THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2016
MERCY AND EVANGELIZATION - 2
2 Timothy 4:9-17
“The Lord is just in all his ways, merciful in all his
works.” (Ps 145:17). Mercy is not giving the punishment
that is due. Justice is giving what is due. How do these two
virtues intersect? It is through the work of evangelization.
is due to man, according to God’s own plan and desire,
is salvation, and life eternal in heaven. How does that happen?
By the mercy of God, by which God sent Jesus into the world
to suffer and die for man, to pay the price for man’s
transgression, and thus pave the way to reconciliation with
God. But man needs to be told of that salvation so he can
turn to faith in Jesus. This is accomplished by means of the
work of evangelization, the proclamation of the good news
of salvation in Jesus.
is “making known to the sons of men your mighty acts,
the majestic glory of your rule.” (Ps 145:12). When
the gospel is proclaimed and they call upon the name of the
Lord, then they are saved. “The Lord is near to all
who call upon him” (Ps 145:18a).
is God made known to men? How is the gospel proclaimed? This
is the work of evangelizers, of disciples of Jesus, of apostles
(those who are sent). This is what Jesus did. “After
this the Lord appointed seventy-two others whom he sent ahead
of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.”
(Lk 10:1). Their basic message was this: “The kingdom
of God is at hand for you.” (Lk 10:9b).
Now Jesus says, “The harvest is abundant” (Lk
10:2a). Why will the harvest be abundant? Because God wants
all men to be saved. Because the grace and mercy of God are
bountiful. Because the power of the Holy Spirit is at work.
But for there to be a great harvest, there needs to be massive
evangelization. For this, there is a need for many proclaimers
of the gospel. Unfortunately, “the laborers are few”
those laborers are there. Aside from our own CFC-FFL members,
they are the very many lay parish leaders and workers. Their
focus just needs to be reoriented. Their passion just needs
to be ignited. Their methodologies just need to be updated
(with new wineskins). That is what LCSC can provide.
When people do evangelistic mission work, they can expect
to be opposed by the evil one. They are sent “like lambs
among wolves.” (Lk 10:3b). Unfortunately, some of those
wolves are the enemy within. They often are fellow workers,
missionaries, elders in community. As a sampling:
who return to a worldly life. One such was Demas, described
by Paul as “enamored of the present world, deserted
me” (2 Tm 4:9a).
Those who dissent from community authority and order. One
such was Alexander the coppersmith, described by Paul as
one who “did me a great deal of harm” and who
“has strongly resisted our preaching.” (2 Tm
Those who abandon their co-workers in times of oppression
and persecution. This was the experience of Paul. “At
my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone
deserted me.” (2 Tm 4:16a).
But if God authentically calls us and we submit as His holy
workers, since this is God’s work and we are mere instruments,
God will protect us. “And I was rescued from the lion’s
mouth.” (2 Tm 4:17b). Not only that, the gospel will
be proclaimed in the power of the Spirit. “But the Lord
stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation
might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it.”
(2 Tm 4:17a).
it then be said of us, who are called to be mercynaries and
holy warriors, “They speak of the glory of your reign
and tell of your mighty works.” (Ps 145:11).