THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JESUS AND THE APOSTLES
July 7, 2011
in CFC-FFL are called to be an evangelistic and missionary
community. The mission of Jesus is the same mission he passed
on to the Twelve, and now to all of his disciples. In the
same way that Jesus commissioned the Twelve, so too are we
commissioned. In this we do the very work of God.
told the Twelve, “As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” (Mt
10:7). When Jesus proclaimed his mission, he said, “To
the other towns also I must proclaim the good news of the
kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent.”
(Lk 4:43). The mission of Jesus is the very mission he gave
to the Twelve.
further told the Twelve, “Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse lepers, drive out demons.” (Mt 10:8a). When
Jesus was asked if he was the messiah, he replied, “Go
and tell John what you hear and see: the blind regain their
sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear,
the dead are raised” (Mt 11:4-5a). The works of Jesus
are the very works he instructed the Twelve to do.
When we do the work of evangelization and mission, we are
doing the very work of Jesus and the very work of the apostles.
As such, we are to heed Jesus’ instructions on how we
are to do this work.
said, “Without cost you have received; without cost
you are to give.” (Mt 10:8b). Jesus gave his all in
order to save us, and requires no payment but our acceptance
of his free gift. As such, the great apostle Paul offered
“the gospel free of charge” (1 Cor 9:18). This
is why our evangelistic programs, such as the CLS, are free
of charge. Even our formation courses for members, part of
our continuing evangelistic work, are free. If we “charge”
fees, it is simply to cover expenses. We are not here to make
money like a secular corporation. Whatever money comes in,
we fully spend to continue with our work. The great majority
of our workers are not paid. A few do get salaries, but only
as a way of supporting themselves and their families as they
have chosen to serve the community full-time. There are no
monetary dividends for members, but only the dividend of eternal
Jesus then instructs something very challenging. “Do
not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack
for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking
stick.” (Mt 10:9-10a). So when we go on mission are
we to have no money at all in our pockets? Are we not even
to have a backpack? Are we going to walk barefoot?
is talking about principles of going on mission. After all,
according to Mark, the apostles were to have a walking stick
and wear sandals, but take nothing else (Mk 6:8-9). Jesus
does not give contradictory instructions. Rather, he emphasizes
his point in different ways in different settings or with
Jesus is requiring is (1) a total dependence on God for food
and shelter and whatever we will be needing. Thus when we
go on mission, we do not have to spend for anything because
those who invite us will provide us our shelter, meals, transport,
and other needs. As Jesus said, “The laborer deserves
his keep.” (Mt 10:10b). Further, (2) because of the
urgency of the mission and the single-mindedness required
of missionaries, we are to avoid any attachment to material
possessions. For us, when we go on mission, we are to be focused
on the work. We are not there to see sights, or to go shopping,
or to have a relaxing time (though God might provide for these
“As you enter a house, wish it peace.” (Mt 10:12).
We are disciples of the Prince of Peace. We bring the peace
of Christ to all. What is peace? It is being in right relationship
with others. We help bring people back to Christ, or deepen
their relationship with Christ. We help renew the family,
and bring peace into the home and in family relationships.
We bring peace to communities as evangelized persons become
instruments of God’s grace in their day-to-day environments.
will not receive you or listen to your words--go outside that
house or town and shake the dust from your feet.” (Mt
10:14). God’s gift is free, and people are free to accept
or not. When people do not accept the gospel message, we simply
move on. If a parish priest refuses to allow us to do our
work, we move on to the next parish. We are not to be dejected
or angry or discouraged. We are simply to persevere, knowing
that the harvest is abundant. We are to simply do our work,
and leave the results to God.
In fact, when untoward things happen, we are to know that
God is still in control, that God loves us and has an eternal
plan for us, and that God intends to use us for His glory
as He has already made Himself dependent upon His disciples
to do His work.
many will experience greater hardships than what befell Joseph.
He was “sold as a slave” (Ps 105:17b) by his very
own brothers, and the Egyptians “shackled his feet with
chains; collared his neck in iron” (Ps 105:18). He was
separated from his family for so long, especially from his
father Jacob who loved him best. But it was for a purpose,
according to the plan of God. As Joseph himself realized,
“It was really for the sake of saving lives that God
sent me here ahead of you.” (Gen 45:5b). Joseph did
not whine and complain about his lost years. He said God sent
him ahead of his brothers. In the seemingly unrelated and
tragic events of his life, he realized God had sent him on
about our lives? Are you suffering from cancer, have a broken
marriage, have a child that has gone astray, gone bankrupt,
separated from your family due to overseas work, are not sure
where to get the next meal, serving a prison sentence, been
betrayed by loved ones, are maligned by brethren, opposed
by clerics? If you try to live for God, then God will take
care of you, and accomplish His eternal plan for you. You
may not see it in the trial of the moment, as Joseph did not,
but trust that your life and future are in the hands of the
Savior, who now sends you forth to make his salvation known
The ups and downs of life go on. Joseph, from his lowest points
of life, rose to great heights. He became “the equal
of Pharaoh” (Gen 44:18b) and Pharaoh “made him
lord over his palace, ruler over all his possessions.”
(Ps 105:21). Jacob and his clan had grown prosperous, but
then God “called down a famine on the land, destroyed
the grain that sustained them.” (Ps 105:16). Because
of Joseph, the whole clan moved to Egypt, were favored by
Pharaoh, and again prospered there. Many generations later,
with a new pharaoh who knew nothing of Joseph, they were enslaved.
From soaring to the heights they were now down in the depths.
Of course we know that they would soar once again as God’s
favored people Israel. But that is another story.
is important for us is to know who we are called to be and
what we are commissioned to do. We in CFC-FFL are evangelizers
and missionaries. In this work we will encounter great challenges
and suffering. But we do it for Jesus who already went before
us. Now we are privileged to carry on his work.
happens, whether we are up or seemingly down, we simply carry
on, with trust in Jesus and joy in our hearts.
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