FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
GO AND EVANGELIZE
April 6, 2013
Jesus said to the Eleven, and by extension tells all of us who are his disciples: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.” (Mk 16:15). This is the call to do rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization.
In this work, since it is so massive, and since God wants to extend the privilege to everyone, God will use anyone who is willing to be used. They may “be uneducated, ordinary men” (Acts 4:13b). Thus, on our part, we have no reason to claim that we are not capable or we do not have the needed resources. The basic requirement is simple: that we are “the companions of Jesus.” (Acts 4:13d).
In this work, we need to be prepared to be opposed and even persecuted. The enemy will not take lightly our attempt to liberate his captives. The apostles then were given by the Sanhedrin “a stern warning never again to speak to anyone in this name.” (Acts 4:17b). Today the opponents of the gospel are no longer just giving stern warnings, but are assaulting the faith and the faithful, using physical attacks, verbal abuse, legal maneuvers, and other diabolical actions, unleashed by the power of governments and powerful global institutions.
What is to be our posture today? It is the same as then, as articulated by Peter and John. “It is impossible for us not to speak about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20). No matter what we face, we must proclaim the gospel.
And so we are to go and evangelize everyone. If we do not, we might face what the Eleven did, when Jesus “rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart” (Mk 16:14b).
What constitutes unbelief?
* Not accepting that each one is called to be an evangelizer.
* Not expecting that God can and will work though anyone who is willing to be used by Him as an instrument of His will.
* Being held back by considerations of one’s own perceived lack of competence or ability.
* Not looking to the faith that works wonders.
What constitutes hardness of heart?
* Being cynical about the possibilities of people being converted to Christ.
* Not having enough concern for the souls of many who might be heading for hell.
* Being unwilling to sacrifice one’s time, comfort and resources in order to make a difference in the lives of people.
* Not loving others the way Jesus has loved us.
Let us not wait to be rebuked by Jesus. Go then and evangelize!
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