THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
JESUS’ MISSION, OUR MISSION
“Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching
in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom,
and curing every disease and illness.” (Mt 9:35). Jesus’
mission was teaching, preaching and healing.
Translating this to our own time, the mission of Jesus’
disciples is Christian formation, proclamation of the gospel
and total human liberation. In a word, it is evangelization,
which is all about the good news of the kingdom of God now
in our midst. We hear the good news as it is preached, we
enter more deeply into the Christian life as we are formed
through teachings, and we become whole Christians as we are
set free from what binds us, including the dominion of Satan.
did this three-fold mission during his time on earth. Then,
knowing that the work would be continued after he had won
salvation for humankind and then ascended into heaven, he
had previously formed his core group, the twelve apostles
(Mt 10:2-4). Now he sent them out on practicum. They were
to heal and drive out unclean spirits (Mt 10:1), and they
were to proclaim the kingdom (Mt 10:7). They were not yet
to teach, and this aspect of the mission would be given only
when Jesus commissions his disciples before his ascension
(Mt 28:20a). Even today, every new CFC-FFL member can be,
and is expected to be, an evangelizer, can pray over people
for healing and protection from evil spirits, but would not
teach until much more formation is undertaken.
the mission of Jesus, which became the mission of the apostles,
is also the very mission of all his disciples, and thus is
our very mission in CFC-FFL.
What are some aspects important to know?
Jesus went to all the towns and villages (Mt 9:35). The gospel
and the fullness of Christian life are intended by God for
all people. Jesus died for all, and all are God’s children.
Thus everyone should have an opportunity to hear the gospel
and hopefully turn to Jesus. For us in CFC-FFL, we look to
not only having a nice comfortable or easily manageable ministry,
but we deliberately and aggressively go into the whole world,
looking for and seizing opportunities to do our work whenever
the Lord gives these. This is what gives rise to our rapid,
massive and worldwide evangelization.
we must be mindful of the situation of people in the world,
and not just go about minding our own business or looking
to our own welfare. The reality is that many people are “troubled
and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mt 9:36b).
This is the very situation in the world today. People are
troubled with all the things that are wrong in the world.
Many are miserable and lonely, feeling or actually abandoned
by those who should love and care for them--spouses (broken
marriages), children (rebellious children or those who just
dump their old parents in nursing homes), government (officials
stealing funds that could be spent to alleviate poverty),
society (Christians who go their own way unmindful of those
in need), even the Church (pastors neglecting or even being
the ones who abuse members of the flock).
“at the sight of the crowds, (Jesus’) heart was
moved with pity for them” (Mt 9:36a). Seeing what is
wrong in the world and the resultant misery of people, and
knowing that Jesus already came to set us free and to experience
the fullness of God’s love, we should be spurred to
action. In whatever way we can, going out of our comfort zones,
giving of our own resources, we should look to help the poor,
fight corruption in government, do whatever good we can, and
most especially bring people to Christ.
we must know that when our Lord sends us on mission, that
we go with his authority (Mt 10:1). This is authority to act
in his name, and to do the work that he did. We must be mindful
that we are stepping into the very sandals of Jesus. And we
must know that we already share in his victory over the enemy.
we must know who the enemy truly is. It is Satan and his demons.
We could be so focused on what is wrong in the world, and
try to address these, but fail to realize that behind everything
that is wrong is a diabolical enemy totally opposed to God’s
plan and ever trying to thwart God’s intent for the
life of the world. This is sometimes the problem with those
who seek to solve social ills, but do not do so with spiritual
weapons. For us, just as it was with the disciples, we are
to drive out unclean spirits and cure every disease and illness
(Mt 10:1). This can be literal as well as figurative. For
us it means that we come against the dominion of Satan and
bring people into the kingdom of God, while also working to
address the physical, mental, emotional and psychological
needs of people.
in the call to the twelve apostles (Mt 10:2-4), we should
see that God uses anyone, even, or perhaps especially, those
who are simple and are not highly placed in society or the
Church. The apostles were fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot.
