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(Part 8)


October 12, 2012

Today’s readings:
Galatians 3:7-14
Psalm 111:1-6
Luke 11:15-26

Faith is such a wonderful virtue. By faith:

  • We become “children of Abraham” (Gal 3:7).
  • We are justified by God (Gal 3:8a).
  • We “are blessed along with Abraham who had faith.” (Gal 3:9).
  • We “will live” (Gal 3:11b).
  • We will “receive the promise of the Spirit” (Gal 3:14b).

With Abraham as our father, with being blessed along with him, God would use us as instruments of blessing for the world. “Through you shall all the nations be blessed.” (Gal 3:8c). Faith connects us to God’s plan, starting with Abraham.

From Abraham, throughout the history of salvation, God has worked wonders by using human instruments. Among many others, there were “Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, .... closed the mouths of lions, put out raging fires, .... became strong in battle, .... received back their dead through resurrection.” (Heb 11:32-35a). Awesome deeds!

This is so fitting for an awesome God. The works of the Lord are great (Ps 111:2a), majestic and glorious (Ps 111:3a), wondrous (Ps 111:4a), and powerful (Ps 111:6a). Among other things, God gives His people “the lands of the nations.” (Ps 111:6b). God uses His people to assault the dominion of the evil one in the world, and “it is by the finger of God that (we) drive out demons” (Lk 11:20a). God uses us to take back the nations into His sheepfold.

Now such work, the work of evangelization, brings us into spiritual warfare. We face a powerful enemy. The reality is that “a strong man fully armed guards his palace” (Lk 11:21a). But Jesus is stronger than Satan, Jesus is victorious over Satan, and “when one stronger than he attacks and overcomes him, he takes away the armor on which he relied and distributes the spoils.” (Lk 11:22). We are here to despoil Satan and his dominion.

Once we have done so, once people have met Christ and experienced transformation, there has to be continued formation so that they live Christ. This is not only because the call is to holiness and perfection, but because if one does not move forward, he will move backward. And his condition might become worse. The unclean spirit expelled from a person might return, bringing back seven other spirits more wicked than itself (Lk 11:24-26). This is what has happened basically to the west, which were Christian nations that brought the faith to the world, but now are very secular and even anti-faith. As baptized pagans, as nominal Christians, they are worse off than when they were unknowing pagans.

Thus the work of evangelization is crucial. And we need more workers for the harvest. Thus those who have met Christ and are living Christ should also share Christ. The evangelized should become evangelizers.

The New Evangelization is a crucial work of God in today’s world. It is so crucial and important that we have one basic choice, as Jesus says: “Whoever is not with me is against me” (Lk 11:23a). There can be no fence sitters, or one who blows neither hot nor cold, or one who is complacent and comfortable, or one who has other personal priorities. There is a divide in the world, and even within the Catholic Church, and that is between the culture of life and the culture of death. God expects us to make a stand, and He depends on His people to do His work. If we do not respond, then the work does not get done. If so, then we would be acting against God’s interests. Either we decide to be with Jesus, fight for the culture of life, do the work of evangelization, or we in effect are against him. Not to decide to join Jesus is to decide to remain in the camp of the enemy.

The choice to respond to the Great Commission is stark as well. Jesus says: “whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Lk 11:23b). If we do not participate in the work of gathering the flock, then we in effect help in keeping them scattered, easy prey for the enemy.

We are equipped by faith, and faith works wonders! As we put our faith in Jesus, as we live by faith, as we work through faith, we will drive out demons and despoil the enemy. Through us, “the blessing of Abraham might be extended to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus” (Gal 3:14a). We establish God’s dominion in the lands of the nations.

With faith in Jesus, we will indeed do greater works.

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