THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
BEING PARTS OF THE BODY
January 27, 2013
Today’s reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-30
The New Evangelization is a call to all followers of Christ
to become evangelizers. The Church is missionary by nature.
As those who make up the Church, we too are all to participate
in the Great Commission to proclaim the good news of salvation
Church is the body of Christ in the world, where Christ is
the head and we are all parts of his body. “Now you
are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it.”
(1 Cor 12:27). In the body there are different functions,
just as the functions of our foot, ear or eye would be different.
All the parts of the body need each other, even the less presentable
parts. As such, there is to “be no division in the body,
but that the parts may have the same concern for one another.”
(1 Cor 12:25).
not only do the parts of the body need each other, but Christ
needs us humans as well. Jesus has entrusted to us the proclamation
of the gospel. If we do not do it, no one will. Paul says,
“The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I do not need
you,’ nor again the head to the feet, ‘I do not
need you.’” (1 Cor 12:21). Jesus’ eye saw
the people and “at the sight of the crowds, his heart
was moved with pity” (Mt 9:36a). Thus he told his disciples
to “ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers
for his harvest.” (Mt 9:38). We are the hands that will
bring in the harvest. Further, Jesus as head of the Church
has issued his marching orders to us all. We are the feet
that march to the Spirit’s cadence.
Now here is an interesting aspect in today’s reading.
Paul lists roles or functions of different parts of the body--apostles,
prophets, teachers, etc. (1 Cor 12:28). The Holy Spirit gives
gifts and assigns roles in order to accomplish God’s
purpose. “But as it is, God placed the parts, each one
of them, in the body as he intended.” (1 Cor 12:18).
wait a minute? Where are the evangelizers? Why are they not
part of the list? The reason is simple. While God assigns
different specialized parts to each member of the body, ALL
ARE SUPPOSED TO BE EVANGELIZERS. Each and every one of us,
aside from the specialized roles we are called to play, is
to be the hands and feet of Christ, handling his work and
plodding through the whole world to proclaim the gospel.
One more thing. We can readily see the importance and distinctiveness
of being apostles, prophets, teachers, doers of mighty deeds,
healers, etc. We know that not many will be gifted as such.
While God can use anyone, the extent to which He is able to
use us depends on our response to His call. In fact, God could
do so much more good in the world if only we responded more
fully and wholeheartedly.
see, God does use everyone, even the weakest and the least,
to be evangelizers. But this work of evangelization is the
most important, the most fundamental, the most critical to
accomplishing God’s purposes on earth. So we are sinful
and weak. But here is the truth: “Indeed, the parts
of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary”
(1 Cor 12:22). Each one of us is crucial to the work of evangelization.
us then be about the work of evangelization. Let us be the
hands and feet of Jesus. Then, even as we continue to struggle
with the fullness of God’s call to us, we can know that
our Lord will be pleased. Indeed, “those parts of the
body that we consider less honorable we surround with greater
honor” (1 Cor 12:23a).
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