120. In virtue of their baptism, all the members
of the People of God have become missionary
disciples (cf.
28:19). All the baptized, what-
ever their position in the Church or their level
of instruction in the faith, are agents of evan-
gelization, and it would be insufficient to envis-
age a plan of evangelization to be carried out by
professionals while the rest of the faithful would
simply be passive recipients. The new evangeli-
zation calls for personal involvement on the part
of each of the baptized. Every Christian is chal-
lenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in
evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly ex-
perienced God’s saving love does not need much
time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim
that love. Every Christian is a missionary to the
extent that he or she has encountered the love of
God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are
“disciples” and “missionaries”, but rather that
we are always “missionary disciples”. If we are
not convinced, let us look at those first disciples,
who, immediately after encountering the gaze of
Jesus, went forth to proclaim him joyfully: “We
have found the Messiah!” (
1:41). The Samar-
itan woman became a missionary immediately
after speaking with Jesus and many Samaritans
come to believe in him “because of the woman’s
testimony” (
4:39). So too, Saint Paul, after his
encounter with Jesus Christ, “immediately pro-
claimed Jesus” (
9:20; cf. 22:6-21). So what
are we waiting for?
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