Second Sunday in Ordinary Time (José Antonio Pagola)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year ALeave a Comment

Author: José Antonio Pagola · Translator: Rosalino Reyes Dizon. · Year of first publication: 2014 · Source: Evangelization Network "Buenas Noticias".
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With the fire of the Spirit

The first Christian communities took care to distinguish between the baptism of John, who immersed people in the waters of the Jordan, and the baptism of Jesus, who gave his Spirit to wash, renew and transform the hearts of his followers.  Without this Spirit, the Church burns out and is extinguished.

Only the Spirit of Jesus can put more truth in Christianity today.  Only his Spirit can lead us to recover our true identity and abandon the paths that have time and again lead us astray from the Gospel.  Only the Spirit can give us the light and strength to undertake the renewal that the Church needs today.

Pope Francis knows well that spiritual mediocrity is the major obstacle to the new phase of evangelization being put in motion.  He says so firmly.  His wish is to promote with all his strength “a new chapter of evangelization full of fervor, joy, generosity, courage, boundless love and attraction!”  Yet everything will be insufiicient “unless the fire of the Holy Spirit burns in our hearts.”

Hence, he is seeking for today’s Church “Spirit-filled evangelizers,” who will open themselves without fear to the action of the Spirit and find in this Spirit of Jesus the “the courage to proclaim the newness of the Gospel with boldness (parrhesía) in every time and place, even when it meets with opposition.”

The renewal the Pope wants to promote in Christianity today is not possible when the “lack of deep spirituality …  turns into pessimism, fatalism, and mistrust,” or when we “think that nothing will change and that it is useless to make the effort,” or when we lower our arms “for good, overcome by chronic discontent and by a listlessness that parches the soul.”

Francis warns us that “sometimes we lose our enthusiasm for mission because we forget that the Gospel responds to our deepest needs.”  But it should not be so.  The Pope expresses strongly his conviction:  “It is not the same thing to have known Jesus as not to have known him, not the same thing to walk with him as to walk blindly, not the same thing to hear his word as not to know it …. It is not the same thing to try to build the world with his Gospel as to try to do so by our own lights.”

We have to disover all this through our personal experience of Jesus.  “Unless we see him present …, we will lack vigor and passion.  A person who is not convinced, enthusiastic, certain and in love, will convince nobody.”  Here lies one of the main obstacles to promoting the renewal that Pope Francis wants, doesn’t it?

José Antonio Pagola

January 19, 2014
2 Ordinary Time (A)
John 1, 29-34

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