As I was cleaning off my desk in preparation for the holidays, I came across an issue of Catechetical Leader Magazine that I had saved because it contained one of the best articles I’ve read all year. It’s by Matt Halbach, director of the St. Joseph Educational Center in Des Moines, Iowa, and it’s titled New Pope, New Evangelization, New Return to Old (but Good) Ideas.”
Matt makes an excellent point that, while the New Evangelization needs a new attitude and new forms of expression, it also requires a new starting point. He goes on to argue for the need for pre-evangelization which, as he explains, “more effectively leads to conversion because it begins by first recognizing an individual’s own dignity and conscience, making attempts to meet people where they are at intellectually and existentially.” He goes on to explain that, “Pre-evangelization, therefore, is concerned with building positive, human relationships which are the bedrock of conversion.”In essence, he is saying that, before we attempt to sow the seeds of the Gospel, we need to till the soil.
I encourage you to read it as we enter this final week of Advent!