THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
AN ACCEPTABLE TIME
Today’s reading: 2 Corinthians 6:1-10
We have been called to the New Evangelization. It is an urgent
and important call. Due to its urgency and importance, God’s
grace will be freely poured out in order to accomplish the
task at hand. God expects His people to proclaim the salvation
of God massively to the ends of the earth. “Behold,
now is a very acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”
(2 Cor 6:2b).
can we accomplish this awesome task? We need to understand
the call, what it entails, what kind of evangelizers we need
to become. We need to be clear on what God requires, on what
to expect regarding our mission. We need to go all out, not
to shirk our responsibility, not to downplay the importance
of our calling, but rather, “on the contrary, in everything
we commend ourselves as ministers of God.” (2 Cor 6:4a).
How do we truly become ministers of God? How do we carry out
it will be “through much endurance” (2 Cor 6:4b).
There will be “afflictions, hardships, constraints,
beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, vigils, fasts”
(2 Cor 6:4c-5). Wow! That is no walk in the park! We are engaged
in spiritual warfare. We will be bruised, beaten and bloodied.
We will become weary and even discouraged, at times to the
point of wanting to give up. Don’t. Endure, and you
will see the victory of our God.
we do divine work, we are witnesses to and ambassadors of
Christ, and as such we need to manifest the virtues that come
from God. Our witness can only be powerful and our work can
only be effective if it is done “by purity, knowledge,
patience, kindness, in a holy spirit, in unfeigned love, in
truthful speech, in the power of God” (2 Cor 6:6-7a).
We need to shed the ways of the world--impurity, impatience,
rudeness, lies, lack of integrity, looking to human strength
and wisdom. As God’s instruments, we need to be pure
and holy vessels.
engaged in war with the evil one, we fight “with weapons
of righteousness at the right and at the left” (2 Cor
6:7b). Our battle is against the principalities and powers.
We wear the armor of God and wield the sword of the Spirit.
We are soldiers of Christ, the holy and righteous One. We
march with the armies of heaven, mounted on white horses and
wearing clean white linen.
we persist and move relentlessly forward, not matter what,
through highs and lows, victories and seeming defeats, joys
and sorrows, pleasure and pain, “through glory and dishonor,
insult and praise.” (2 Cor 6:8a). Mind you, there will
be plenty of both. But whatever we are dealt at the moment,
we persevere and rejoice, without losing sight of our goal.
What happens to us is incidental; what is important is how
we ultimately accomplish God’s purpose.
we must know that the world will disdain us and will thus
afflict us, but we look not to the approval of the world,
but to that of God. Satan, the father of lies and the prowling
lion devouring many, will turn our world topsy-turvy in order
to discourage us. But we always look to the vindication of
God. We as God’s ministers have much to teach the world.
By our work and witness, we contrast negative external impressions
with positive inner realities. The world may not perceive
it, being blinded by the enemy, but God knows and sees. And
so “we are treated as deceivers and yet are truthful;
as unrecognized and yet acknowledged; as dying and behold
we live; as chastised and yet not put to death; as sorrowful
yet always rejoicing; as poor yet enriching many; as having
nothing and yet possessing all things.” (2 Cor 6:8b-10).
Such is the paradox of ministry.
such is the way we commend ourselves as ministers of God,
in this call to the New Evangelization. When we live and serve
thus, “we cause no one to stumble in anything, in order
that no fault may be found with our ministry” (2 Cor
What an awesome calling! We who are the people of God have
already received the grace and blessing of salvation, of knowing
Christ and living in him. Now we are called to share Christ,
to proclaim the good news of salvation in him. So “then,
we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.”
(2 Cor 6:1b). The grace of God is not just for us but for
all, and those who have come first are to help bring in those
who are still lost. Let us go about “working together”
(2 Cor 6:1a) in response to the call to the New Evangelization.
call on the name of the Lord as we go forth into the world.
We are assured that God is always there for us. “In
an acceptable time I heard you, and on the day of salvation
I helped you.” (2 Cor 6:2a).