Thomas G. Cronin
Thomas G. Cronin

I feel a sense of renewed energy in the air during Easter season. A fresh start, not just the change in weather, birds migrating back to our area, budding trees and blossoming flowers, but more importantly, the “season of opportunity” for our Church.

There are many great books, webinars, podcasts and resources about evangelization, but a favorite of mine is the Acts of the Apostles. It is the ultimate evangelization playbook and not a coincidence that the Acts of the Apostles is the first reading through¬≠out the Easter season. The simplicity, the passion and love for Christ demonstrated by the Apostles is second to none. Accompaniment is critical — to live by example and encourage others to live their lives the way God intended. In a complex world, the simplest approach can have the greatest impact.

We must take action like the Apostles. Be not afraid and, as the popular Nike slogan says, “Just do it!” Talk without action is only talk. We cannot wait. Sharing our love for Jesus Christ and supporting the Church that He founded must be our top priority. Our ever-increasing secular world is propagating anti-religion, anti-Christ and anti-family beliefs. We need to trust in God and have the courage to stand up for our beliefs and stand up for Jesus. As disciples, we are commissioned to go out and share the Good News. We are commanded to go out and be the face of Christ to everyone we meet.

To nurture our faith and be on fire for Christ requires fuel — like prayer, the sacraments, Scripture, virtuous friends and the Holy Spirit. We cannot have effective evangelization without the Holy Spirit. I invite you to join me in praying for the Holy Spirit to re-ignite our faith. May we intentionally pray and take action so that Pentecost 2021 this Sunday is the most impactful of our lives. A few questions to ponder: How often do we pray for our parish? How often do we deeply pray for our priests, lay leaders and parishioners? How often do we pray for the stranger in need that we are called to serve?

Lent seems long ago and we may want to get on with the busyness of our lives, but I invite you to pray and fast for the vitality of our parishes and reflect on the above questions. Jesus suffered and gave up everything for us. Sacrificing a favorite treat or activity like social media and offering it up for a special intention sounds petty in comparison, but is a beautiful act of unselfish and sacrificial love. Please consider offering up extra prayer time or a rosary for these intentions.

Please join me in prayer: All merciful and loving God — please bless and empower me with the gifts of the Holy Spirit to take action like the Apostles did after Pentecost. May I have the courage to share my faith with everyone I encounter and live my life according to your will. Come, Holy Spirit, come!

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/

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