipleship formation” courses. The courses will focus on the “hows” and “whys” of evangelization and culminate with a workshop that will help the group see the needs of their community, discern what God is asking of them, and decide what they are going to do. They will go home with an action step and be missionary disciples for Jesus in the world! Below is a reflection from one of our young adults that has been attending and helping in our retreat programs, Ashley Rivera. The speaker for that night was Professor Thomas Rausch, SJ T. Marie Chilton Professor of Catholic Theology at Loyola Marymount University. Starting my journey to become a theology teacher, I have the honor to have a theology professor who is also a priest from Loyola Marymount University. It is important for me to have different points of view when learning about the faith. This is also true to a lot of people with different backgrounds. One of the things I found interesting in his talk is how he emphasized on the biblical passages that are related to evangelizing. They are not just biblical passages, an interpretation by the bible writers but actual words that Jesus said. The professor described in more detail the key elements that are included in Jesus’ words. For example, Jesus says how “gaining heaven” would be counter culture by encouraging others to live a life without riches.

Furthermore, the professor pointed out how Jesus says it would be hard to enter the kingdom of heaven. However everything Jesus says, is not to discourage us from striving to heaven. Remember that Jesus himself was human and went through the same trials much worse than us in order to enter heaven. Jesus is blunt in saying our earthly life is hard but it is also short, therefore it will be so worth the effort because heaven is forever.

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