THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
THE BASIC GOSPEL MESSAGE
Today’s gospel: Luke 24:35-48
The Great Commission as given by Jesus according to the gospel
of Luke contains the basic elements of what is today our proclamation
of the gospel through the 5-session Life in Christ Seminar
(LCS), more specifically, the first four sessions (the fifth
session is about what happened to the Church after Peter preached
that first sermon on the day of Pentecost). This proclamation
is at the heart of evangelization. Unfortunately, in much
of the Church today, there is a lot of teaching, formation
and catechesis, but not as extensive a proclamation of the
basic gospel message. This is the missing first step. The
Church needs to get back to the basics, as outlined by Jesus
himself in his final instructions to his disciples.
first session of the LCS is “Jesus the Messiah.”
Jesus says, “Thus it is written that the Messiah would
suffer and rise from the dead on the third day” (v.46).
This session is about the love of God manifested in Jesus
who gave his life for us on the cross to save us. Here people
second session of the LCS is “Called to witness.”
Jesus says, “You are witnesses of these things.”
(v.48). This is the call to everyone who meets Christ. We
witness by the silent holiness of our life but also by the
verbal proclamation of the gospel. We show how Jesus has changed
us, and we proclaim who it is that changed us. We live
Christ, and the basic way to do that is to live out
the two greatest commandments, love of God and love of neighbor.
third session is “Repentance and Faith.” Jesus
says “that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name to all the nations” (v.47).
We fall short of God’s call, and we need to repent and
turn to faith in Jesus. When people hear the gospel proclaimed,
it is intended to lead them to conversion, to a transformation
of life, to metanoia.
fourth session is “The Gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Jesus says, “And behold I am sending the promise of
my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed
with power from on high.” (v.49). The disciples are
being sent to proclaim Christ to the world. This is divine
work given to sinful human instruments. Thus, to effectively
share Christ, we need a power beyond ourselves,
and that is the power of the Holy Spirit.
New Evangelization is a call to go back to the old tested
methodology of Pentecost, as instructed by the Lord Jesus
himself before he ascended into heaven.