Thursday, April 30, 2009

Getting the Word out

On my walk back to Mom's from the parish Adoration chapel, I passed three teams of Jehovah's Witnesses visiting the homes up and down the main road. It has been quite some time since I have seen this form of activity, though I have found many a Watchtower in a public place. Having spent ten years doing door to door book ministry, I know how very difficult this work can be on the strictly personal level. And while back then I hoped it was effective by the grace of God and for the greater glory of God, I have to admit I don't really think it is anywhere near the "new evangelization" we are called upon to carry out. And called we are! Just yesterday, Mom was viewing a YouTube video that was full of dire predictions about the future of Europe and the Christian culture of Europe. Based solely on birthrates, which throughout the nations of Europe are below replacement levels (except among the Muslim immigrant populations, with 8 births per family), we are already hearing the death knell of Christian Europe.
As if the Christian future of Europe could only be secured by birthright.
The devout Ethiopian in today's wonderful first reading has something to tell us in this regard. He represented several unlikely groups all in one: as an Ethiopian, he was considered to be "from the ends of the earth"; as a government official and wealthy man, he was one of society's elite; as a eunuch, he was permanently excluded from ever being accepted as a Jewish convert, no matter how much he knew and loved the Scriptures or made pilgrimages to Jerusalem. The Holy Spirit directed the deacon Philip to this man, and let Philip himself take the next steps.
Even if in the next twenty years all of Europe becomes one great Islamic subcontinent, we would not be justified in assuming that Christianity could not flourish there. As Jesus said to Paul of the highly unlikely apostolic field of Corinth, "There are many of my people here."

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