THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
LIVING IN THE END TIMES - 7
First Sunday of Advent
Start of Liturgical Year 2015
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Jesus warns us, “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know
when the time will come.” (Mk 13:33). We do not know,
but we can read the signs of the times. The end times are
unfortunately the world is in a sorry situation today, as
people, including many so-called Christians, have rejected
the reign of Jesus over their lives. “Too long have
we been like those you do not rule” (Is 63:19a). They
carry Jesus’ name but do not look to him as Lord. They
are those “on whom your name is not invoked.”
we are to examine our conscience, we might see that we are
among those people.
“Why do you make us wander, Lord, from your ways”
(Is 63:17a). Many Christians have lost their way. They are
the 99 lost sheep out of the 100.
“harden our hearts so that we do not fear you”
(Is 63:17b). Many Christians no longer look to Jesus as
Lord. They have become worldly and even resistant to Judeo-Christian
If we look at the world around us, we see the abominations
that are taking place.
have the wicked invaded your holy place” (Is 63:18a).
FEMEN activists now regularly invade churches, dance on
altars, bare their breasts at St Peter’s Square.
have our enemies trampled your sanctuary?” (Is 63:18b).
IS and Boko Haram militants now regularly demolish churches
and other religious places.
We beg God to intervene. “Those who would burn or cut
it downmay they perish at your rebuke.” (Ps 80:17).
There is apostasy in the Church today. When the Son of Man
returns, will be find faith on earth? If Jesus does not return
soon, and if the faith situation is not reversed drastically,
more and more souls will be lost. “Return for the sake
of your servants” (Is 63:17c).
must we do? Well, God’s work of salvation has been entrusted
to His people. “It is like a man traveling abroad. He
leaves home and places his servants in charge, each with his
work, and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.”
(Mk 13:34). We work in faithfulness and we keep watch in anticipation.
Since we do not know when the Master is returning (Mk 13:35),
“may he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.”
have been empowered to witness. Through all these years, “the
testimony to Christ was confirmed among you” (1 Cor
1:6). God has provided what we need in the work of evangelization.
Thus “in him you were enriched in every way, with all
discourse and all knowledge” (1 Cor 1:5). Thus “you
are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the
revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor 1:7). Thus
we work and evangelize, even as we look to Jesus’ return.
We make good use of the time given us to help bring many others
back to Christ, even as we pray for the Lord’s return,
when the sorry situation in the world will finally be reversed.
“Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down”
Jesus does return, will we be ready? Will we have done our
work well? Will we have brought in the rich harvest? Will
we be wide awake, fully engaged in the work? “What I
say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!’” (Mk
The work is vast. There are billions to be reached, starting
with lapsed Catholics. And so our Church has called for the
New Evangelization. This is about the power of Pentecost,
with the Holy Spirit working to enable us to help bring salvation
to people. “Stir up your power, and come to save us.”
(Ps 80:3b). We want to return to the apostolic zeal of Pentecost.
We want to be restored to empowerment and faithfulness to
mission. “O God, restore us” (Ps 80:4a).
God has provided everything we need, starting with arranging
for us to meet Christ and giving us the grace
and strength to live Christ. “God is
faithful, and by him you were called to fellowship with his
Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor 1:9). Now we must
share Christ. We must be insistent, persistent,
enduring, persevering, suffering joyfully for the cause. All
these God too will provide. “He will keep you firm to
the end, irreproachable on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(1 Cor 1:8).
We pray for our holy Roman Catholic Church, the only strong
institution truly standing up for faith, family and life,
established by Jesus himself, as she pursues the New Evangelization.
She is the instrument of the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel
to the world. She has endured for two millennia, but is severely
threatened today. Although the gates of the netherworld shall
not prevail against her, she is greatly weakened. We ask God
to restore, to revive, to renew, to strengthen His Church,
“the stock your right hand has planted, and the son
whom you made strong for yourself.” (Ps 80:16).
the Church is us, especially the 99.9+% that are the laity.
We need to be restored and revived, we need to turn to Jesus,
we need to cling to him, we need to continue to experience
more fully his salvation. “Then we will not withdraw
from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Lord God
of hosts, restore us; light up your face and we shall be saved.”
to the New Evangelization!