FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
September 25, 2014
Today’s reading: Ecclesiastes 1:2-11
“Nothing is new under the sun! Even the thing of which we say, ‘See, this is new!’ has already existed in the ages that preceded us.” (v.9b-10). This can be said about the New Evangelization. The New Evangelization is about the old evangelization that was done from the time of Pentecost. In fact, the New Evangelization should be about re-discovering the principles of Pentecost, which resulted in massive evangelization of the pagan world.
However, unlike Qoheleth, we do not consider this as just vanity (v.2). It is something of the utmost importance. It is crucial to the life of the Church today and to the life of the world. And so as we look to the old evangelization of Pentecost, we look to striving to replicate the work in the call to the New Evangelization. “What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done.” (v.9a).
And so we should not share the frustration of Qoheleth, even as indeed we will at times encounter frustration in doing this work. Let us contrast the posture of Qoheleth and our own proper posture.
“What profit have we from all the toil which we toil at under the sun?” (v.3). Whatever the harvest, or the positive results of our efforts, what is important is to toil in the Lord’s vineyard. It is up to God to provide the fruit. Our part is to be faithful and never give up.
“One generation departs and another generation comes, but the world forever stays.” (v.4). We have done our work in CFC for generations, and some of those who were kids at the start are now parents and leaders. But the world is still the same. In fact the world is even worse, in greater darkness, with evil intensifying. Indeed, but we must look at those whose lives have changed for the better, including our own. If we are able to help save even just one soul, that should be reason enough to do this work.
“Shifting south, then north, back and forth shifts the wind, constantly shifting its course.” (v.6). We have our ups and downs. The most eager leader today is the dissident of tomorrow. The most involved member today is the lie low of tomorrow. Your most loyal follower today is the Judas of tomorrow. Instead of being able to build strength upon strength, we often find ourselves fighting a rear guard action. Instead of being able to rely on those already formed, we need to re-train and re-invigorate. But we just plod on. The winds may constantly shift, but the Spirit is constant and unchanging.
“All things are wearisome, too wearisome for words.” (v.8a). It is tiring at times. Especially if the desired results are not forthcoming. But we must know that such difficulties and challenges are precisely what form us with solid Christian values such as patience, tolerance, forbearance and forgiveness. This is why we can rejoice always. Even when we are dead tired.
“There is no remembrance of past generations; nor will future generations be remembered by those who come after them.” (v.11). And after all our effort, who will remember us or appreciate our work? Perhaps nobody, or perhaps just very few. But God knows, God remembers, God appreciates. We work for Him and not for the applause of people. Our names will be written on the palm of His hand. And since we are not rewarded on earth, our reward is building up in heaven.
Onward to the New Evangelization!
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