THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
PERSISTING IN PROCLAIMING CHRIST
Today’s reading: Acts 4:13-21
religious authorities ordered Peter and John not to speak
or teach at all in the name of Jesus. The reply of the two
was a classic. “Whether it is right in the sight of
God for us to obey you rather than God, you be the judges.
It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen
and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20).
we see the basic characteristics of a Christian who is a true
disciple who is filled with the Holy Spirit. One, he obeys
only God and not man. Two, he cannot help but proclaim the
unfortunate that Christians today are not of the same mold.
Most Catholics today are not evangelizers. Many have actually
met Christ and are starting to live Christ, but they do not
share Christ. They might even be ignorant of the fact that
they have been commissioned by Jesus to proclaim the good
news to the whole world. Others who do know might be preoccupied
with the things of the world. Still others who do try to evangelize
might do it listlessly.
can we really experience Christ and not feel compulsion to
proclaim him? Can we receive the gift of salvation and not
share it? Can we see and hear about what God has done for
us in Jesus and not speak about it? It should be impossible
for us not to do so! We should be impelled, compelled, propelled
to proclaim Christ and his salvation! If not, we really have
not truly experienced Christ.
we are not actively and boldly proclaiming Christ, then we
need to repent, ask for a renewed infilling of the Holy Spirit,
and step out in faith in carrying out the Great Commission.
The other important thing is obedience to God. This manifests
our love for God, our desire to be a true disciple, our faithfulness
to covenant, our walk in holiness.
Jesus has already commanded us to preach the gospel. We must
obey. Otherwise we are not doing the will of God. In fact,
we would in effect be aligning ourselves with the enemy, when
we do nothing to bring people from out of his dominion into
the Kingdom of God. If we do not gather, we scatter.
do not wait for permission or directive from our priests or
Church hierarchy. It is the inherent right and duty of every
Catholic to proclaim Christ and to form associations for the
purpose of doing so. No one can inhibit or prohibit us from
we are not supposed to obey any law or government regulation
that is contrary to our faith. The religious authorities just
threatened Peter and John but released them, finding no way
to punish them (Acts 4:21a). In today’s societies, secular
authorities do already have the laws with which to punish
those who disobey, such as laws on bubble zones, hate speech,
healthcare, homeschooling, etc. Those who transgress are arrested,
fined, jailed, or worse.
must be willing to pay the price. We must be willing, even
eager, to walk along the path of Christ, which leads to the
cross. We know that suffering and pain are part of the package
of being an evangelizer and missionary.
The enemy and his minions will do all they can so that the
gospel “may not be spread any further among the people”
(Acts 4:17a). The enemy will use secular powers to order Christians
“not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.”
(Acts 4:18b). Whatever it is, we persist in proclaiming Christ.
boldness will amaze those who oppose the gospel, but this
is the way we can truly be recognized as the companions of
Jesus (Acts 4:13). And this is the way we will see “the
people who were all praising God for what had happened.”