THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
THE CALL TO MISSION - 7
Today’s gospel: Matthew 10:34-11:1
Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the only hope for peace in the
world, says something striking: “Do not think that I
have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring
not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man ‘against
his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law
against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be
those of his household.’” (Mt 10:34-36).
people in the Church think that to proclaim and follow Jesus
will result in just nice relationships and warm fellowship.
They are those who just want to be nice, friendly, accommodating,
liberal, not wanting to offend, being politically correct.
They say, why can’t we all just get along, and proceed
to not do or say anything that others might find offensive.
But in fact, since fallen human nature will result in some,
if not many, rejecting the gospel of Jesus, those who proclaim
it should be ready to be challenged, opposed, persecuted.
If they then persist, as they should, in proclaiming the one
true gospel of Jesus Christ, then there will be strife and
division. Unfortunately, such divisions will affect spouses,
families, best friends, church co-workers, etc.
rid his disciples of just some nice, fuzzy, romantic emotions
about mission work, Jesus now lays down the hard demands on
one who is sent. “Whoever loves father or mother more
than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter
more than me is not worthy of me.” (Mt 10:37). We are
to love God with our whole being. Everyone else comes second.
God loves the world so much that he gave His only Son to suffer
and die for us, to win our salvation. A great manifestation
of our love for Jesus is to obey the commission to proclaim
the gospel, so that many more would be saved. Jesus and the
attendant work of evangelization are thus more important than
family. Jesus of course does not intend family members not
to be loved or to be neglected. But they are not to come in
the way of the mission Jesus sends us on, as often family
becomes our excuse for not doing mission.
goes further: “and whoever does not take up his cross
and follow after me is not worthy of me.” (Mt 10:38).
If we truly follow Jesus, he leads us all the way to the cross,
which is our privilege to embrace. We are to give our all,
even unto death. We are to undergo suffering just as he would.
Jesus knows that a great obstacle to mission is comfort, convenience,
and a reluctance to suffer pain. On the other hand, the great
prod to mission and holiness is suffering for the cause of
a call is of course very difficult and challenging. Not many
are willing to give their all, even to God. It is so necessary
for Jesus’ disciples to understand what this whole call
is all about. We all want a good life, and this is in fact
what keeps some people from wholeheartedly responding to Jesus’
call, as they pursue what they believe to be the good life,
all on their own and on their own strength. Many times they
then find themselves lost on the wrong paths. Jesus proclaims
the seemingly contradictory truth: “Whoever finds his
life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake
will find it.” (Mt 10:39). Only in Jesus, only in expending
ourselves in his service, only in dying to self and our own
desires and agenda, will we ever find true life.
are called to represent Jesus, to carry on his very work,
to be his ambassadors. We stand in his place and we speak
for him. Though many will not honor the work we do and the
words we proclaim, those who do so will be greatly privileged.
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives
me receives the one who sent me.” (Mt 10:40). If only
those we try to evangelize realize what a great honor and
privilege it is for them, that when they receive those sent,
then they receive Jesus himself, and God who sent him.
those people who receive those sent will be rewarded. No matter
how small their deed, if they manifest welcome to those whom
Jesus sends out, then they will be rewarded. “And whoever
gives only a cup of cold water to one of these little ones
to drink because he is a disciple--amen, I say to you, he
will surely not lose his reward.” (Mt 10:42). Oh, if
only those being evangelized will recognize who it is that
stands before them, and show them even the smallest kindness,
they would be greatly blessed.
who are sent must be witnesses. They witness through their
silent holiness of life and through their verbal proclamation
of the gospel. Thus such a witness must be one who is “righteous”
and “a prophet” (Mt 10:41). To be righteous is
to walk along the path of holiness. To be a prophet is to
speak in the name of God, in particular here, to proclaim
Jesus finished giving these commands to his twelve disciples,
he went away from that place to teach and to preach in their
towns.” (Mt 11:1). Jesus gives the same command to us
today. Only now, Jesus is already in heaven, and we are the
ones to go and preach the good news in every town.
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