THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
THE CALL TO MISSION - 6
Today’s gospel: Matthew 10:24-33
Jesus has just assured the apostles that they will undergo
persecution. Not quite an encouragement for mission? On the
contrary. Jesus had asked them to follow him and they did.
They had left their nets, their families, their jobs. They
embarked on a journey to the unknown. But they learned to
trust and to love their Teacher and Master. Now here Jesus
was taking them to the next level. He told them of great persecutions
actually was a profound encouragement. They would walk the
very path of Jesus. They would be privileged to carry and
embrace the cross just as he would. Jesus was accepting and
acknowledging them as truly his disciples. They would share
the same fate, as a true disciple goes the way of his master.
“No disciple is above his teacher, no slave above his
master.” (Mt 10:24). They already knew this. But now
they were being made to see the glorious reality of it all.
“It is enough for the disciple that he become like his
teacher, for the slave that he become like his master.”
(Mt 10:25a). Indeed, that would be more than enough.
Jesus strengthens their resolve. He repeatedly tells them
not to fear. “Therefore do not be afraid of them.”
(Mt 10:26a). “And do not be afraid of those who kill
the body” (Mt 10:28a). “So do not be afraid”
(Mt 10:31a). We can see from Jesus’ repeated assurance
that for ordinary human beings, there would indeed be much
to be afraid of. But we are about God’s work, and the
grace of God is abundant, and the power of the Spirit is provided.
Here was the Master assuring his disciples.
“you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Mt
10:31b). Jesus had already taught them about how God cares
for the birds. So how much more would He care for His
not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill
the soul” (Mt 10:28a). Our ultimate destination
is heaven. Death is but a gateway. What is most important
is the salvation of souls, which is the work of those
who are sent.
is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that
will not be known.” (Mt 10:26b). Apostles proclaim
the concealed and secret coming of the Kingdom, and that
is the greatest service they can do for humankind. They
are commissioned by Jesus himself, and in this work they
will always have Jesus’ presence through the Holy
all the hairs of your head are counted.” (Mt 10:30).
God made us, Jesus knows us by name, the Spirit intimately
knows every bit about us. Before we ask for our needs
in prayer, God is already providing. Before we even recognize
the dangers we face, God is already building a protective
shield around us. Even as we are figuring out how to win
a battle, the Lord has already laid the groundwork for
So there will be persecutions. “If they have called
the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more those of
his household!” (Mt 10:25b). Persecutions indicate that
one is indeed doing God’s work, and is successfully
assaulting the kingdom of darkness. Therefore, all the more,
those who are sent should “speak in the light”
and “proclaim on the housetops.” (Mt 10:27). If
they are to be afraid, they should only fear the success of
the diabolical, who holds the world under his dominion, and
who leads many more to perdition. Thus, “afraid of the
one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna” (Mt
10:28b), we must resolve to intensify the work of evangelization
and mission, so that many more souls would not be lost.
the end of it all, we look to our eternal reward, and know
that all the suffering and pain would be worth it, because
Jesus will welcome his good and faithful servants, who proclaimed
him to others despite persecutions, to heaven. “Everyone
who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before
my heavenly Father.” (Mt 10:32).
there is a warning and a downside. “But whoever denies
me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.”
(Mt 10:33). Not to proclaim Christ is to effectively deny
him, because he has told us to proclaim the gospel of salvation
in him, and is relying on us to do his work. Not to do so
would be to turn our backs on him and his “need.”
to the New Evangelization!