Even one who eventually betrayed Jesus. This call to ordinary
people to become extraordinary instruments of God should be
a great joy to us, knowing that God can use us, if only we
will say our yes to His call. But the call will be challenging.
We will need to be constantly dependent upon God and His grace,
His mercy, His wisdom. We must purify our motives. We must
never be selfish. We must not seek power or position. We must
not fall into sinful pride, especially as God uses us in the
power of His Spirit. Otherwise, we too, like Judas, might
end up betraying Jesus and his cause.
we are to give ourselves totally to this work, as we see the
reality of what this mission is really all about. We realize
what a great privilege Jesus has given us in doing his very
own divine work. We realize that we have been given a great
responsibility, where what happens to the very souls of God’s
children has been entrusted to us. We realize how God has
made Himself totally dependent upon us to accomplish His purpose
in the world. We realize how Jesus has given himself for us,
even when we were sinners, even when we were the ones who
sent him to the cross. It cost us nothing, but it cost God
His very life. Thus, “without cost (we) have received;
without cost (we) are to give.” (Mt 10:8b). As Jesus
gave his very life, we are also to give our lives freely for
we are to pray for more evangelizers and missionaries. Jesus
says, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are
few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers
for his harvest.” (Mt 9:37-38). The harvest is indeed
abundant, because Jesus won salvation for all. Further, people
who are now in darkness are desperately seeking for the light.
They are desperately seeking to be set free of their afflictions
and their bondages. The grace of God and the power of the
Holy Spirit have been made available, and what are just needed
are the workers to bring in the harvest.
us in CFC-FFL, as we have said time and again, every member
is to be an evangelizer, in the day-to-day environments of
their lives. Every member should be open to becoming a missionary.
Every member should be eager to do whatever service is needed.
At the very least, and this is something anyone can do, every
member should be praying for more laborers, including vocations
to the priesthood and to religious life. And of course, every
member should fully support the life and mission of the community
with their time, talent and treasure.
One more thing: we as CFC-FFL, a Catholic new ecclesial movement,
are to focus on re-evangelization of Catholics. While we might
have a bit of opportunity to re-evangelize our separated brethren
(non-Catholic Christians) or to evangelize pagans (non-Christians),
our focus is on helping renew and strengthen the Catholic
Church. “Do not go into pagan territory or enter a Samaritan
town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
(Mt 10:5-6). Jesus wanted to first renew the people covenanted
with God, knowing that from there, they could then bring the
good news to the whole world. In the same way, the Catholic
Church is the one true Church of Jesus, founded on Pentecost,
with the popes having an unbroken line of succession from
Peter as the head of the Church.
the Catholic Church is practically the only institution that
stands in the way of the all-out assault of the anti-life,
anti-family, homosexualist forces that seek to establish the
dominion of the evil one on the world. The antidote is the
renewal of faith, family and life. This is our work in CFC-FFL.
We are an evangelistic and missionary community, working to
help renew the family and to defend life. We are to do our
share in renewing and strengthening the Catholic Church of
which we are an integral part.
Postscript: Matthew 9:35, about the mission of Jesus, is practically
the same as Matthew 4:23. Before Matthew 4:23, there is the
call to the first disciples (Mt 4:18-22). After Matthew 9:35,
there is the sending off on mission of these disciples (Mt
10:1-8). In between are the stories of Jesus teaching (Mt
5 to 7) and then healing (Mt 8 and 9).
could be shown schematically as follows:
The call to the apostles
of Jesus’ mission
doing his mission with the apostles learning
of Jesus’ mission
sending of the apostles
In the same way, God calls us, gives us our mission, shows
us the way to do the mission (through other people), reiterates
our mission, then sends us off.
us realize that indeed our life and mission in CFC-FFL is
God’s call to us. Let us understand what CFC-FFL is
and what the mission entails. Let us live our lives faithfully
in community, striving to learn what this new life is about
and giving of ourselves in loving service. Let us keep going
back to the reality of who we are as CFC-FFL and why God has
called us, and thus keeping ourselves on the right track according
to God’s call. Then let us go off into the world to
bring the good news of salvation in Jesus to all, in the power
of the Holy Spirit.
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