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Incarnational Evangelization

Do you know why, as Pope Francis rightly noted, proselytizing doesn’t work?  Elizabeth Scalia asked this question in her article ” Why Dolan, and Francis, and Benedict are Right“. Her answer;

Proselytizing doesn’t work because confronting people as walking categories of sin quickly communicates that one is only seeing people as units of fault and failure.

Proselytizing has an agenda, to convert people’s believing. This intention will quickly be discovered and worse yet, repelled if our approach is seen as confrontational. This is what I believed since I joined the Taiwan missions.

Elizabeth discussed further:

Evangelization differs from Proselytizing.

Incarnational Evangelization happens when Christian men and women leave the comfortable place of their own origin, just as the Word proceeded from the Father, to set a tent among the “others”, and live closely with them. It meets the “others” where they are at, and learns their names and their stories. It talks with them, eats with them, laughs and cries with them, helps to birth them and, if necessary, to bury them.

It is first and foremost about service to the “other” and to Love. Which is God.

She further wrote: “All of this used to be natural to Catholicism, back when Incarnational Evangelization went by another, simpler, name: Mission.”




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