THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
ELEMENTS OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION - 2
Today’s gospel: Matthew 9:35-10:8
Today’s gospel reading gives us ten basic elements that
characterize the New Evangelization.
the New Evangelization is necessitated by the dire condition
in the life of the world today, where we are being overwhelmed
by a tsunami of evil. Many of God’s people are lost.
“At the sight of the crowds, his heart was moved with
pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like
sheep without a shepherd.” (v.9:36). Indeed, 99 of the
100 are the lost sheep.
the New Evangelization aims to reach lapsed, nominal or non-practicing
Catholics. “Do not go into pagan territory or enter
a Samaritan town. Go rather to the lost sheep of the house
of Israel.” (v.10:5b-6). Many Catholics are today’s
baptized pagans. Our Church is the one true Church, but we
need renewal before we can effectively reach out to other
Christians and then pagans.
the New Evangelization is intended to be rapid, massive and
worldwide, which is the only way of reaching the 99 lost sheep.
“Jesus went around to all the towns and villages”
(v.9:35a). We are to bring the gospel to all towns and nations.
We are to go to the grassroots at the peripheries, to the
very ends of the earth.
the New Evangelization has a particular focus on the initial
proclamation of the gospel, which is the missing first step
in evangelization. The workers are to go about “proclaiming
the gospel of the kingdom.” (v.9:35c). Our Church has
much to offer, but many lay Catholics are simply not there
to partake of this richness. The initial proclamation of the
gospel is intended for Catholics to meet Christ once again,
and by God’s grace and the power of the Spirit, move
on to live Christ.
the New Evangelization calls for the greater participation
of the laity. They make up 99.9+% of the Church and are to
be the workers needed if we look to a massive work of mission
and renewal. “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The
harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master
of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.’”
the New Evangelization, in order to be done effectively, needs
its workers to be formed and trained, especially in the parishes.
Then they would be more effective evangelizers and witnesses.
As with Jesus, there must be “teaching in their synagogues”
(v.9:35b). Teaching, formation and training are sorely lacking
in parishes and many Church organizations.
the New Evangelization engages its workers in intense spiritual
warfare, assaulting the evil forces that enslave people.“Then
he summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over
unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease
and every illness.” (v.10:1). The New Evangelization
is the way to freedom from the dominion of the enemy.
the New Evangelization is to be done in the power of the Holy
Spirit, thus manifesting signs and wonders. “Cure the
sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons.”
(v.10:8a). Doing what is divine work allows God’s workers
to tap into His power.
the New Evangelization, done according to God’s intent,
is to bring about total human liberation, from sin as well
as from the ills in the world. God’s workers are to
go about “curing every disease and illness.” (v.9:35d).
the New Evangelization can only be accomplished by holy warriors
who give of themselves totally, without counting the cost.
“Without cost you have received; without cost you are
to give.” (v.10:8b). Those who truly live Christ will
be compelled to also share Christ.
New Evangelization sends us forth to proclaim the gospel.
It is nothing short of re-establishing, reviving, renewing
and strengthening the body of Christ on earth. “As you
go, make this proclamation: ‘The kingdom of heaven is
at hand.’” (v.10:7). You are among those called.
Will you be Christ’s apostles for the New Evangelization?