Heaven knows that in our modern society time seems less and responsibilities seem more and then there’s “faith life”. Some Sundays it’s a monumental task just to get yourself to Mass. That in itself is a major accomplishment. Some days/weeks it’s all too easy to let ourselves be carried along with the tide of activity in our lives and not give anything spiritual too much thought. There’s no time for that.
When was the last time you took some quiet time to consider who you actually are in the real world and who you are in the spiritual world? When was the last time you just took some time to be quiet with God and enjoy his presence? Maybe you feel like getting to Mass once a week is the limit of your capacity and besides you’re not qualified for anything else “spiritual”. Isn’t that the responsibility of priests and nuns anyway? I think that most people these days feel like they are operating at capacity after they make sure the kids are catechized and they themselves volunteer a couple of times a year for a church function. Sometimes we comfort ourselves into believing that’s enough as far as spreading the word is concerned.
In all of the attention given the Church lately we hear this phrase a lot” The New Evangelization”. Catholic pundits speculate about it and non-Catholic news organizations misinterpret it. JPII mentioned it frequently and now with our new Pope many wonder how it will be manifested. Some clearly see the New Evangelization being actualized in a completely different way with the change in style by Francis. Make no mistake, though: “The New Evangelization” is not as new and as radicle as some people might believe.
The truth is that this concept has always been part of our responsibilities and lexicon from the very beginning of the church. It is not new, but it is a “lynch-pin” concept of the Church and its very foundations. The idea of relating to God in a “new” way is as timeless as Jesus himself. As a matter of fact, a new way of thinking and living was the only reason Jesus came to us. His mission from the Father was to show us that God is love and if we embraced that, our entire life and world would be forever changed. The idea of each of us being teachers of that is self-perpetuating. With each generation this idea is renewed. St. Paul put it this way: “Brothers and sisters: through Christ toward God. Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life (ICor. 3:4-5). So all of us are qualified, empowered by virtue of our belief and it makes no difference if we are professed or lettered. This gives a whole different spin on our responsibilities in the kingdom, doesn’t it?