THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
BEARING WHATEVER FRUIT
Today’s reading: Acts 17:15-18:1
What should we see and feel about the world around us today?
Like Paul in Athens, “he grew exasperated at the sight
of the city full of idols.” (v.16). Today the idols
are everywhere -- icons enticing us to money, sex and power.
The traditional culture of faith, family and life is being
systematically overturned. It is a desperate situation, and
we must be roused to righteous indignation.
then do we do? We must evangelize. We must proclaim the gospel
of salvation in Jesus. We must share Christ. Many are ignorant
of the good news of Jesus. But in these dire times, as always,
God wants us to bring His light into the darkness, and His
truth to overcome the enemy’s deception. Now is the
time to act with great urgency. “God has overlooked
the times of ignorance, but now he demands that all people
everywhere repent” (v.30).
can we expect when we share Christ? There will be varied reactions.
Some will “scoff” at us (v.32a). They will have
no interest at all in the gospel message. They will think
we are from another planet, totally detached from how the
world is today.
will insult and malign us. As they said of Paul, “What
is this scavenger trying to say?” (v.18b). As they
realize that the gospel is contrary to their way of life,
they will be piqued. They will verbally assault us in return.
will misunderstand us. “He sounds like a promoter
of foreign deities.” (v.18c). They will have no clue
as to what we are talking about. Even Catholics, when we
start talking about the Jesus and about the Bible, may think
we are Protestants or of some other sect or cult.
will listen politely and express their desire to learn more,
but make no commitment as to when and how. “We should
like to hear you on this some other time.” (v.32b).
will be truly interested and will want to hear and learn
more. “May we learn what this new teaching is that
you speak of? For you bring some strange notions to our
ears; we should like to know what these things mean.”
there will certainly be others who will accept the gospel
message. “But some did join him, and became believers.”
(v.34a). What will be our batting average? We don’t
know. But even if there would be just one convert, we must
try to win that one over. Our part is to proclaim the good
news; it is up to God to provide the fruit.
this truth. God created everything. He is “the God who
made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and
earth” (v.24a). He created us, and “it is he who
gives to everyone life and breath and everything.” (v.25b).
But we are different from the rest of His creation. We have
a soul. Thus we long for our Creator. We may not know it.
We may be ignorant of who we really are. But the spirit within
us longs for God. It is such “that people might seek
God, even perhaps grope for him and find him” (v.27a).
In God is our all. “For ‘In him we live and move
and have our being’” (v.28a). Many times it is
hearing the gospel that triggers the emergence of this renewed
quest for God.
Here is another truth. We are in the end times, and thus the
times are urgent. God “has established a day on which
he will ‘judge the world with justice’”
(v.31a). When the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on
earth? The way things are going, there won’t be much
faith left. Many souls are going to hell. This is not in accordance
with God’s will, who wants all to be saved. We simply
need to do our part by proclaiming the gospel.
God wants all to be saved. That is why “he is not far
from any one of us.” (v.27b). God is near, God wants
a personal relationship with each one, but God simply waits
on people to respond to His love. For many, though God is
near, the gap might as well be huge. We then, called to evangelize,
are the ones to bridge the gap. We share Christ so that people
might meet Christ.