THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
URGENCY OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION - 4
1 Timothy 6:11-16
The work of the New Evangelization is truly urgent. It is
all about addressing poverty in the world, both material and
spiritual. The focus on material poverty in today’s
psalm is obvious. But it also refers to spiritual poverty.
justice for the oppressed” (Ps 146:7a). God’s
people are oppressed by Satan. God secures justice, that
is, gives them what is their due, and that is salvation.
“gives bread to the hungry” (Ps 146:7b). God’s
people are hungry for the word of God and for the life-giving
bread of the Eucharist. Evangelization enables them to meet
Christ and to live Christ with formation through the Bible.
It brings lapsed Catholics back to God and to the Church,
and to partake of that greatest source of grace, the Eucharist.
“The Lord sets prisoners free” (Ps 146:7c).
God’s people are in bondage to sin, the ways of the
world, and the dominion of Satan. God sets them free.
Lord gives sight to the blind.” (Ps 146:8a). God’s
people are blind to the realities of sin, as they indulge
in worldly ways and secular pursuits. Meeting Christ makes
them see what is truly of value in life.
“The Lord raises up those who are bowed down”
(Ps 146:8b). God’s people are oppressed and persecuted.
God restores their strength and raises them up in the power
of His Spirit.
“The Lord protects the resident alien” (Ps 146:9a).
God’s people are pilgrims in this darkened world.
God protects and guides them as they make their way to heaven.
“comes to the aid of the orphan and the widow”
(Ps 146:9b). Marriages and families are decimated by the
work of the evil one. God restores His original intent in
the lives of His people.
Many Catholics are ignorant of such spiritual realities. They
do not read or study the
word of God. But they should, because it is all about their
own salvation, as well as the salvation of others. Take the
case of the rich man and Lazarus. The rich man was very rich,
while Lazarus was very poor. “When the poor man died,
he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The
rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld,
where he was in torment, ....” (Lk 16:22-23a). Lazarus
went to heaven while the rich man went to hell. What was the
rich man’s sin? He did not care about his neighbor.
He was unjust.
cannot be complacent. We see the darkness in the world, the
oppression of the poor, the loss of faith. It is our responsibility
to do something about it, and that starts with evangelization.
We cannot just go about our own way, attending to our own
secular affairs, enjoying our worldly pleasures (like the
rich man), when we have a task to be done. We cannot just
continue to sip piña coladas while lying on
cots at the country club. “Those who lie on beds of
ivory, and lounge upon their couches, .... who drink wine
from bowls, .... shall be the first to go into exile, and
the carousing of those who lounged shall cease.” (Am
is what happened to the rich man. At death his situation and
that of Lazarus was reversed. “My child, remember that
you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus
likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here,
whereas you are tormented.” (Lk 16:25). In the end justice
will be done. Where do we want fullness of life? Just in this
world, or in the life that is eternal?
people should know what salvation is all about. The Bible,
both Old and New Testaments, is all about salvation. All the
necessary instructions are there. Abraham himself, the father
of all nations, has said, “They have Moses and the prophets.
Let them listen to them.” (Lk 16:29). We just need to
respond. What should we do? “Compete well for the faith.”
(1 Tm 6:12a). Live out the faith. Meet Christ, live Christ,
and share Christ. Do this with conviction and passion. Know
that the stakes are high. It is all about salvation. “Lay
hold of eternal life, to which you were called” (1 Tm
6:12b). We are to persevere in this all the way to the end,
“to keep the commandment without stain or reproach until
the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Tm 6:14).
many still reject the call to repentance, even after Jesus
resurrected from the dead and already won for us our salvation.
“If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets,
neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from
the dead.” (Lk 16:31). But we should keep trying. Our
own salvation is at stake.