In a certain translation of the Gospel of Mark, in chapter one, the word “immediate” (or “immediately”) appears nine times! Nine times in one chapter. This word presses a sense of urgency, excitement, anticipation. Of what? Mark 1 begins with the story of the first evangelizer, the first public witness to Christ: John the Baptist. “Behold the Lamb of God!” this voice from the wilderness cries.  With this proclamation, this forerunner, Christ begins His public ministry (beginning with His Baptism by John) and works many great miracles, healing and casting out demons.

The task of evangelization is the same: proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, and make a space in the world for Him to work wonders. To be an evangelizer is to be the harbinger of His mighty work.  Through our Baptism, each and every Christian is given the commission of evangelization, each according to his mission and path in life.  Just a brief glance at the news these days brings to mind the word from the Gospel of Mark: immediate. The world is hungry and thirsty, and ready for the radical.

Bishop Klaus Küng, our local bishop here in Austria, reminded the Kartause Community of the importance of the New Evangelization at the Opening Mass of the Holy Spirit this month, calling it very urgent. Let us respond to this call and be harbingers of Christ, ready to proclaim Him in word and action. Let us ask Him for courage to live in a counter-cultural way, in the world but not of the world. If we do live an integrated life, as we strive to do here at the Kartause and at LCI, then our lives, our speech, and our involvement in the community will indeed proclaim the Good News and transform the world around us.