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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
(Part 240)

ALL THINGS ARE VANITY

September 27, 2018
Today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 1:2-11


The Hebrew superlative “vanity of vanities” expresses utmost futility and emptiness and absurdity. It is radical skepticism about life. It is the sense of powerlessness and inability to change things for the better. Even God is remote and uncommunicative.

Now in the work of evangelization and trying to make the world a better place, Christians often experience the same frustrations. Our efforts seem to come to nothing. Evil still thrives. God seems not to be helping out. Why is it so hard to bring people to faith in Jesus? Why is it such a challenge to effectively proclaim the gospel? Why do Christian leaders fight among themselves? Why is there even the enemy within the Church?

“What profit have we from all the toil which we toil at under the sun?” (v.3). Is our work worth all the sweat and tears? “One generation departs and another generation comes, but the world forever stays.” (v.4). With all the work of the Church, people are the same from generation to generation, or perhaps are getting worse. We actually are losing Catholics by the day. “All things are wearisome, too wearisome for words.” (v.8a). We are tired, dejected, and just about ready to give up. “What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun!” (v.9). Things certainly seem to be beyond our control. We seem to be flowing with the tide. Can we actually hope to change people and the world for the better?

Now we have the call to the New Evangelization. But evangelization is 2,000 years old. “Even the thing of which we say, ‘See, this is new!’ has already existed in the ages that preceded us.” (v.10). It has been 2,000 years of Christianity, but when the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on earth?
Well, our call and mission have always been a challenge. Jesus did not say it was going to be easy. On the contrary. But God expects us to endure and persevere. We leave the fruit up to God. We simply rejoice in the privilege of having been given the responsibility for mission. We fully trust in him who suffered and died for us, and with whom we look forward to spending eternity in heaven.
Now that is not vanity.

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