What is evangelization?

Today’s Gospel is a wonderful case study in evangelization. There are some basic steps of the process of evangelization that I want to highlight in the Gospel. What is evangelization? 1. Evangelization takes place in the context of a spiritual conversation: Jesus meets the women where she is at, engaging her in a normal conversation about water. But notice he quickly elevates the conversation to a spiritual conversation. 2. Evangelization takes place where there is an openness to Jesus: The woman at the well had an openness to be in conversation with him. In evangelization someone needs to be open to a conversation with Jesus. 3. Evangelization requires a need for someone to recognize that Jesus is their Saviour: Jesus then reveals himself to the women at the well as the Messiah. He says, I am He. The woman recognizes that He is her Savior. It’s a particular moment of conversion of mind and heart and in that moment, she has been evangelized. 4. Evangelization causes a profound shift, a new priority that is all about Jesus: In this moment, the women leaves her water jar. There is a profound shift in her life. To share Jesus becomes her new priority. She then goes and tells her neighbours about Jesus. She becomes an evangelist, a missionary disciple. Many believed in Jesus because of her testimony and because they encounter Jesus for themselves. A clear indication that we have had an encounter with Jesus, that we have been evangelized, is that we want to tell others about Him. Being evangelized is having that encounter with Jesus as my savior and making a decision to follow Him, to be His disciple and live my life for Him, to leave my water jar and make Jesus my priority. “All the baptised, whatever their position in the church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization.” – Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel Paragraph 120