COMMISSIONED AND EMPOWERED

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION

(Part 57)

COMMISSIONED AND EMPOWERED

Ascension Sunday

May 17, 2015

Today’s readings:

Acts 1:1-11

Mark 16:15-20

God commissions us. “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” (Mk 16:15). God empowers us. “But 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 work is to proclaim the gospel (kerygma) and to witness to Jesus. The harvest field is the whole world, to the ends of the earth.

The empowerment is through being “baptized with the holy Spirit.” (Acts 1:5b). This is infilling with the Holy Spirit, who is the agent of evangelization and who provides us the power to go forth with the gospel.

This work is most crucial, for people to experience the salvation already won for them by Jesus on the cross. They need to respond to what Jesus has done for them, with repentance and faith. “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned.” (Mk 16:16).

Jesus, done with his work, “was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.” (Mk 16:19b). Now it is our turn. We have been commissioned. Let not the angels have to ask us, “why are you standing there looking at the sky?” (Acts 1:11a). Just like the apostles, we are sent forth, and we are to obey Jesus’ command. “But they went forth and preached everywhere” (Mk 16:20a).

Onward to the New Evangelization!

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