The proclamation of the Gospel is always going to be more powerful if it is accompanied by a truly evangelical lifestyle. This is one of the reasons why monks were often sent by the pope into barbarian territories to begin the work of evangelization. Their spartan lifestyle of poverty was usually a most compelling argument in favor of the Gospel that they were proclaiming to the people. To choose to have less has always been a radical choice and one that stands as a true challenge to a materialistic and consumer-oriented world.

 

Jesus sends His disciples out with as little as possible in order to emphasize to them, and those to whom they will proclaim the Good News, that there is a power in the Gospel that is beyond the mere understanding of the world. Jesus wants us all to know that it is the Holy Spirit who is the ultimate power behind all evangelical efforts. Without Him, they are doomed to failure.

 

The witness of the monks’ lives was so powerful that it was not long before the Gospel had spread from Ireland, back across continental Europe after the dark ages of the invasion of the Barbarian tribes from the North and the East. The Church in Ireland was largely preserved from invasion by the Barbarian tribes and thus was able to eventually return the favor of evangelization, largely based around the establishment of monasteries throughout Europe. The larger of these monasteries became places of learning and developed into the university as we know it today.

 

Today the world stands in need of re-evangelization once again. The growing tide of secularism and materialism is looking as though it has reached its peak. It will be up to the Church to once again amass its energies and gifts and set out to proclaim the Gospel to the world. The growing dissatisfaction with the values, or lack of values, of modern society is beginning to open the door once again to a spiritual answer. Are we ready to answer the call to arms?

 

Is my life a counter witness to the values of secularism and materialism? Have I truly embraced a lifestyle based in the Gospel so that I can powerfully share and proclaim the Good News of salvation to others?

 

Lord Jesus, here I am, send me. Pour forth your Spirit more fully over the world so that these words will echo across the globe from the mouths of those who would be modern-day prophets and evangelists.