FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
BAPTISM IN THE SPIRIT – 5
May 8, 2017
Today’s reading: Acts 11:1-18
“John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the holy Spirit.” (v.16b). John’s was a baptism of repentance. Jesus’ is about life-giving repentance and infilling by the Spirit.
We become Christian by virtue of sacramental Baptism, usually as infants. Here our original sin is washed away by water, and we are filled with the Spirit. But many Catholics, even after the sacrament of Confirmation, subsequently live lives apart from God. They need to be re-evangelized, renew their baptismal commitment, and once again be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
The original evangelization was for pagans. The New Evangelization is for baptized pagans, those Catholics who are nominal or non-practicing. As they repent, they once again receive the infilling of the Spirit, no longer through the waters of sacramental Baptism, but through prayer with the laying on of hands.
The baptism in the Spirit is crucial to the New Evangelization, to impart Pentecost power on God’s people, so that they will be witnesses to the ends of the earth.
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