by Father Pat Murphy
Several years ago there was a very popular rock anthem by Bruce Springsteen that became the American ode to freedom: “Born in the USA.”
It was a catchy tune that left you singing and chanting over and over again: “Born in the USA! Born in the USA!” In fact, if I stretch my ears just a bit, I can almost hear some of you breaking into song right about now.
I was thinking that as we hum along with this anthem to freedom, we might stretch ourselves a bit more and, in the context of the recently celebrated Evangelization Sunday, reinvent this song and begin to proclaim aloud that we are all basically “Born to Evangelize”! Born to evangelize! You have to admit it is a catchy tune, and I would also add it is also theologically correct.
There is no doubt that from the moment of our birth into new life through baptism, whether we can sing or not, we are all born to evangelize. We celebrate that call a second time on the day of confirmation. Of course, the great feast of Pentecost seeks to remind us that our God has sent us all forth with a great mission to proclaim his good news to the ends of the earth.
Now that all sounds just wonderful, but let’s be honest and admit that something very strange happens to most of us along the way. It goes like this: We get baptized and then most even get confirmed. But for some reason or another, it seems like we then go into a spiritual coma and very few take seriously the fact that we really are born to evangelize.
The good news here in the archdiocese is that we are making an intentional effort to take evangelization off life support and remind people that it is at the very heart of what being a disciple of Jesus is all about. Yes, it was great that we celebrated the first ever Evangelization Sunday on May 4 but now we cannot afford to sit back and say: “OK, we have got the evangelization thing covered, so now we can put it back into the closet until next year.”
In fact, evangelization is such an intrinsic part of being church that the archdiocese is presently in the process of writing a pastoral plan that seeks to inspire all of us to live up to this basic call to evangelize.
In summary, as disciples of the risen Lord, I believe we have all been given a mission in this life to proclaim the good news to the ends of the earth, in both words and actions. So what are you doing sitting there reading this? Let’s get going: 1-2-3…“We are born to evangelize! Born to evangelize!”