THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
INTO SPIRITUAL WARFARE
1 Peter 5:5-14
Jesus commissioned the apostles, and by extension all of us
who are his disciples: “Go into the whole world and
proclaim the gospel to every creature.” (Mk 16:15).
In this work, God’s people:
drive out demons” (Mk 16:17b). We assault the dominion
of Satan and we help free his captives.
pick up serpents with their hands” (Mk 16:18a). We
contend with diabolical spirits but are protected by God.
“if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm
them.” (Mk 16:18b). We rush into the thick of battle,
a life-and-death struggle, but come out victorious in the
lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mk
16:18c). We help overturn the effects of Satan’s dominion,
including illnesses, and bring people back to God’s
intent of personal well-being.
Thus the work of evangelization is an assault against Satan.
Engaging in it automatically involves us in spiritual warfare.
Satan, who has dominion over the world, actually seeks to
expand his dominion, “prowling around like a roaring
lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pt 5:8b). In
our case, we bring the fight to him!
Satan is a powerful spiritual being (and only Jesus is more
powerful than him), we can expect to be afflicted in this
battle. There will be suffering and pain. In this we know
that our “fellow believers throughout the world undergo
the same sufferings.” (1 Pt 5:9b).
How can we endure, survive and even thrive?
knowing we are into spiritual warfare, we must “be sober
and vigilant.” (1 Pt 5:8a). The devil never rests and
is ever aggressive. We cannot be complacent. We cannot be
distracted or too involved in other lesser things. We must
always be on guard. And we are to actively and aggressively
“resist him, steadfast in faith” (1 Pt 5:9a).
knowing we are soldiers of Christ, with Jesus as our Commander-in
Chief, we need to be a disciplined force. The Church has a
hierarchy, as do lay communities as well. We must practice
active submission to those over us. “Likewise, you younger
members, be subject to the presbyters.” (1 Pt 5:5a).
This ensures unity, order, peace, and moving forward as one.
knowing that the favorite attack of Satan is to foment division
and strife in communities, often focusing on our pride, we
must be humble. We must look to the good of our brethren.
We must consider what is best for the whole community rather
than our own preferences or agenda. We must be quick to forgive
and to ask for forgiveness. “And all of you, clothe
yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another”
(1 Pt 5:5b). We must work on our loving fraternal relationships
and strive for peace with all in the community. “Greet
one another with a loving kiss. Peace to all of you who are
in Christ.” (1 Pt 5:14).
model is Jesus himself, who though he was God took on the
posture of a slave. But we know that ultimately God exalted
him. This is a basic principle. God allows us to be laid low
in order to raise us up. God knows what devastation the great
sin of pride can do in our lives. Further, it is only when
we become empty vessels that God can truly use us as His effective
instruments, stripped of all pretensions and personal preferences.
“‘God opposes the proud, but bestows favor on
the humble.’ So humble yourselves under the mighty hand
of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” (1 Pt 5:5c-6).
knowing God loves us and extends His protection and care upon
us as His beloved children, we must never be afraid, no matter
what opposition or oppression we are facing. We are in God’s
hands. He has a great plan for us. We are already victorious
in him. We are destined for heaven. So what is there to be
worried about? “Cast all your worries upon him because
he cares for you.” (1 Pt 5:7).
Thus, in the work of the New Evangelization, we are into spiritual
warfare. We are in God’s army and we oppose Satan. We
will be bloodied, but we already have the victory. We just
need to endure and persevere. “The God of all grace
who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will
himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after
you have suffered a little.” (1 Pt 5:10). We are blessed
as we engage in battle under the banner of our Lord. “Blessed
the people who know the war cry, who walk in the radiance
of your face, Lord.” (Ps 89:16).
call to the New Evangelization has been sounded. Let us do
as the apostles did, as “they went forth and preached
everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed
the word through accompanying signs.” (Mk 16:20).
us continue to assault the dominion of Satan in the world,
and be used by God to restore the dominion that rightly belongs
to Him. “To him be dominion forever. Amen.” (1