25 Jan Saturday
First reading: “a great light”, “abundant joy”, “great rejoicing”. Psalm: “the Lord is my light”, “to dwell in the house of the Lord”, and “the loveliness the Lord”. Second reading: “agree in what you say”, “to preach the gospel”, and “not with the wisdom of human eloquence”. Gospel: “the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light”, “repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand”, and “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men”. Stringing these phrases from the readings together points the homilist in the diction of evangelization. They contrast our former state with our new call through baptism to witness to the Gospel.
One cannot actually say too much about evangelization for the contemporary North American church. The falling away of members, often into the uniquely American phenomenon of evangelism, and final removing religion altogether from one’s life, is the cultural situation most needing attention in our time. Evangelization, which some have created workbooks and processes for (!), is practically unknown to the Catholic Church. All w do is within structures and roles formed since the 1970’s, none of it creating an environment fixed on evangelization. These 1970’s methods ar already beginning to show the cracks of failure. The readings cry out for the light of the gospel to be shed upon our lives.