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(Part 38)


August 31, 2015

Today’s readings:
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Psalm 96:1-13
Luke 4:16-30

The very mission of Jesus is “to bring glad tidings to the poor, .... to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free” (Lk 4:18). This is our mission as well. This is through our work of evangelization and total human liberation, looking to both the spiritual and material aspects of poverty, such that there will be no one in need.

The goal of the work of evangelization is to enable people to experience the salvation already won for them by Jesus on the cross. Those who are saved then are destined for eternal life with Jesus in heaven. At the second coming, “the Lord himself, with a word of command, with the voice of an archangel and with the trumpet of God, will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Th 4:16-17). We will be with God eternally in heaven.

So Jesus came the first time, as the suffering servant who is the Savior. And Jesus will come again a second time, as the victorious King. What needs to happen in between? Jesus already won for us our salvation, but we need to accept him as Savior and Lord, to call upon the name of the Lord so that we will experience that salvation. For that we need to believe; for that we need to hear the gospel; for that others need to preach or share Christ. This then is our work of evangelization, especially the initial proclamation of the gospel.

So what do we need to do? We need to “proclaim his salvation day after day.” (Ps 96:2b). We need to engage in rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization. We need to proclaim Christ so that people will meet Christ and begin to live Christ, and later on themselves share Christ. “Tell his glory among the nations; among all peoples, his marvelous deeds.” (Ps 96:3). We are to “give to the Lord the glory due his name!” (Ps 96:8a).

Jesus will return. Before he does, we must do a massive work of evangelization, so that all will have the opportunity to be saved, before it is too late. “Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice; .... let all the trees of the forest rejoice before the Lord who comes” (Ps 96:11-13a). Massive work is at hand. The task is urgent. Many sheep are lost. We need to move decisively and with great commitment.

Share Christ so that others might meet and live Christ. Do this every day, as we look to rapid and massive evangelization. Experience what the early Church, from Pentecost and onward, experienced, when day by day the Lord added to their number those who were bring saved. This is the only way by which, year in and year out until the Lord returns once again, we can truly “proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” (Lk 4:19).

Only then can we say that there will be no one in need, as, upon the return of the Lord, people experience the fullness of salvation and liberation.

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Note: As a response to the call to the New Evangelization, CFC-FFL has initiated and pushed, among others, two major movements­the Live Christ, Share Christ (LCSC) movement (for evangelization and spiritual renewal) and the No One in Need (NONe) movement (for work with the poor and material/societal renewal).

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