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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
(Part 61)

THE NEW AND THE OLD

January 20, 2014
Today’s gospel: Mark 2:18-22


We are called to the New Evangelization, but that does not diminish the importance of what is old. In fact, evangelization can never be new in the sense that it is the same Jesus and the same gospel that are proclaimed. But processes, methodologies, approaches, etc., can be new, creative and refreshing.

So we have the old cloak and the old wineskin. At the same time we have the piece of unshrunken cloth and the new wine. How do these metaphors speak of the New Evangelization and our response?

The old is how we have always done evangelization in CFC-FFL. With our CLS, with our life and mission parallel to that of the Church, with our holistic work of bringing people to fullness of life in Christ through community. The new is LCSC, with its LCS, its integration into the life and mission of the Church, its synergistic relationship with parishes where fullness of life in Christ will happen. The new builds on the old, and the old supports the new.

However, the two are not one. The distinction between the two needs to be maintained. LCSC remains as a separate and distinct movement, even as CFC-FFL has given its “full embrace” to LCSC. There is synergy but distinction. CFC-FFL embraces LCSC but does not absorb it. On this rests the effectiveness of the LCSC movement, according to God’s plan.

There are pitfalls that would come from insisting on fully integrating the two.

“No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak. If he does, its fullness pulls away, the new from the old, and the tear gets worse.” (v.21). CFC-FFL, as a covenant community, focuses on formation, on helping members to fully live Christ. LCSC, as a movement, focuses on proclamation of the gospel, on helping lapsed Catholics meet Christ. While both CFC-FFL and LCSC have elements of both, the basic focus is different. As such, fully integrating the two can result in tension, confusion and conflict. The tear can get worse.

“Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the skins are ruined.” (v.22a). CFC-FFL needs to provide intensive formation, raise leaders, be deeply involved in the lives of its members. A CFC-FFL chapter cannot just do a lot of CLSs (even assuming it could get adequate numbers of participants) because it needs to attend to and absorb new members. LCSC on the other hand focuses on the LCS, on rapid and massive evangelization, not needing to raise leaders to care for LCS graduates, not needing to attend to ongoing problems of people, since these are absorbed by the parishes. If CFC-FFL and LCSC were one, a massive influx into CFC-FFL of new people who have gone through the LCS would immensely burden CFC-FFL, even threatening its very life, peace and good order. If the intensive formation of CFC-FFL were to be an integral part of LCSC, this would adversely affect its rapid and massive evangelization. In both cases, both the new wine and the old skins can be ruined.

“Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins.” (v.22b). The New Evangelization is manifested in the new movement of the Spirit that is LCSC.

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