APOSTOLIC ZEAL

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

THE NEW EVANGELIZATION

(Part 194)

APOSTOLIC ZEAL

September 9, 2016

Today’s reading:  1 Corinthians 9:16-27

The call to the New Evangelization is a call to apostolic zeal. There are many to be reached, especially within the Church. The laborers are few. Those few, while praying for many more, ought to be zealous in responding to God’s call. They need to be consumed by it.

Such was the apostle Paul. “If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast, for an obligation has been imposed on me, and woe to me if I do not preach it!” (v.16). To share Christ is our responsibility and obligation. God depends on His people to preach the good news. We have been “entrusted with a stewardship.” (v.17b). The harvest is rich but the laborers are few. If we do not share Christ, then we disobey God’s command, and we leave the sheep lost and scattered. Woe to such Christians who do not respond to God’s commission, and respond with great zeal.

The gospel is to be preached to the ends of the earth. It is for all people. The zealous evangelizer, who is an instrument of God and His servant, makes himself “a slave to all so as to win over as many as possible.” (v.19b). It is all about massive evangelization.

If you have met Christ and are starting to live Christ, you must also share Christ. Our Church is missionary. Every Christian is to be an evangelizer. As we have been saved, we must also be instruments to bring Christ’s salvation to all. This is how we can have the fullness of the good news of salvation in Jesus. “All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.” (v.23).

We are to give our all to this work. We must be relentless and persevering. “I drive my body and train it” (v.27a). We must go all out to win others to God’s Kingdom, until we ourselves finish the race. “Run so as to win.” (v.24b). We must be disciplined and enduring, until we finally receive the crown of glory. “Every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.” (v.25).

Do you share Christ in your own way? Are you zealous for the gospel? Are you living out your duty to evangelize? Are you persevering despite hardships? Do you have a thirst for souls? Let not woe come upon us for not sharing the gospel.

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