Monday, April 25th, we celebrated the feast of the St. Mark the Evangelist. Mark (sometimes referred to as John Mark) wrote the first and the shortest gospel. The Entrance Antiphon for the Mass that day was as follows: “Go into the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature, alleluia.” (Mark 16:15)
Pope Francis, in Evangelli Gaudium, encourages all of us to NOT keep the faith to ourselves but to go forth and transform the world to Christ. The Holy Father wants a church of missionary disciples. Following the Pope’s lead, the young priest in our parish, Father Dan, gave a homily on St. Mark’s feast day, exhorting us all to go forth and proclaim the Good News—to everyone.
Pope Francis has a “bully pulpit.” So does Father Dan. They are expected to preach these things to us. I can only speak for myself but I do NOT have a “bully pulpit.” I do have a few plastic milk crates in the garage but I do not have the courage to set them down on a busy street corner or at a mall and start preaching to passers-by. (In today’s day and age I would probably get locked up as an intolerant loon, although that would not bother me.) The point is, it is not easy for us lay people to proselytize and/or preach the Good News unless we have a somewhat captive audience.
Those of us here at the CWG can interact with each other (whether it be one on one or in a group) about Catholic stuff. We can rail on about the secular attacks on our faith, have differences of opinion and post our deepest feelings that oftentimes come out in our written words. CWG can be our “bully pulpit.” So can a CCD class, or a Legion of Mary meeting, a Knights of Columbus meeting or even a simple bible study in the parish hall or someone’s home. But in all of those examples we are, as the cliche goes, “preaching to the choir.” How do we proselytize and spread the Good news? I have my own method I will share and it is very simple. (It has definitely cost me friends, but so be it.)
I assume that most of us being writers, besides using the written word, also use some social media (which may include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or others.) I have accounts on all of them but I do not understand Pinterest yet and rarely go to LinkedIn. I do use Facebook and Twitter. And I use them to perform my own feeble efforts to evangelize.
Every day (well, almost every day) I post something Catholic/Christian on Facebook and Twitter. I will place quotes from saints with their pictures, or links to Catholic/Christian stories and so forth. Today I posted a picture of a two year old girl named Ida, who was killed in the Holocaust. I posted little Ida’s photo because this is Passover week and all our Catholic beginnings come from Judaism (people and customs). We are joined at the hip with Judaism. Plus, I am writing Catholic/Christian fiction and I am blogging Catholic/Christian themes which I post on social media.
Anyway, that is how I try to evangelize. I know no other way. And yes, my list of “friends” include many Catholic/Christians, many non-Christians, some agnostics and two known atheists. My “friends” list has dwindled for sure (some folks whom I have known for decades no longer interact) but it has also expanded. It is in constant flux. No matter–I am evangelizing the only way I know how.
In conclusion, if you do Facebook or Twitter or any of the other social media you can get a bit creative and spread the Good News right there. If you have any ideas on ways to evangelize to those we do not know, I would love to hear some.
Copyright 2016 Larry Peterson