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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
(Part 37)

AS JESUS RELATED TO THE FATHER

May 16, 2013
Today’s gospel: John 17:20-26


The New Evangelization is all about going back to the way God designed evangelization to be. This was manifested on Pentecost, with the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s disciples, and in how the early Church carried out her mission. But it was Jesus who showed the way, in his final prayer before his arrest and passion. Jesus pointed to his relationship with the Father, and thus showed us the way we are to go. Just as Jesus related to the Father, so are we to relate to Jesus. Jesus knew the Father, lived the Father, shared the Father. We in turn are to meet and know Christ, to live Christ, and to share Christ.

Jesus knew the Father. “Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you” (Jn 17:25a). Now Jesus has made God known to us. Jesus has revealed the Father, and in so doing has revealed the Son. God sent His own Son to redeem us. Because of Jesus’ words and works, “they know that you sent me.” (Jn 17:25b). To meet and know Jesus is to meet and know the Father, “as we are one.” (Jn 17:22c). We are to meet Christ.

Jesus lived the life of the Father. Jesus avers, “you, Father, are in me and I in you” (Jn 17:21b). Jesus reflects the very glory of God. “And I have given them the glory you gave me” (Jn 17:22a). We too are to live the life of God. Our light too is to shine forth. Disciples are to live Christ, “that they also may be in us” (Jn 17:21c). To live Christ is to be holy and to strive for perfection. This happens as we put on Christ, as Jesus says, “I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection” (Jn 17:23a). Jesus gave his life out of love for us. God is love, and the greatest Christian virtue is love. To live Christ is to manifest and share the Father’s love, and thus will Christ himself live in us, as Jesus says, “that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.” (Jn 17:26c). We are to live Christ.

Jesus shared the Father. He told the world of the Father’s love, “that you loved them even as you loved me.” (Jn 17:23c). “I have made known to them you name” (Jn 17:26a). Now Jesus continues to make God known, through us as his instruments, as we share Christ. In this challenging work, we are assured that this is Jesus’ own continuing work, as he says, “I will make it known” (Jn 17:26b). When we share Christ through the work of evangelization, then Jesus’ prayer will come to pass, as he said, “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word” (Jn 17:20). We are to share Christ.

Jesus has gone on ahead to heaven. That too is our destination. Jesus gave his life so that many more would be restored to the Father. Let us do our share in the work of the New Evangelization. Then we can help fulfill another prayer, and wish, of Jesus. “I wish that where I am they also may be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me” (Jn 17:24b).

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