The Joy of Evangelization

Christ is risen! Isn’t that wonderful news? As old as that news may be, that doesn’t diminish just how ground-breaking and earth-shattering it is. Christ has conquered sin and redeemed the whole world through his resurrection from death. No wonder Easter is such a big celebration in the Church. The resurrection is the greatest news that anybody could ever hope to hear: it is an affirmation that we are saved, and we are being given access to eternal paradise with God.

So why would we want to keep that news to ourselves?

Patrick Conley welcomed Fr. Brian O’Brien onto The Inner Life to discuss the joy of evangelization and the hope that the Word of God can bring to others, especially during these fifty days of the Easter season.

To begin, Fr. Brian explained that evangelization is exactly what it sounds like: the sharing of the Good News.

“When we ‘evangelize’, we are ‘evangelists’ sharing the ‘evangelical’ message of the saving love of God in the person of Jesus Christ, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the founding of His Church.” That’s why the four gospel writers – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – are known as the Evangelists.

But actually, the first evangelist was not an apostle at all, at least not officially. The first person that the risen Lord appears to is a sorrowful Mary Magdalene who was weeping because she though that they took Jesus’s body. After revealing that He had risen from the dead, Jesus tells her to go and tell the others. Mary Magdalene is sometimes referred to as the “apostle to the apostles.

So, looking at the example set by Mary Magdalene, what are the steps to emulating that kind of desire to share what we know as Catholics? Fr. Brian broke the sequence of evangelization down into three steps: Encounter, Grow, and Go.

Encounters happen naturally. Fr. Brian acknowledged that we have all probably had experiences where we met somebody who knew a tremendous amount about God and scripture, but they themselves had not fully come to terms with the truth and become a converted disciple. Those situations where we meet people who genuinely desire truth and understanding are where evangelical efforts can take root. It’s nearly impossible to bring joy to somebody who doesn’t want to be joyful.

The next part of the process is growing. As Catholics, it is our duty to know the Faith as well as we can so that we can defend it, explain it, and spread it. As Fr. Rocky always says, you cannot give what you do not have. So amass knowledge of your faith. Learn the Catechism, read, the Bible, frequent the sacraments, and pray often. These tools are integral to not only telling but demonstrating by example your devotion to God.

And the last step is to go. To where should we go? To whom should we go? Where does Our Lord want us to spread His message? To the ends of the earth! To all nations! The average person meets about 80,000 people in their lifetime, so make the most of every encounter.

“Every person deserves to hear the Gospel,” said Fr. Brian. “When we say that Jesus Christ died for us, there is not a person who has ever lived or who lives now or ever will live for whom Jesus Christ did not die.”

Jesus did not die for the righteous. He died for the sinners, a group to which all of humanity belongs. Remember that the next time you encounter somebody seeking the truth.

Tune in to The Inner Life weekdays at 11am CT

John Hanretty serves as a Digital Media Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of the Gupta College of Business at the University of Dallas. Besides being passionate about writing, his hobbies include drawing and digital design. You can read more of his daily articles at and on the Relevant Radio® app.