FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
NO ONE IN NEED
EVANGELIZATION AND SOCIAL ACTION
January 10, 2014
Today’s gospel: Luke 5:12-16
After Jesus healed the leper, “great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments” (v.15b). The proclamation of the good news, resulting in meeting Christ, and the healing of physical illness go together. Evangelization and social action go together. Just one without the other would be an incomplete gospel.
The gospel is about salvation and liberation. Salvation is of the soul, while liberation is of the body. Sin cuts one off from God and the body of Christ, while leprosy cut the leper off from the Jewish community. Jesus the High Priest restores us, cleansed from sin, to his body, while the priest restored the purified leper to the community (see v.14b).
So social action and evangelization go together, and both are centered on Jesus. It starts with our going to the Lord in our need. The leper “fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, ‘Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.’” (v.12b). In turn, we repent, ask the Lord for forgiveness, and trust in his desire to cleanse us of sin. In both cases, Jesus will reach out to us and touch our lives. “Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, ‘I do will it. Be made clean.’” (v.13a). The effect will be the same. “And the leprosy left him immediately.” (v.13b). When Jesus forgives us, we are immediately cleansed of leprous sin.
There is just one big difference in the case of the leper and in our case. Jesus “ordered him not to tell anyone” (v.14a), because his time had not yet come. In our case, Jesus orders us to tell everyone, until the time he comes again. The good news cannot be contained. “The report about him spread all the more” (v.15a). We are among those cleansed who should proclaim this great good news to all.
Such is the call to massive evangelization through LCSC and the call to massive work with the poor through NONe. We are empowered to witness to Jesus, and if we truly give of ourselves to do his work, then we will see “great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments” (v15b).
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