THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
The Lord today reiterates our theme verse. “Amen, amen,
I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that
I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going
to the Father.” (Jn 14:12). The call to the New Evangelization
is about faith, faith that works, faith that works wonders.
It is about meeting and knowing Christ, living Christ, and
Catholics actually do not really know Jesus, because they
have never met him in a personal transforming relationship.
They might have been born as Catholics, raised as Catholics,
even go through the motions of being a Catholic, but they
do not live authentic Christianity in their day-to-day lives.
“Have I been with you for so long a time and you still
do not know me?” (Jn 14:9a).
there are those Catholics who have met Jesus, but who might
not allow such an encounter to truly change their lives radically.
If they did, then they would become other Christs, living
his way of holiness. The works of God would be patently manifest
in their day-to-day lives. “The Father who dwells in
me is doing his works.” (Jn 14:10c).
there are those Catholics who are striving to live holy lives,
but do not evangelize. Their spirituality is just for themselves.
They do not share Christ to the world through verbal proclamation
(though their silent witness can testify to Christ). As such,
since they have not become God’s instruments in missionary
endeavor, then, while they may experience the consolation
of the Holy Spirit, they will not experience His full empowerment,
which is geared towards mission, to be witnesses to the ends
of the earth. As such, they believe in Jesus, they do his
works, but they do not “do greater ones than these”
Jesus has gone to the Father (Jn 14:12c), and since his disciples
are supposed to carry on his work, then Jesus sends them on
mission to the ends of the earth. This work is extremely important.
It is the very work of Jesus, with us as instruments. Jesus
acts in and through us. As such, Jesus makes us an astounding
promise. “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do”
(Jn 14:13a). Jesus even says it again. “If you ask anything
of me in my name, I will do it.” (Jn 14:14).
this is not a magic formula. We hear people all the time praying
for certain things, ending the prayer with “we ask this
in Jesus’ name.” What we ask for will not automatically
happen. What we ask for might even be not in accordance with
God’s will or plan for us. What it means to ask in Jesus
name is that we are one in mind and heart with Jesus, that
we are obeying his will (not our preferences or desires or
agenda), that we are a holy instrument that he wields. If
such is the case, then Jesus will indeed do what we ask.
cannot consistently happen unless we have met and gotten to
know Jesus, are starting to live our lives in and for him,
and are allowing him to use us as his instruments.
are we to be God’s instruments to fulfill His purpose?
It is for us to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus
to the whole world. “I have made you a light to the
Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the
ends of the earth.” (Acts 13:47). We need to meet and
know Christ because it is he whom we proclaim. We need to
live Christ because we need to be witnesses, to be God’s
light in darkness. We need to share Christ, as instruments
of salvation. This is so important, because those who reject
the good news “condemn (themselves) as unworthy of eternal
life” (Acts 13:46b). Evangelization is all about entering
into eternal life. “All who were destined for eternal
life came to believe.” (Acts 13:48b).
we respond to the call to the New Evangelization, let us always
be mindful of certain important truths.
God “has done marvelous deeds” (Ps 98:1b). As
God’s evangelizers, we can too, and even do greater
right hand and holy arm have won the victory.” (Ps
98:1c). Jesus already won salvation on the cross, and that
is what we proclaim. As we enter into spiritual warfare,
we know we already share in the victory of Christ.
has remembered his mercy and faithfulness toward the house
of Israel.” (Ps 98:3a). God does not sent us off to
war and just fend for ourselves. He is there with us and
for us. He is faithful and merciful towards us His people.
the ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God.”
(Ps 98:3b). God sends us forth to be His witnesses to the
ends of the earth. We are to do a worldwide work of evangelization
and mission. And God has already prepared the harvest.
How then should we respond? “Shout with joy to the Lord,
all the earth; break into song; sing praise.” (Ps 98:4).
What a glorious privilege! What a critically important work!
What a divine gift given into human hands!
us evangelize with a passion, such that “the word of
the Lord continued to spread through the whole region.”
(Acts 13:49). Indeed let the light of Christ spread to the
a glorious life! “The disciples were filled with joy
and the holy Spirit.” (Acts 13:52).