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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
(Part 247)

ELEMENTS OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION – 6

November 30, 2018

Today’s readings:
Romans 10:9-18
Ps 19:2-5
Matthew 4:18-22


Jesus came to the world to save us. That is his basic work. That is our basic work as well. It is called evangelization. Our Church is a missionary Church. Unfortunately, most Catholics do not know what this work is all about, and many clerics are busy about many things but not focused on this particular work.

In this work of evangelization, there is one and only one process. Jesus sends us, we preach (proclaim, witness, testify), people hear the gospel, they believe, they call upon the name of the Lord (Rom 10:9-10), they are saved (Rom 10:13-15a). Jesus already called and sent His people, beginning from the apostles, the first disciples (Mt 4:18-22). He continues to call, and, if we respond, send his disciples. So Jesus got the process going by doing the very first part, which is sending. Now this is where it bogs down. Many of his so-called disciples do not preach or proclaim the gospel. This is the missing first step in the work of evangelization.

Now it is another challenge to move from proclamation. People need to hear the gospel, but many today are not interested to even listen. Then even if they hear, will they believe? “But not everyone has heeded the good news; for Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed what was heard from us?’” (Rom 10:16). Now this is no longer our part. It is God’s part. We evangelize, and God grants the grace to hear, accept and believe. But if we do not evangelize, then the process does not proceed at all. So we just proclaim the gospel, because “faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.” (Rom 10:17).

So we need to persevere in the work of evangelization. In fact, since this is the most basic work of the Church and of authentic disciples, then we need to give it our all. When Jesus called his first disciples, Peter and Andrew “left their nets and followed him.” (Mt 4:20). James and John left their boat and their father and followed him.” (Mt 4:22). They left the two most important aspects of people’s lives: their family and their livelihood. Today, these two important elements are what keep good people from giving their all to the work of becoming fishers of men. Not all of us today will be called to literally leave loved ones and livelihood in order to follow Jesus. But all of us are called to give top priority to the work of evangelization.

The proclamation of the gospel of salvation in Jesus is of the highest priority, and the work of evangelization is to the ends of the earth, intended to reach all. “A report goes forth through all the earth, their messages, to the ends of the world.” (Ps 19:5a).

The call today is to the New Evangelization. Among other things (please read my new book coming out soon for more), this means (1) a recovery of the missing first step, the proclamation of the gospel, (2) the need for focus and total commitment, and (3) the thrust to do a work that is rapid, massive and worldwide.

Then will the heavenly host cry out, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!” (Rom 10:15b). May you be counted among them.

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