Christmas: The Birth of Evangelization

Nativity scene for Christmas

We often describe Christmas as “Jesus’ birthday” and rightly so. It is, also, the day on which evangelization was born, modeled for us by the angels, who proclaimed to the shepherds the arrival of a newborn king. Their proclamation moved the shepherds to go in search of this king and, after they encountered him, to return to their lives filled with joy and gratitude.

Evangelization is, of course, intimately related to catechesis. The Directory for Catechesis tells us:

Evangelizing is not, in the first place, the delivery of a doctrine; but rather, making present and announcing Jesus Christ. The Church’s mission of evangelization best expresses the economy of Revelation; in fact the Son of God is made flesh, enters into history, and becomes human among humanity. Evangelization makes this enduring presence of Christ concrete, in such a way that those who draw near to the Church may encounter in his person the way to “save their lives” (cf. Mt 16:25) and open themselves to a new horizon. (29)

As we celebrate this Christmas, may the Holy Spirit fill you with abundant blessings and graces to announce Jesus Christ to those you teach and to make his enduring presence concrete so that those who encounter him will indeed open themselves up to a new horizon!

Merry Christmas!

About Joe Paprocki 2772 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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