I have the amazing privilege of taking a master’s course this week at the Augustine Institute from one of the most joyful proclaimers of the Gospel I have ever heard. As I sit in Dr. Mary Healy’s class on the Acts of the Apostles and the New Evangelization, I am wonderfully astounded by the way she preaches the Word of God; it is clear, authoritative and convicting. But more noticeably, she is peaceful, humble, and joyful.
I have met and heard many highly intelligent, content-driven teachers and speakers in my life, especially in the last few years as I have gone deeper into my studies in theology. But it’s not every day that I come across presenters who have a way of communicating not just the content, but the joy of proclaiming and living the Word.
Have you spoken to anyone who has fallen in love recently? If not, think back to your own experience of what it was like to fall in love with your spouse years ago. Do you remember what you were like whenever you spoke about him or her, or perhaps, simply whenever you mentioned his or her name? I bet you got a smile on your face that you couldn’t seem to hide no matter how hard you tried. I bet your whole demeanor became more relaxed, but also more excited. I bet anyone could tell you were filled with that good kind of pride, and I bet that you had a spark in your eye that someone could see from a mile away. I bet you were glowing.
This is how we should be when we talk about Jesus! Are you so madly in love with him that you glow when you speak about Him? How often are you taking the time to get to know Him by soaking yourself in His life, which is marvelously unfolded in the Gospels? I love that verses all throughout the Gospels roll smoothly off of Dr. Healy’s tongue. It reminds me of being in love—she finishes Jesus’ sentences!
We need to rediscover our responsibility as Catholics to lift up Christ, to shine for Christ, to exude Christ’s light to others through our very pores. Everyone we encounter should experience peace, humility, and joy in us when we preach the Christ who confounds all of our preconceived notions and ways of thinking.
“In Acts, Peter preaches as if it is a matter of life or death. Is there something missing in our evangelization today where we quietly let that aspect of eternal consequences slip to the wayside?” –Dr. Mary Healy
YOU must preach and live the Word of God as if your life—and the lives of all those you meet—depend on it. Do you want your evangelization to be contagious? Lift up Christ in your words and actions with JOY. It makes the Gospel ever-exciting, ever-new. You practice how you play. Noticeably fall in love with Jesus today, and you’ll love him for eternal life.
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