THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
THE LOST SHEEP - 7
August 11, 2015
We are called to the New Evangelization. One motivation for
the New Evangelization is to bring back the lost sheep. Unfortunately
there are lots of them. God wants them back in the fold. “What
is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them
goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?” (Mt 18:12). But the
problem is worse. The lost is not the one but the ninety-nine.
sent His very own Son Jesus to the cross in order to win for
us our salvation. “For the Son of Man has come to save
what was lost” (Mt 18:11). God took this extraordinary
and astounding course because “it is not the will of
your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”
(Mt 18:14). So you can see how precious we all are to God.
Now especially heartrending is the situation of those who
were already saved, became Christians, and then have now lost
their way. Again, God wants them back.
so we are called to the New Evangelization. A primary focus
of this is bringing back lapsed or nominal or non-practicing
Catholics. As such, those of us who are still in the sheepfold
are tasked with bringing the lost sheep back. This is through
the work of evangelization and mission. We are commissioned,
we are sent forth. How have we responded?
talks of degenerate, twisted, crooked, foolish and unwise
people. “Yet his degenerate children have treated him
basely, a twisted and crooked generation! Is this how you
repay the Lord, so foolish and unwise a people? Is he not
your father who begot you, the one who made and established
you?” (Dt 32:5-6). In what ways are we such children?
have turned our backs on the Lord and His ways, and have
embraced the world and its ways.
have not fully responded to the commission to proclaim the
gospel to the ends of the earth.
have remained in our comfort zones even as God is waiting
on us to bring back the lost sheep.
have been unfaithful to our covenant, which greatly weakens
the body and negatively impacts on its mission.
have been rebellious and have contributed to dissent and
disunity in the body, thus holding it back from vigorously
pursuing its vision.
So you see that the lost sheep are not only those who have
left the Church but also those who are still in the Church
but are not doing the work of the Church. So you can grasp
the reality that the lost sheep do indeed make up 99% of the
are we to do? “Remember the days of old, consider the
years of generations past.” (Dt 32:7a). In particular,
look to what happened almost 2,000 years ago on the day of
Pentecost and the growth of the early Church. The disciples
were commissioned, they obeyed, they gave their all, and the
Church grew tremendously.
the world is once again in deep darkness. Today the human
forces being used by the evil one are very powerful and well-entrenched.
Thus the work of evangelization is even more urgent. The good
news is that today, it is the same God at work. It is the
same God who desires His children to return to Him. It is
the same God who equips and empowers those who would go forth
to witness to Jesus. It is the same God who directed His people
to take the promised land. “It is the Lord, your God,
who will cross before you; he will destroy these nations before
you, that you may dispossess them.” (Dt 31:3a).
such, we must go forth with boldness and determination. “Be
strong and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it
is the Lord, your God, who marches with you; he will never
fail you or forsake you.” (Dt 31:6). With God with us,
who can be against us? Looking at the strong enemy forces,
we look to David defeating Goliath, or to Gideon defeating
Midian. Jesus has already won the victory.
as Moses instructed Joshua, so we too who are servant leaders
are instructed: “Be strong and steadfast, .... It is
the Lord who goes before you; he will be with you and will
never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.”
(Dt 31:7b,8). Be not afraid. Be not intimidated. Be not distressed
by seeming failures. Just go forth with your battle cry: “For
I will proclaim the name of the Lord” (Dt 32:3a).
the lost sheep are brought back, there will be great rejoicing
in heaven. “And if he finds it, amen, I say to you,
he rejoices more over it then over the ninety-nine that did
not stray.” (Mt 18:13). But since the ninety-nine have
strayed, then imagine the greater joy of our Father in heaven
when they are brought back.
to the New Evangelization!
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