The third pillar of evangelization is faith. A simple word to define, but not to explain. Faith is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. As it relates to religion, faith is our belief in God.

During a recent visit with a very wise and faith- filled 96-year-old friend from my parish, I asked him his thoughts on faith. He told me a story about an interaction he had with a Jehovah Witness a few years ago. The Jehovah Witness asked my friend if he believed in God. When he replied, yes, the man asked, “How do you know God exists?” He answered by taking the gentleman’s hand and blowing into it. He asked him if he felt anything and explained that God gave him the breath of life. You can’t see it, but you can feel it.  Believing without seeing is part of the huge complexity of faith. According to Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen.”

As it relates to evangelization, sharing our faith with everyone we encounter is our mission, but that can be a scary task. In today’s increasingly secular world, it takes a lot of courage to openly discuss our love for God and the Church, but we are not tasked to do this alone. Effective evangelization or sharing our faith is not possible without the Holy Spirit. The strength of the Holy Spirit can and will enable us to do amazing things. How often do we pray for the presence of the Holy Spirit to be with us so we may be an instrument of God’s love to others?

When I visit parishes for meetings, we discuss the concept of being “opportunistic” when sharing our faith. We are more apt to share our love for God when our eyes are open to the opportunities that naturally present themselves in the supermarket, in the workplace, or at your child’s athletic event.

We do not need to stand on a local street corner with a sign that reads, “I am Catholic and you should be too!” or knocking on doors in your neighborhood handing out Catholic promotional materials. If you are so inclined to do so — go for it! I pray that we are more cognizant that every encounter is an opportunity for us to be the face of Christ to others.

Pope Francis stated, “It is not enough to say we are Christians.  We must live the faith, not only with our words, but with our actions.” Don’t let the complexities of faith deter you from celebrating it, especially in the Mass and the Sacraments. Faith is about a relationship with God and doing God’s will.  Keep in mind, when Jesus heals someone in the Scriptures — He doesn’t say, “I healed you;” He says, “Your faith has healed you.”

Are you ready to be healed?

Stay tuned for the next column of Everyday Evangelization when we will move into the fourth pillar of evangelization and focus on what it means to be a welcoming parish community.

Please contact me with any questions about boosting evangelization efforts at your parish at Thomas.Cronin@rcda.org or by visiting https://www.rcda.org/evangelization and at instagram: tom_rcda.