FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
MEET CHRIST, LIVE CHRIST, SHARE CHRIST
April 2, 2013
Today’s reading: Acts 2:36-41
Today’s reading, with extending the text to the end of the chapter, gives us the dynamics and key elements of the work of the New Evangelization, which is to bring people to meet Christ, live Christ and share Christ.
After Peter talked about Jesus (Acts 2:22-35), he then said, “Therefore let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:36). Peter introduced Jesus to the crowd. The people met Jesus and got to know about his saving deed.
As there is power in the proclaimed word of God, as God indeed desires to touch the hearts and minds of people through the gospel, meeting Jesus elicited a reaction. “Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart” (Acts 2:37a). They knew they needed to respond, and so “they asked Peter and the other apostles, ‘What are we to do, my brothers?” (Acts 2:37b). Peter gave them the needed response. “Repent and be baptized” (Acts 2:38a).
Peter “testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them” (Acts 2:40a). The people were getting to know Christ even more.
Then there is the second phase. Those who have met Christ and are getting to know Christ are supposed to live Christ. This means a life of prayer, undergoing formation, having fellowship, living a communal life. The aim is to grow into the life of Christ. It is to become spiritually mature. It is to grow in holiness and righteousness. Thus the new converts “devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of the bread and to the prayers.” (Acts 2:42).
Finally there is the third aspect. Those who have met Christ and are starting to live Christ are also to share Christ. They are to evangelize. They are to proclaim the gospel to others. They are to do so with both a wordless witness of life and a vocal preaching of the good news. The disciples were “praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.” (Acts 2:47a). They were effective witnesses. Their life was attractive. And the results were impressive: “And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:47b).
God has given us our mission in CFC-FFL. We fulfill this in many ways.
We have crowd evangelization through LCSC, where very many people can be gathered and reached. In the case of that Pentecost day, Peter preached one sermon and “about three thousand persons were added that day.” (Acts 2:41b). We can mount one LCSC CLS and look to hundreds being reached. This is about rapid and massive evangelization.
In CFC-FFL we have our communal life. We have household meetings, “meeting together …. in their homes.” (Acts 2:46a). We have ongoing formation, both through teaching and communal life, to which members are supposed to devote themselves, to be faithful (Acts 2:42a). In the parishes where we serve, there is the Eucharist and the liturgy (Acts 2:42b). We grow in our brotherhood and sharing the one life of Christ. “All who believed were together and had all things in common” (Acts 2:44). We have our Family Ministries, as “the promise is made to you and to your children” (Acts 2:39a). We have our Social Ministries that reach out and serve others, especially the poor, striving to share our resources “according to each one’s need.” (Acts 2:45b). We have our worldwide evangelization, as the gospel is intended for “all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.” (Acts 2:39b).
What we have experienced and continue to experience is the pattern of Pentecost evangelization, which ought to be the model for the New Evangelization. God has shown us the way. We are to work so that all meet Christ, live Christ and share Christ. In this Year of Faith, let us continue to BE.LI.EV.E!
* * *