FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
LOOKING TO GOD’S HOUSE
September 24, 2015
Today’s reading: Haggai 1:1-8
What is new for us in CFC-FFL with regard to the New Evangelization? It was already prophesied when we in 2007 took on a particular Core Value, which is Being a Servant to the Church. The fullness of this Core Value only began to be understood later. It found its fruition in the LCSC movement.
It came about as a reflection of how our evangelization had stalled and our community life had been lived in infidelity. “Now thus says the Lord of hosts: Reflect on your experience!” (v.5).
- “You have sown much, but have brought in little” (v.6a). We have been doing a lot of work, but have hardly dented the surface of the renewal work that needs to be done. 99 of the 100 sheep are still lost.
- “you have eaten, but have not been satisfied” (v.6b). We have learned much about the Christian life as we have been given solid food in our formation and teachings, but still feel empty and not fulfilled. Something is still missing.
- “You have drunk, but have not become intoxicated” (v.6c). We have been baptized in the Spirit, but have not been truly filled with the Spirit. We have not brimmed with zeal and passion for mission. We have not worshiped in a way that people would think we were drunk, as in Pentecost.
- “you have clothed yourselves, but have not been warmed” (v.6d). We have put on Christ, but have not fully clothed ourselves in righteousness and holiness.
- “And the hired worker labors for a bag full of holes.” (v.6e). We have evangelized millions, but see many of them no longer active in community and others not participating fully in our life and mission.
We had been gung-ho on rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization, but growth in numbers has slowed down. We are supposed to grow in holiness of life and zeal for mission but many have remained static, becoming comfortable and complacent. Brethren have been reluctant to step up in leadership. “You expected much, but it came to little” (v.9a). On top of that, there are conflicts in community, even among top leaders. There are strife and division and scandal, causing dismay in brethren who might then leave community. And so, “what you brought home, I blew away.” (v.9b).
We wondered: why is this? What are we still do do? What is missing? “Why is this?” (v.9c). “Because my house is the one which lies in ruins, while each of you runs to your own house.” (v.9d). While we say we have been serving the Lord, we have actually been serving ourselves. We have been self-referential. We look to our personal salvation, to the well-being of our families, to the security of our homes. Well and good. But we have not done enough to look to the well-being of the whole Church. We reach out to many but have not done enough to reach the 99. We strengthen our community but have not worked to strengthen the parish community. We feel we are OK now, being in the Lord and securing our families, but have neglected the larger family of God, the many who are still lost and the Church that is threatened from without and from within. “Is it time for you to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies in ruins?” (v.4).
So what are we to do now? The Lord has now shown us the true work of evangelization and mission. “Go up into the hill country; bring timber, and build the house that I may be pleased with it, and that I may be glorified, says the Lord.” (v.8). We are to help rebuild our Church! To bring back the lost sheep. To strengthen the local churches (our parishes), not just our domestic churches (our homes). To resist the enemy within that seeks to bring in Modernism. To uphold authentic Church teaching and the Magisterium. To do a truly massive work of evangelization. This is LCSC.
Brethren, look back and see what has happened, what is still happening today, and then look forward. Read the signs of the times. Discern the prophetic leading of the Spirit. So once again the Lord speaks. “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Reflect on your experience!” (v.7).
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