THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Today’s gospel: Matthew 16:24-28
The New Evangelization will demand the highest levels of zeal
and commitment. There are many who profess to be disciples,
as they strive to follow and serve Jesus, and then there are
those who are disciples according to Jesus’ standards.
Jesus himself defines discipleship. “Then Jesus said
to his disciples, ‘Whoever wishes to come after me must
deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.’”
(v.24). Here you see that Jesus was addressing disciples,
but still, he defined what true discipleship is about.
disciple is one who denies himself. In practical terms:
does not look to personal power, position, perks or personal
He does not seek to be recognized or even thanked for
good work done.
Though he is first, he takes the last position.
He is obedient to the Master, and is submitted to those
leaders placed over him.
He is able to take insult, oppression, rejection and betrayal,
with patience, tolerance and forgiveness.
He gives his all, holding nothing back, certainly going
way beyond comfort zones.
A disciple is one who takes up his cross. In practical terms:
rejoices in suffering for the cause of Christ.
He understands that the authentic Christian life is very
challenging and difficult and will entail much sacrifice
and pain, and willingly pushes forward.
does not give up when the going gets tough, but rather
persists even more.
looks to the good of all, including his enemies.
A disciple is one who follows Jesus. In practical terms:
is totally obedient to God, including living out the hard
has no other priorities but those of God, totally committed
to His work and that of His Church.
is determined to follow Jesus to heaven, and lives in
this world as a pilgrim.
are all the above about being a true disciple of Jesus? Well,
if our posture is not fully the above, then sooner or later
we will succumb to the lesser ideals that we have, even as
we continue to serve the Lord. If we do not aspire to the
loftiest ideals, then inevitably we give less of ourselves,
and then ultimately we would lose our way.
Many Christians do not want to deny themselves or take up
their crosses, because they look to their lives and think
that such self-denial and embrace of the cross are not what
will give them joy and fulfillment. But as Jesus says, “whoever
wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his
life for my sake will find it.” (v.25). We look to our
own well-being and we will eventually lose out. We abandon
ourselves to Jesus and allow him to take care of us and we
will eventually gain it all.