THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
THE OLD AND THE NEW
Readings for today:
1 John 2:3-11
Evangelization is old, two thousand years old. But today the
Spirit calls us to the New Evangelization. It is as John wrote
about the commandment of love. “Beloved, I am writing
no new commandment to you but an old commandment that you
had from the beginning. .... And yet I do write a new commandment
to you” (1 Jn 2:7a,8a). What is old is new, and what
is new is old.
taught and commanded his disciples to love. They obeyed, and
God was able to use them to build His Kingdom on earth. But
their fervor to love waned through the years and decades.
So it was necessary to reiterate God’s call, pointing
to the continuity but freshness of the call.
came to dispel the darkness. His light expressed in love would
accomplish that. As his disciples did likewise, then John
could express that “the darkness is passing away, and
the true light is already shining.” (1 Jn 2:8c). Today
the darkness has returned, and even intensified.
is why Christians are called to return to the fervor of their
first love. They are to meet Christ anew, then start to live
Christ, and work to share Christ. They do this as a body,
and so they must love each other as brethren. “Whoever
says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in
the darkness.” (1 Jn 2:9). Being still in darkness,
they become the enemy within.
and when they truly love one another in the way of Christ,
then they can go forth in the power of the Spirit to proclaim
the love of God through Jesus to the world. They would be
a people who have experienced the salvation of Jesus, and
who cannot help but share that salvation with others. Like
Simeon they would say, “my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in the sight of all the people, a light
for revelation to the Gentiles” (Lk 2:30-32a).
is what the disciples of Jesus did in the first evangelization
(the old). This is what they are called to once again do,
in the New Evangelization. “Sing to the Lord, bless
his name; proclaim his salvation day after day. Tell his glory
among the nations, among all peoples, his marvelous deeds.”
(Ps 96:2-3). The New Evangelization, as in the old, is intended
to be a work that is rapid, massive and worldwide.