FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
OUR WORK OF EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION – 4
September 3, 2015
Today’s gospel: Luke 5:1-11
Yesterday we saw that Jesus intended to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the different towns (Lk 4:43). Today we see Jesus starting his core group. He knew that he would win salvation for all, but that salvation would need to be proclaimed. The good news would then be more specific: it would be the good news of salvation in Jesus.
Why did Jesus start a core group? One, while he would already have won salvation for humankind, it would need to be accepted. To accept, one needs to believe; to believe one needs to hear the gospel; to hear, the gospel needs to be proclaimed. That would be the task of evangelizers and missionaries.
Second, that work of evangelization would be not just “to the other towns” but to the ends of the earth. The work needs to be rapid, massive and worldwide. The very work of Jesus, ultimately bringing people to God and experiencing salvation, would have to be done by human instruments. As Jesus told Simon the fisherman, who would become our first pope, “from now on you will be catching men.” (v.10c).
So evangelization starts with Jesus, passed on to Peter and the apostles, then to the 72 disciples, then to the Church established on the day of Pentecost, and has come down to us during this time. Since Jesus is the same, salvation is the same, the Holy Spirit as the agent of evangelization is the same, the Church is the same missionary church, then the basics of evangelization are the same.
In this short scripture passage today, we can draw out the basic principles of evangelization, the pitfalls in this work, and the elements of our needed response. But I will not elaborate on that in this paper, as the richness of this passage will not do justice to it by a short presentation. If you are serious about the work of evangelization, if you want to be fruitful in pursuing the Great Commission, if you want to be anchored on how God wants this work to be done, then you will have to read the very first book I ever wrote, way back in 1996, and that is “Fishers of Men.” If you have read it, it is time to re-read it, this time more intently and seriously, as the task, two decades since then, has become more urgent.
Right now I will just give you the outline.
At the back cover of the book, this is what it says:
Jesus has said: “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.” (Lk 10:2)
Today the fields are ripe for harvest. God has prepared a massive harvest that can compare with the heady missionary days after Pentecost.
God today is sounding a call to ask His people to participate in bringing in this harvest. It is a call of the utmost importance and urgency.
And God looks to you to respond.
Now we are called to the New Evangelization. The missionary principles are the same. God has already given us the blueprint. Indeed, God looks to you to respond.
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You can get a copy of this book “Fishers of Men” from:
(1) The FFL Shoppe. Apartelle 12, Starmall Complex, Shaw Boulevard corner EDSA, Mandaluyong City, Philippines. Telefax: (632) 722-0293. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(2) Amazon. Go to http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009WKANA6