THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
COMMISSIONED TO PREACH THE GOSPEL – 19
June 8, 2019
Today’s readings: Acts 28:16-31
Christianity started as a small sect in Judaism. During the
time of Paul, the posture of many Jews was this: “We
know that this sect is denounced everywhere.” (v.22b).
Today, Christianity is not only mainstream but is the dominant
religion in the world, with 1/3 of the world’s population
being Christian (at least in name).
the denunciation and persecution remain. Christians (authentic
Christians, that is) are beset from all sides: from Islamic
radicals, Hindu fundamentalists, Christian liberals and progressives,
totalitarian state governments, bureaucrats of international
bodies (such as the UN and the EU), anti-life groups, LBGT
advocates, fake news media, born-again Christians, sects,
cults, and even Catholic priests and nuns (the enemy within).
Beset from all sides!
must not only survive this but thrive. As a missionary Church,
we have much work to do to bring Christ to every person! Thus,
we are to be like that great apostle Paul, as “with
complete assurance and without hindrance he proclaimed the
kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ.”
(v.31). Paul was a prisoner and seemingly down and out, but
no, he stood strongly for the faith and the work of evangelization.
He preached the gospel with conviction and without hindrance,
even as he was physically hindered. Indeed, as he avers, “it
is on account of the hope of Israel that I wear these chains.”
are to preach the gospel with similar zeal. We are to witness
to Jesus. We are to devote our time and energy to this divine
work. “From early morning until evening, he expounded
his position to them, bearing witness to the kingdom of God
and trying to convince them about Jesus from the law of Moses
and the prophets.” (v.23b). There is no greater work
for the Church.
task is difficult and challenging. The soil is hard. “Some
were convinced by what he had said, while others did not believe.”
(v.24). But the fruit is up to God. We are just to preach
the gospel. The gospel is God’s gift. If people “hear
with their ears and understand with their heart” (v.27d),
then God will act, as they will “be converted, and I
heal them.” (v.27e). The greatest healing is salvation.
we are commissioned to proclaim the gospel. Let us be confident
that God’s word is living and effective, and just preach
it. “Let it be known to you that this salvation of God
has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.” (v.28).