When the Committee for the Year of Evangelization began discussing a logo for the initiative they were chosen to lead, it was clear that the logo had to say a lot in a simple way.
Evangelization means living the good news of our redemption through Christ by sharing that news with everyone. The logo needed to convey that important message and how we proclaim it to others. It had to illustrate the life we are invited to share with God; the message of truth that leads to that life with God; and the way by which we return to the true God. Put simply, it had to illustrate Jesus, the way, the truth and the life (see John 14:6).
In other words, not only is Jesus the messenger, he is the message. Jesus is the Word—the logos—of God, who “became flesh and made his dwelling among us” so that we could see “his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).
The logo for the Year of Evangelization, therefore, tries to visually suggest that it is Jesus himself who invites us to return to God with all our hearts; and that not only does Christ motivate our journey back to God, but in fact makes it possible.
Our need for communion with God is at times expressed in Scripture as a desire to “see” God in person: “Come,” says my heart, “seek God’s face”; your face, Lord, do I seek! (Psalm 27:8). The desire of our heart, the message of evangelization, is to see—and share—Jesus. So instead of just being a graphical mark indicating an event, the logo tries to be an icon: a means of communicating Jesus, “the image of the invisible God” (Colossians 1:15).
In the logo, Christ beckons and welcomes us with open arms. Looking directly at us, he anticipates our response and is ready to lift us up to himself.
God’s unending invitation to his people, “Return to me with all your heart,” (Joel 2:12), is echoed throughout the Gospel: to love with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Jesus’ own heart reminds us that, by sharing in our humanity, he fully sympathizes with our weaknesses. Our strength is not always there, but his compassion is always present.
Jesus’ humanity even allows us, through grace, to share in his divinity, the very life of God. Jesus’ garment flows open with the Spirit—the breath—of God. Grace pours from Christ’s heart in the gift of the sacraments. One of these seven radiating lights spills out and through Christ’s body, opening a way to Jesus himself—just as the cleansing and life-giving waters of Baptism lead us directly to the Eucharist.
The Eucharist, “the source and summit of the Christian life,” is at the center—the heart—of the people of God. It is food for our journey. All our acts of faith, hope, and love flow from and lead us back to Jesus. Evangelization is ultimately an invitation to communion with Jesus Christ, an invitation to return home with all our hearts.