THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Christmas is about Jesus’ coming into the world, born
of the virgin Mary, by the power of the Spirit, according
to the very plan of the Father. Jesus came as Savior of the
world, as the light that shines in the darkness of the world.
“The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming
into the world.” (Jn 1:9).
has now been two millennia since Jesus came, ministered to
people, gave his life for our sins on the cross, and won for
us our salvation. One-third of the world is Christian, but
nominally. 99% of them are lost sheep, remaining in darkness
and sin. “He was in the world, .... but the world did
not know him.” (Jn 1:10). Many of these Christians have
in fact turned against him, choosing to be anti-life and anti-family
and anti-faith. Many liberals and modernists are trying to
even change age-old teachings and Christian beliefs that have
formed the bedrock of our faith. Christians today, and very
many Catholics among them, have rejected the Christ. “He
came to what was his own, but his own people did not accept
him.” (Jn 1:11).
Every December we celebrate Advent and Christmas. But much
of it has become empty of the true reason for the season.
Much of it has been partying, gift-giving, shopping, eating
and drinking. Celebrate, yes. But understand that what we
celebrate is the coming of a Savior. Be joyful, yes, but know
that we rejoice in the coming of our King and Lord. “Shout
with joy to the Lord, all the earth; .... shout with joy to
the King, the Lord.” (Ps 98:4a,6b).
then must be done? This is the call to the New Evangelization.
The Savior Jesus needs to be made known once again, and accepted
as Lord. “In these last days, he spoke to us through
a son, .... who sustains all things by his mighty word.”
(Heb 1:2a,3b). Jesus “accomplished purification from
sins” (Heb 1:3c). He has now gone up to heaven (Heb
1:3d) and looks to his people and Church to continue the work
of salvation. He will come in glory to judge the living and
the dead, “again, when he leads the first-born into
the world” (Heb 1:6a). This refers to the parousia.
Christmas and the parousia, there is the work of evangelization.
And given the sorry situation of God’s people today,
with many Christians being baptized pagans, the Church has
been called by the Spirit to the work of the New Evangelization.
the Baptist prepared the way of the Lord. “A man named
John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify
to the light, so that all might believe through him.”
(Jn 1:6-7). Now we are called, to prepare the way
for the Lord’s second coming. We are to testify
to Jesus, to be his witnesses, to proclaim the word, to evangelize,
to do mission. To the ends of the earth. So that all might
believe in Jesus. We are God’s workers and instruments
of His divine will and purpose. By the work of evangelization,
“those who did accept him he gave power to become children
of God, to those who believe in his name” (Jn 1:12).
What then are we called to be? We are called to be holy warriors,
charging into the darkness of the world to bring the light
of Christ. Jesus already defeated the enemy in Calvary. “His
right hand and holy arm have won the victory.” (Ps 98:1b).
We as holy warriors share in that victory. “The Lord
has made his victory known; has revealed his triumph in the
sight of the nations” (Ps 98:2). If we boldly go forth
as holy warriors, then God’s intent, from the very beginning,
will happen, to bring the salvation of Jesus to the ends of
the earth. “All the ends of the earth have seen the
victory of our God.” (Ps 98:3b).
warriors, look to the empowerment that comes from the Spirit.
“The Lord has bared his holy arm in the sight of all
the nations” (Is 52:10a). This is empowerment for worldwide
mission. What is the result of holy warriors giving their
all to God and His cause? “All the ends of the earth
can see the salvation of our God.” (Is 52:10b).
Then the angels and saints in heaven will all exalt: “How
beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the one bringing
good news, announcing peace, bearing good news, announcing
salvation, saying to Zion, ‘Your God is King!’”
(Is 52:7). The New Evangelization is all about the good news
of salvation in Jesus and bringing people to accept him as
Savior and Lord.
we really will have something to celebrate. “Break out
together in song, O ruins of Jerusalem! For the Lord has comforted
his people, has redeemed Jerusalem!” (Is 52:9).
say “Merry Christmas.” What this means is “the
Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw
his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full
of grace and truth.” (Jn 1:14). May the world indeed
see the glory of God, as they believe and accept His Son as
Savior and Lord.
aside from Christmas greetings, we go forth as holy warriors.
“John testified to him” (Jn 1:15a). That is what
we are called to do as well.