By Fr. Roy Cimagala
LIKE Christ, we should try to attract as many people as possible in order to lead them to Christ. In a sense, we should be like today’s influencers in the media and the cyberworld who with their gimmicks manage to go viral and trending with whatever messages they want to convey.
Of course, we should do this with the proper rectitude of intention, which is that everything should be done for the glory of God and to truly help people in their spiritual life and in their relation with God and with everybody else. We have to rid ourselves of any ulterior motive.
In the gospel, we can see how Christ managed to attract many people mainly due to his tremendous power of preaching and the miracles he made. But in all these, he always warned the people not to make him known. He did all the wonderful things trying his best to pass unnoticed. This can be observed, for example, in the gospel of Mark, chapter 3, verses 7 to 12.
We need to realize more deeply that we are meant to have a universal sense of apostolate, of helping lead people back to God. Let’s always keep in mind that mandate Christ gave to his apostles before he ascended into heaven. “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mt 28,19-20)
It’s a mandate that is actually meant for all the disciples of Christ and believers of God. We have to have a universal sense of apostolate. As one saint would put it, of 100 souls we should be interested in 100.
For this purpose, we cannot exaggerate the need for us to master the teachings of Christ, the doctrine of our Christian faith. Of course, we can only achieve that if we make the effort to identify ourselves more closely with Christ, who is not only a historical character, but a living person who continues to guide us and to share his power with us.
We also have to learn how to adapt our language to the mentality of the people, always taking note of their culture, their temperament, and all the other conditionings that describe them. Let’s remember that the Christian faith is full of mysteries that certainly are over our head, and the challenge is for us to know how to make them appreciated, loved and lived. Obviously, we always need to beg for God’s grace for this purpose.
But we have to know how to convey the supernatural truths of our faith in a human and attractive way, without compromising the integrity of these truths. We should always be monitoring the developments of the world as we go along, so that we would know how to present the Christian doctrine in a way that flows with the wavelength of the people today, especially the young.
This is when we can try to use appropriate memes and other catchy slogans, so popular these days. With rectitude of intention, let’s not be shy from making our evangelization to go viral and trending.
Again, in all of these, we should never forget that the first means we have to use are the spiritual and supernatural ones: prayer, sacrifices, recourse to the sacraments, continuing study of doctrine and formation, etc.