THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
EMPOWERED FOR MISSION
May 12, 2013
Jesus told his disciples, “I am going to the Father.”
(Jn 14:12b). Now Jesus does so, as “he parted from them
and was taken up to heaven” (Lk 24:51), as “he
was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.”
he ascended into heaven, Jesus commissioned his disciples
to carry on his work, as he told them, “repentance,
for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses
of these things.” (Lk 24:47-48). He had formed them,
he had trained them for three years, he had sent them on mission,
and now they were on their own.
how could mere human flesh do divine work, and do even greater
works than Jesus? They needed to be empowered. And so Jesus
also told them, “stay in the city until you are clothed
with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49b). How was that
to come about? They needed to “be baptized with the
holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:5b).
happens with the baptism in the Holy Spirit? Jesus says, “you
will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and
you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and
Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8).
The baptism in the Spirit is empowerment for worldwide mission.
is the very power of God, given to human beings in order to
fulfill the very commission of Jesus. It is a continuation
of God’s work of salvation. The Father sent His Son,
who suffered and died for us in order to win for us our salvation.
God worked in power, “raising him from the dead and
seating him at his right hand in the heavens (Eph 1:20). Now,
through baptism in the Spirit upon those whom God has called
and chosen, we “know what is the hope that belongs to
his call.” (Eph 1:18b). What is that? It “is the
surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord
with the exercise of his great might” (Eph 1:19).
those who BE.LI.EV.E will not only do the works that Jesus
did, but even greater ones that those (Jn 14:12a).
With Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, the power of
the enemy has been shattered. God “put all things beneath
his feet and gave him as head over all things” (Eph
1:22). “For God is king over all the earth” (Ps
47:8a), with Jesus reigning “far above every principality,
authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (Eph
1:21). Now this “great king over all the earth ....
made people subject to us, nations under our feet” (Ps
47:3b-4a). Not only are all things under the feet of Jesus,
but all nations are under our feet. We have been given the
power of God to do greater works, in order to proclaim the
gospel to the ends of the earth, and bring God’s dominion
over all the nations.
working at the New Evangelization, we help establish God’s
dominion on earth, while Jesus the King awaits in heaven.
“God rules over the nations; God sits upon his holy
throne.” (Ps 47:9). Unlike the disciples, we need no
longer ask, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore
the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6b). Jesus already has,
but we need to work so that the nations of the earth will
recognize such authority, and accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.
Then Jesus will come again, as “this Jesus who has been
taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way
as you have seen him going into heaven.” (Acts 1:11b).
let us do our part. Let us get to work. Let us not wait for
two men dressed in white garments to stand beside us and say,
“Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking
at the sky?” (Acts 1:11a). Let us be about the work
of the New Evangelization.