EVANGELIZATION AND RCIA – HAND IN HAND
The process of Evangelization is like starting a bonfire – it starts with preparing the elements, then igniting the elements, and once ignited it requires fanning and feeding the flames so as to allow the flames to spread out the warmth of the bonfire.
Preparing the elements can be compared to the pre-catechumenate, or inquiry stage of the RCIA; it can be likened to the process of preparing the heart to receive the Gospel message. The process for both evangelization and RCIA can be as simple as a single conversation with someone or an open ended period of time of questioning and sharing before the heart is open to receiving the gift being offered.
Once the heart is ready, it requires formation in the Faith to fan and feed the flames, formation that includes instruction, mentoring, communal support, a welcoming church family and a sense of belonging. Once the flame has been ignited and established and the gift of grace accepted, the fire is ready to spread its warmth, to share it with the rest of the world. But in order for the fire to blaze steadily, it must constantly be fanned and fed – by the Sacraments and by continuing formation. Fanning and feeding of the flame is not only meant for participants in the RCIA process, but for each of us, the baptized members of Christ’s Church, so we too can continue to be the flame that spreads the warmth of the Gospel to the world, to more hearts waiting to receive the gift that awaits them.
Submitted by Marguerite Mullins