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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
(Part 93)

THE KERYGMA

April 12, 2018
Today’s reading: Acts 5:27-33


Our Catholic Church is missionary, but many Catholics have not been doing the work of evangelization. Those who need to be evangelized (or re-evangelized) are Catholics themselves, many of whom are lapsed and nominal. While our Church offers much to the Catholic, what is missing in her work is the very first step in the whole process of evangelization, and that is the proclamation of the gospel. If the first step is missing, how can anything else properly fall into place?

Proclamation of the gospel was what the first Christians did, starting with the apostles, starting with Peter on the day of Pentecost. On this occasion, now before the Sanhedrin, which was prohibiting them from evangelizing (v.27-28), “Peter and the apostles said in reply, ‘We must obey God rather than men’” (v.29). And in that short but tense moment, they proclaimed the gospel (v.30-32).

Such proclamation of the gospel is the very thing we do in our Life in Christ Seminar. The content of the gospel message is the same.

  • Our first talk is on “Jesus the Messiah.” Jesus died for us and is our Savior and Lord. “The God of our ancestors raised Jesus, though you had him killed by hanging him on a tree.” (v.30).
  • Our second talk is “Called to Witness.” If we are to live in Christ, we are to love God and neighbor, and by such, witness to the world of God’s love. “We are witnesses of these things” (v.32a).
  • Our third talk is “Repentance and Faith.” This is the response to Jesus’ saving act, by which we receive forgiveness. “God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sin.” (v.31).
  • Our fourth talk is “The Gift of the Holy Spirit.” God gives His Spirit to those who put their faith in Jesus, to empower them to live the Christian life. We are witnesses “as is the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.” (v.32b).

Then we have a fifth talk on “Growing in the Spirit.” After Peter’s proclamation of the gospel on the day of Pentecost, the Church was born, and provided the tools needed by which God’s people are to grow in the Spirit.

We as God’s people are to proclaim the gospel, in every situation, to everyone. We can expect opposition and even persecution, as was the reaction of the Sanhedrin to the apostles’ proclamation. “When they heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put them to death.” (v.33). Indeed, there have been many martyrs to the faith through the centuries.

To be a martyr is to be a witness. To be a witness is to proclaim the gospel. Let us give our all, even unto death.

* * *

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