The Church teaches that she is missionary by her very nature. Pope Paul VI in his apostolic exhortation Evangelization in the Modern World states: “We wish to confirm once more that the task of evangelizing all people constitutes the essential mission of the Church. It is a task and mission which the vast and profound changes of present day society make all the more urgent. Evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize. . .”
In 1990, Pope John Paul II wrote in Mission of the Redeemer: “I sense that the moment has come to commit all the Church’s energies to a new evangelization…No believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty: to proclaim Christ to all peoples.” We can do this by first realizing, then, using the unique gifts, talents and temperaments we have been given– all of which can be used to reach others who have yet to hear or understand the good news of God’s plan of salvation in Jesus Christ.
Whether you are an extrovert and like to engage others in faith conversation or are more reserved and prefer to let your life do the talking, as Catholics, we are all called to this work.
When John Paul II uses the term “a new evangelization” he does not mean a new message. Evangelization cannot be new in its content since its very theme is always the one gospel given in Jesus Christ. But he does provide some detail about how to go about fulfilling the new evangelization in America
The new evangelization calls for a clearly conceived, serious and well organized effort to evangelize culture in such a way that the Gospel is proclaimed in the language and in the culture of its hearers … It is more necessary than ever for all the faithful to move from a faith of habit, sustained perhaps by social context alone, to a faith which is conscious and personally lived.
This is why the Church is calling us to use ‘new methods, ardor and expression’ in our effort to bring the riches of Christ and His gospel to the world.