“Sacramentalized, but not evangelized” is a phrase often used by those in the Church involved in pastoral outreach and evangelization efforts. While the phrase gets at a truth — many Catholics who have received the sacraments are still in desperate need of evangelization — it is theologically and spiritually imprecise. The problem is not that people have “only” received their sacraments, but that we do not fully understand the evangelizing work of the sacraments themselves.
In Invitation and Encounter: Evangelizing Through the Sacraments, theologian, author, and speaker Timothy P. O’Malley shows how the sacraments, as efficacious signs, are Christ working in the Church by the power of the Holy Spirit. This book presents a pastoral introduction to sacramental theology from the standpoint of evangelization. How do sacraments evangelize? How do sacraments both heal and divinize those who receive them?
Invitation and Encounter introduces the major terms and ideas of sacramental theology and helps the reader recognize how the sacramental life is integral to evangelization. By evangelizing through the sacraments, the goal of the New Evangelization is fulfilled, building up the Body of Christ with more Catholics who are sacramentalized and evangelized.