What is the New Evangelization?
THE MESSAGE ISN'T NEW, THAT'S FOR SURE
YOU ARE BEING ASKED TO BE A "PASTOR"
Vatican II coined the phrase, "the Universal Call to Holiness." Ultimately, the council Fathers were referring to the twofold calling we all receive at baptism: the call to be filled so completely by the love and power of God (holiness) that it flows out of us in such a way that other encounter Jesus through all that we do, in word and in deed (evangelization). We're all called to be holy and, flowing out of that - you can't give what you don't have - we're all called to evangelize.
We live in a different world now and the Church recognizes the urgency of our responsibility. In times past, we may have been able to get a way with sloughing off our baptismal calling and leaving the work of pastoring to the professionals, to the priests and nuns. Not so today. The cold reality is that the priests and nuns have little access to the flock. The majority of Christians today never darken the walls of a church, save the occasional appearance on Christmas and Easter. That means that, if people are going to encounter Jesus, it's up to the laity. We must learn to pastor. Not in the same way, of course. Ours is more subtle, and... well, new.
Our pastoring will be done in the work place, in the classroom, at the grocery store, on the courts and in the fields, wherever we are in our daily routine, and with whomever the Lord leads across our paths. We might be their onl