THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
COMMISSIONED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL – 4
April 25, 2019
Jesus’ final instruction to his disciples was to proclaim
the gospel, “that repentance, for the forgiveness of
sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning
from Jerusalem.” (Lk 24:47). This would be a continuation
of his work of salvation, thus preached in his name. Its aim
is to bring people to conversion, starting with the forgiveness
of their sins, so that they would indeed receive the gift
of salvation. And the gospel is to be preached to everyone,
to every nation, to the very ends of the earth.
is why our Church is missionary. Her greatest priority is
not poverty alleviation, immigration, political reform, climate
change or social justice (though all these are important)
but the proclamation of the gospel. After all, if people will
not ultimately make it to heaven, what ultimate good would
all the other good works have?
initial proclamation of the gospel is the kerygma. Before
anything else, this has to happen. People need to meet and
know Christ. Faith comes from hearing the good news of salvation
in Jesus. This needs to happen too with Catholics today, who
are mostly lapsed or cultural.
So we are called to preach the gospel. Aside from the initial
interrelationship and invitation we extend to people (which
is the start of evangelization but not yet the kerygma), we
have the CLS (for CFC-FFL) or the LCS (for LCSC). This is
what Jesus himself tells his disciples before he ascends to
Session #1: Jesus the Messiah. We teach about Jesus, about
who he is and what he has done for us. “These are
my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you,
that everything written about me in the law of Moses and
in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled. …. Thus
it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from
the dead on the third day” (Lk 24:44,46).
#2: Called to Witness. “You are witnesses of these
things.” (Lk 24:48).
Session #3: Repentance and Faith. “Repentance in his
name, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in
his name to all the nations” (Lk 24:47).
The above three basically constitute the kerygma. Then we
have Session #4: The Gift of the Holy Spirit. “And behold
I am sending the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in
the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
(Lk 24:49). This is empowerment in order to live righteous
lives that enables us to be authentic witnesses, as well as
to preach the gospel effectively. It is to live Christ and
to share Christ.
In the reading two days ago, we saw how Peter preached the
gospel on the day of Pentecost. Now we look at how he preached
to the Israelites in Solomon’s Portico.
Session #1: Jesus the Messiah. Paul talks about God’s
“servant Jesus,” “the Holy and Righteous
One,” “the author of life,” and “that
his Messiah would suffer.” (Acts 3:13-15,18).
#2: Called to Witness. “Of this we are witnesses.”
#3: Repentance and Faith. “Repent, therefore, and
be converted, that your sins may be wiped away” (Acts
What is the purpose of the kerygma? It is to bring people
to conversion, so that they would experience the salvation
of Jesus. It is to meet Christ, in order to live Christ, and
later to share Christ. With these three aspects of relating
to Jesus, we are saved, and we can look forward to making
it to heaven. The intent is “that the Lord may grant
you times of refreshment and send you the Messiah already
appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the
times of universal restoration” (Acts 3:20-21a).
is a crucial aspect, for us to undergo metanoia, a turning
away from the world and turning to God. This is the beginning
of salvation. “For you first, God raised up his servant
and sent him to bless you by turning each of you from your
evil ways.” (Acts 3:26). This is why the political correctness
being accepted by many Christians today is so wrong and dangerous.
This is when we just accept, embrace and accompany all sinners,
but without trying to get them out of their sin. To talk about
their sin is deemed offensive and hurtful. Well, to let them
remain in their sin is more hurtful, as it would deprive them
of salvation and heaven.
To proclaim the gospel is the great privilege and responsibility
of a disciple of Jesus. It is to do the very work of God.
David was awed at what God had made of humankind. “Yet
you have made him little less than a god, crowned him with
glory and honor.” (Ps 8:6). We are made in the image
and likeness of God, and we are called to be other Christs.
“You have given him rule over the works of your hands”
(Acts 8:7a). This is not just having dominion over God’s
creation, but more importantly, being entrusted with the continuation
of Jesus’ salvific work. In truth, God has made Himself
depended upon His people to get His divine work done. “You
have …. put all things at his feet.” (Ps 8:7b).
In doing this work, God has empowered His people by His Spirit,
given them victory over the enemy, and tasked them to build
His Kingdom on earth.
There is one more thing. Christians today are the new Israel,
and as such, are inheritors of the covenant. “You are
the children of the prophets and of the covenant that God
made with your ancestors” (Acts 3:25a). God had made
a great promise, “when he said to Abraham, ‘In
your offspring all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’”
(Acts 3:25b). The blessing is through the generations, until
the Lord returns.
would our families and all the families in the world be blessed?
This happens as they hear the gospel proclaimed and put their
faith in Jesus. How can this come about? By the work of families