Sorry, I've been offline for a bit. I've been under the weather.
Tomorrow is Monday of the First Week in Ordinary Time, but there is no First Sunday in Ordinary Time. Today, the Baptism of the Lord marks both the end of the Christmas season and the transition to Ordinary Time. Here in the Diocese of Richmond we are also launching our Five-year plan for evangelization.
It seems to me that Ordinary Time is the best time to begin our New Evangelization. By launching this week we are reminded that evangelization is now some specialized ministry, belonging to some small group within the church. As with Jesus, each of us from the time of our baptism, were called to evangelize.
Many of you may be thinking, "But I was baptized as a baby." And I would still say that it was on that day that the seeds of your ministry were planted. On that day when you were filled with the Holy Spirit and became the adopted child of God, the Spirit began to call you to share the joy of the gospel with others.
As we celebrate the baptism of Jesus it is time for us to put into action the gifts that we received at our own baptism, to look for the opportunities we have in our own life to spread the joy of the gospel.
The first step may well be taking time to reflect on what it was we did receive at baptism, to deepen our sense of the presence of God in our own lives. It is a time to delve more deeply into the word and into the sacraments, particularly penance and Eucharist, a time to bring that bond that was formed at our baptism to the forefront of our minds. Before I can share I must know what I have.