THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
ZEAL FOR MISSION
Today’s gospel: Luke 5:17-26
One of the critical aspects of the New Evangelization is that
of the laity engaging in the massive work. They are the workers
for the harvest. But they are not just those available for
some service, but those who know their calling and dignity
as priest, prophet and king. If they know what they are called
to be and called to do, then that should result in zeal for
the mission, which is what will drive the work.
see such zeal in the men who brought the paralyzed man to
Jesus (v.18). As they were not able to get near because of
the large crowd, they went up to the roof, opened it up, and
lowered the man right in front of Jesus (v.19). Consider the
boldness of what they did.
were not deterred by the obstacle (the large crowd) before
them. How many times do you give up so easily when faced
with lesser obstacles on mission, rather than relying
on the power of the Spirit to see you through?
They were imaginative and creative. They found a way to
achieve their purpose. Who would have thought of going
to the roof? How many times do you give up when your limited
human reasoning is challenged, rather than seeking the
creative wisdom of the Spirit?
were determined and single-minded. Imagine the scene when
they started removing the tiles: noise, murmuring of the
crowd, chips falling beside Jesus (the roof, made of tiles
in this case, was usually made of straw and clay), distraction
to Jesus, the delicate act of lowering the paralytic.
How many times do you give up when the going gets hard
and suffering sets in, rather than enduring and persevering?
Jesus rebuke the men for their invasive act and for disturbing
his teaching? On the contrary. “When he saw their faith,
he said, ‘As for you, your sins are forgiven.’”
(v.20). He saw their faith and forgave his sins. When we evangelize
and bring people to Christ, our faith ultimately leads to
their forgiveness and salvation. When we share Christ, people
meet Christ, are transformed, and begin to live Christ.
aside from forgiving his sins, told him, “I say to you,
rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” (v.24b).
The paralytic did so! Success. Mission accomplished! He experienced
both spiritual and physical liberation.Then the former paralytic
also began to share Christ in his own way, as he “went
home, glorifying God.” (v.25b).
it was not just he who glorified God. The whole crowd did.
“Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified
God, and, struck with awe, they said, ‘We have seen
incredible things today.’” (v.26). The salvation
wrought by the work of evangelization spreads in ever-widening
circles, intended to reach to the ends of the earth.
all those good things have happened if the men in the first
place were not zealous for the paralytic to meet Jesus? We
must be zealous for the mission given us by the Lord himself.
Then we can see amazing results, as God intends.
insurmountable obstacles are overcome.
paralyzed by illness (especially sin) are healed.
and wonders are worked in the power of the Spirit.
Be zealous for the mission. Then you too will be able to say,
“We have seen incredible things today.”