THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
WE ARE WARRIORS
The New Evangelization is premised on the methodology of Pentecost
and the life and mission of the early Church. The Holy Spirit
empowered the disciples of Jesus to witness. Such empowerment
to witness was to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Thus the
work of massive worldwide evangelization needs to look to
Pentecost as the starting point.
the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples on the day of Pentecost,
they manifested charismatic praise. As they were filled with
the Spirit, they spoke in tongues. Some scoffed, thinking
they were drunk. Today some Catholics, including clerics,
look on charismatic renewal as a fringe activity in the Church.
The mainstream hardly talks about charismatic gifts such as
tongues. But charismatic spirituality is the spirituality
of massive evangelization. It is the spirituality of empowerment
to witness to the ends of the earth. It is the spirituality
proper to the New Evangelization.
in explaining that the disciples were not drunk, referred
to the prophecy of Joel (Acts 2:16-21). In these verses, these
are the important elements:
“It will come to pass in the last days” (v.17a).
We are in the end times, and thus the times are really urgent
(2) “I will pour out a portion of my spirit upon all
flesh” (v.17b). It will be the very Spirit of God
at work. The empowerment to witness is for everyone. We
just need to be able to appropriate what God is providing.
(3) “they shall prophesy” (v.18b). Not only
designated prophets, or for that matter apostles, will participate
in the work. Everyone is intended to be used by God, and
for that purpose, is given some charismatic gift (1 Cor
(4) “And I will work wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below” (v.19a). The work will
be accompanied by signs and wonders. Those who believe in
Jesus will do the works that he does, and even greater works
(Jn 14:12). Faith works wonders.
(5) “and it shall be that everyone shall be saved
who calls on the name of the Lord.” (v.21). The salvation
Jesus already won for everyone on the cross can be appropriated
by accepting him as Savior and Lord. To make it to heaven,
Anyway, Peter referred to the prophet Joel. So we look at
the book of Joel. Joel announces to Judah unprecedented disaster
due to natural calamities (consider the devastation throughout
the world due to typhoons, floods, fires, earthquakes, etc.).
He then announces the day of the Lord and exhorts the people
to return to the Lord. Then he speaks about the Lord’s
final judgment, with the Lord making His case against the
the Lord proclaims war!
this to the nations:
Proclaim a holy war!
Alert the warriors!
Let all the soldiers report and march!
is a call to everyone -- parents and children, young and old,
male and female (Jl 3:1-2), strong or weak. They are all to
be part of the armies of God.
your plowshares into swords,
and your pruning knives into spears;
let the weakling boast: “I am a warrior!”
is a call to all people, to the universal Church. It is even
a call for the angels of God to participate in this final
and come, all you neighboring peoples, assemble there!
Bring down, Lord, your warriors!
Rouse yourselves and come up (Jl 4:12a). “Wield the
sickle, for the harvest is ripe” (Jn 4:13a). There is
no time to lose. The work of evangelization is of the greatest
urgency. “For near is the day of the Lord in the Valley
of Decision.” (Jl 4:14b).
have been called to mission. We are to be the Lord’s