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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
(Part 103)

COMMISSIONED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL – 7


Divine Mercy Sunday
April 28, 2019

Today’s readings
:
Acts 5:12-16
Psalm 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24
Rev 1:9-13, 17-19
Jn 20:19-31


Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. The mercy of God is manifested in the offering by the Father of His own Son Jesus for the sins of the world, in order to bring us all from death to life. “I shall not die but live” (Ps 118:17a). In Jesus we are saved. “I was hard pressed and falling, but the Lord came to my help. The Lord, my strength and might, has become my savior.” (Ps 118:13-14). This salvation is for all. Then those who have been saved have to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus, so that many others would also be saved. “I shall not die but live and declare the deeds of the Lord.” (Ps 118:17).

Thus Jesus commissioned his disciples. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (Jn 20:21b). We are to do the very mission of Jesus, to bring God’s salvation to the world. This is God’s work, and we depend on God’s power, which is the power of the Holy Spirit. “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Spirit.’” (Jn 20:22). Since this is the very work of God, done by disciples empowered by the Holy Spirit, the harvest will be rich. “Yet more than ever, believers in the Lord, great numbers of men and women, were added to them.” (Acts 5:14).

There will be much opposition to this work. All the apostles except John were martyred. John was exiled to Patmos. “I, John, your brother, who share with you the distress, the kingdom, and the endurance we have in Jesus, found myself on the island called Patmos, because I proclaimed God’s word and gave testimony to Jesus.” (Rev 1:9). In proclaiming the Kingdom, we will encounter distress, and so we need to endure.

But evangelizers are greatly privileged. The intent of their work is so “that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name.” (Jn 20:31). It is about the salvation of people! We proclaim the gospel so that people will come to believe and accept Jesus as “my Lord and my God!” (Jn 20:28). As such, this work will be violently opposed by the evil one and a world under its dominion. Thus the task will be hard and challenging. But if and when people do accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, then they are greatly blessed. “Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” (Jn 20:29b).

Salvation is the greatest need, and evangelization is the greatest work. It is what allows the great love and mercy of God to become concrete in the lives of people. It is what allows people to receive the peace that Jesus offers to them. “Peace be with you.” (Jn 20:21a). It is what will bring true joy to their lives. “The joyful shout of deliverance is heard in the tents of the righteous.” (Ps 118:15a). Salvation, love, peace, joy­these are the fruits of the divine mercy of God.

“Let Israel say: his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Aaron say, his mercy endures forever.
Let those who fear the Lord say, his mercy endures forever.”
(Ps 118:2-4)

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