It seems as though evangelization is all about getting the Word out. We have a lot to share. We want people to appreciate the beauty of the faith. We want to share the truths of our faith with as many people as possible.
The problem is, we can become so focused on getting the Word out, that we forget to let the Word in.
Evangelization starts with us.
If our hearts are not constantly challenged to be transformed by the Word of God, then any attempts to spread the Word just won’t be effective.
In my early years as a teacher, I was more focused on evangelizing rather than being evangelized. Actually, to be completely honest, I was more focused on just plain teaching regardless of evangelization.
I was stressed. I was overwhelmed. I was trying to get results and thinking the future faith of all the kids I taught rode on my shoulders and my shoulders alone.
I let the stress of getting the Word out downplay the importance of letting the Word in.
Evangelization starts with us. It starts with our own commitment to be constantly evangelized.
“Consequently, we need to be constantly trained in hearing the word. The Church does not evangelize unless she constantly lets herself be evangelized. It is indispensable that the word of God “be ever more fully at the heart of every ecclesial activity”. God’s word, listened to and celebrated, above all in the Eucharist, nourishes and inwardly strengthens Christians, enabling them to offer an authentic witness to the Gospel in daily life.”
–Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 174