THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
A GREAT ADVENTURE
day of the new liturgical year
December 2, 2012
1 Thessalonians 3:12-4:2
We ended the last day of the liturgical year yesterday with
looking at the end times. We begin the new liturgical year
by again looking at the end times. We begin with the end,
in order to appreciate where we are going.
are also starting the Advent season. It is said that Advent
is a time of watchful waiting for the coming of Jesus into
the world. It is a time of hope and joy. But coupled with
salvation history and the end times, I would say this is a
time of great ADVENTure. Jesus comes as a baby, and Jesus
will come again as a victorious King. In between is the ongoing
struggle and spiritual war in the world. Now we are not just
objects in this war (targets of Satan and the Lord), but we
are subjects who actively engage in the war. We do this as
the people of God who have been tasked to proclaim the good
news of salvation in Jesus to the whole world. We are to evangelize.
What an exciting time, as we race to the end of time!
then becomes ADVENTURE, if U.R.E., that is, if U R Evangelizing.
The New Evangelization is a time of great adventure.
To become effective evangelizers, we need to look at some
we need to grow in holiness. We are God’s people, dressed
in white garments. We are “to be blameless in holiness
before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus
with all his holy ones.” (1 Thes 3:13b). We are to live
we need to grow as a community that is an army, through our
fraternal love and care for one another. We need to “increase
and abound in love for one another and for all” (1 Thes
3:12). We work at unity and peace in our community and our
parishes. We desire to bring the love of God to all.
we need to live our covenant. We need to take our covenant
seriously, as God takes covenants very seriously. Our covenant
for us is our way of life. It is how we will experience the
love and power of God. “All the paths of the Lord are
faithful love toward those who honor the covenant demands.”
(Ps 25:10). Our covenant is our guide, as we seek to faithfully
live God’s will and plan for our lives. “The counsel
of the Lord belongs to the faithful; the covenant instructs
them.” (Ps 25:14).
we need to continue to grow in living Christ, through community
and Church formation. Paul exhorted the Thessalonians: “as
you received from us how you should conduct yourselves to
please God--and as you are conducting yourselves--you do so
even more.” (1 Thes 4:1). To grow in holiness and Christian
perfection, to become true disciples and servants, to be enriched
in being brethen, co-workers and comrades-in-arms, there has
to be continuing formation and transformation. We need to
continue walking along the path of holiness. We need to become
more and more like Christ.
How do we continue to grow in Christ? Everything has already
been laid out for you in CFC-FFL and the larger Church. “For
you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus.”
(1 Thes 4:2).
read the Bible every day. This is how God makes known His
ways, teaches us His paths, and guides us in His truth (Ps
25:4-5a). There is no substitute to actually yourself getting
into the Bible, the very word of God.
have the humility to realize that you are a far way from the
holiness desired by God for you. There is much to learn. Desire
the teachings in community, the homilies at Mass, the pastoral
events in the parish, the fellowship during households, the
religious programs on TV and radio, etc. Rest assured that
the Holy Spirit “guides the humble rightly, and teaches
the humble the way.” (Ps 25:9).
particularly in CFC-FFL, do not miss the formation modules
and inspiring events offered. Do not pass up the opportunity
to serve. And if you want to get deeper into the life and
mission of our community, while at the same time getting more
acquainted with Bible passages particularly relevant to us,
read, reflect on and study my From the SG articles and books.
To become adventurers in the work of the New Evangelization,
we need to have a sense of great urgency, for we are in the
end times. With that comes the corresponding excitement. What
a great time to be alive and serving Christ! “There
will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, .... and
then (we) will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power
and great glory.” (Lk 21:25a,27).
who do not know Christ “will be in dismay, perplexed
...., will die of fright” (Lk 21:25b,26a), “for
the powers of the heavens will be shaken.” (Lk 21:26b).
For us we are not to be afraid. We are in fact to “stand
erect and raise (our) heads because (our) redemption is at
hand.” (Lk 21:28b). The final victory is at hand. The
fullness of salvation awaits. We are on the verge of entry
into the eternal promised land, heaven.
of us should presume that we are already assured our place
in heaven. A place indeed has already been prepared for us,
but we need to persevere to the end. Our hearts are not to
“become drowsy from carousing and drunkenness and the
anxieties of daily life” (Lk 21:34a). We are to “be
vigilant at all times” (Lk 21:36a). We are to pray for
strength to escape the imminent tribulations (Lk 21:36b).
We are to prepare ourselves “to stand before the Son
of Man.” (Lk 21:36c).