The Season of Evangelisation!

By Fr. George Hama C.Ss.R
The Church’s mission is one of evangelisation, which is understood as the explicit proclamation of the Gospel. St. John Paul II once declared that, “no believer in Christ, no institution of the Church can avoid this supreme duty, to proclaim Christ to all peoples.” Redemptorists are often defined as men of zeal for the Lord, who are always preoccupied with devising ways in which the word of God can reach the most abandoned and the poor. If we use the secular language in most of these Christian movements, you could be calling them ‘Evangelists so and so…’
The St. Gerard community heeded with ardour the need to celebrate this year’s Lenten and Easter seasons with a difference. They planned different ways of ‘smelling like the sheep’ and becoming not only shepherds, but good shepherds. The community focused mainly on the evangelisation of small Christian communities in all the three centres of St. Gerard, Immaculate Conception and St. Cecilia. Of great importance was the attention given to St. Cecilia because of its uniqueness. It was not practical for most of the small Christian communities around St. Cecilia to gather during the week because of the poor road networking, transport and lighting glitches. For the safety of the people, they decided to gather on Saturdays from morning till afternoons.
These afternoon encounters were a revival of the faith. The word of God was shared and the Eucharist was celebrated. The sick in the small Christian communities received the sacraments they longed for. I remember one sick parishioner who exclaimed with joy after receiving the anointing of the sick, “Thank you for bringing Jesus in my house!” Some shed tears, but to all of us, her words reminded us of the presence of Jesus amongst us. On the other hand, the liturgical celebrations could not end without a different liturgy all together- a meal was shared.
The Lenten journey culminated with a very sombre Good Friday stations of the Cross on top of the Redeemer’s Rock, the mountain of encounter. The Paschal vigil was beautifully celebrated in candle light and you could feel the joy of the community as it sang: He is risen as he said, Alleluia!