THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
A NEW WINESKIN FOR THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Today’s gospel: Mark 2:18-22
How does this parable of Jesus apply to the new situation
of the world and of the Church today? Jesus says, “Likewise,
no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine
will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are
ruined. Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.”
us define our terms.
new wine is the fresh and ever-creative work of the Holy Spirit
in moving the Church to accomplish her mission in today’s
world environment. This work is the New Evangelization.The
wineskin is the way our Church goes about her mission. In
includes ways of thinking, behavioral patterns, accepted practices
What are the ways of our Church that make up the old wineskin
that cannot handle the new wine? They are the following:
seeing and giving evangelization the top priority that
it deserves. Evangelization for many is just one of the
many things the Church does, and is just one of the varied
ministries of the parish. But evangelization is the raison
d’etre for the Church. She exists for mission.
Being just one of the many, evangelization can be easily
neglected, or at the very least not given the time, energy
and attention it ought to have.
having a mindset of rapid and massive evangelization,
with particular focus on the proclamation of the gospel.
There are evangelistic programs and activities, but these
are not done massively enough to be able to rapidly reach
all the lost sheep, which comprise 99 of the 100.
The methodology of Pentecost has been lost. Evangelization
is a work of the Holy Spirit, done in the power of the
Spirit, with the tools and gifts that the Spirit gives.
This was the way with the early Church, from the time
when the Holy Spirit came down upon the disciples at Pentecost.
This entails so-called charismatic spirituality. Now charismatic
spirituality has become a fringe activity in the Church,
rather than mainstream.
fully appreciating lay empowerment. The Church has always
looked to and called for lay empowerment, the awakening
of the so-called sleeping giant. But many of those in
authority in the Church see the laity as indeed being
involved, but mainly in doing services, such as lay minister,
parish work, social justice, etc. (which are great services,
by the way). And the laity see themselves as just instruments
of service to clerics in the Church. But the call to lay
empowerment is a call to the fullness of the ministry
of Jesus, that of priest, prophet and king.
going into the grassroots in the peripheries. Most parish
services are centered in the main parish, and parishioners
need to go there to avail. But the Church needs to go
out to the people where they are, especially in the situation
of developing nations, where there are a lot of poor people.
As it is, we are losing Catholics by the day, and they
are being taken not just by the world, but bysects and
cults that are aggressive in the grassroots.
is a failure in servant leadership. There are many Church
leaders, both cleric and lay, who take on the mind of
the world regarding leadership. This might be with regard
to authoritarian rule, lack of availability to the flock,
looking to acclaim and reputation, lack of accountability,
political correctness, etc. What the leader needs to be
is an authentic servant, one who is there not to serve
but to serve, and even to give one’s life as a ransom
for the many.
of preaching on holiness. The basic call of the Christian
is to holiness, to be holy as God is holy. To not strive
to be holy is to more easily fall backward or even to
fall away. Lay Catholics today still do not even read
or study the Bible. The call of the New Evangelization
is for holy warriors.
Not preaching about and not embracing the cross. The authentic
and only gospel is the gospel of the cross. It certainly
is not the prosperity gospel. But many Christians have
embraced the latter. One hardly hears priests and pastors
preaching about the gospel of the cross, the embrace of
which is the only way to authentic discipleship.
But the old ways (the old wineskin) were effective before,
were they not? Actually, with regard to evangelization and
mission, the ways of our Church today are no longer fully
the ways of the early Church. And the situation has become
more challenging due to a number of developments in the world
and in society, that causes the call to the New Evangelization.
ascension of the Internet and social media.
age of sexual licentiousness, including the advance of
culture of death incessantly and relentlessly assaulting
faith, family and life.
Rise of secular humanism, becoming pervasive in societies
throughout the whole world.
more aggressive work of sects and cults· Growing
apostasy among Christians.
into the Church of the enemy within, with liberals/progressives
who are into heterodoxy.
Thus, for some time now, the Catholic Church has been shrinking
and losing her dominant position in many countries. In the
last few decades, what started as a trickle has become a flood.
When Jesus returns, will he still find faith on earth?
God of course is not asleep or unconcerned. When the Church
is low, God sends waves of renewal to revive and strengthen
His Church. God still wants all humankind to be saved. This
is why in this third millennium, the Holy Spirit is calling
the Church to the New Evangelization. But the challenge is
the new wineskin.
will this new wineskin be like? It will stress the following
Evangelization and mission as the primary and topmost
mission of the Church. It must be rapid and massive, insistent
and persistent, reaching the grassroots at the peripheries.
on the calls to discipleship, servant leadership, holiness
and the cross.
Lay people taking on Christ’s ministry as priest,
prophet and king.
return to the methodologies of Pentecost.
new wineskin is not just a new program or a new set of programs.
Rather, it is a total approach and mindset, that has a clear
vision for what is needed and how it is to be accomplished.
It ought to be a concerted effort by the whole Church.
new wineskin is the Live Christ, Share Christ (LCSC)