FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
OUR WORK OF EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION – 7
January 23, 2016
Today’s gospel: Mark 3:20-21
Today’s very short gospel reading teaches us a lot about mission.
“He came home.” (v.20a).
Jesus was very, very busy in ministry, but he found time to come home. Our home and our family are our base for mission. This is where we can rest and are refreshed and rejuvenated, in the company of our loved ones. Of course in Jesus’ case, that might have been his intent, but it did not happen. He could not rest and just relax because “again the crowd gathered” (v.20b). And even some of his relatives, instead of giving him comfort and consolation, criticized him as being out of his mind (v.21). But anyway, home life is very important for us in order to allow us to sustain mission.
But family and home life are not ends in themselves. Of course we have responsibilities and we attend to these. But in the end, the home life is there not just as a blessed environment where the people of God grow, chronologically and spiritually, but as a base for mission. Jesus left his parents at age twelve in order to speak and listen to the elders at the temple. Simon and Andrew and James and John left their families and their family business to follow Jesus.
“Again the crowd gathered, making it impossible for them even to eat.” (v.20b).
There is a spiritual hunger in people, even if they do not show it or they do not know it. The harvest is rich. To trigger that hunger, they need to hear the gospel. If we do what God wants us to do as He sends us forth, and if we act according to the methodologies of the Spirit starting from the day of Pentecost, then there will be a rich harvest. As it is now, the few who evangelize often face dry soil. But there are ministries that do flourish. And here the workers have much work to do, many territories to cover, many opportunities to seize.
This is what is happening now with LCSC. Even as our own CFC-FFL evangelization has stalled (which is the situation with many other renewal communities), those who have seen the vision and are acting accordingly can hardly keep up with the demands for our LCSC programs. And we are just starting! Our brethren complain now of the hard soil. Later we hope to “complain” about the richness of the harvest, and having not as much leisure and family time as we used to have.
“When his relatives heard of this they set out to seize him, for they said, ‘He is out of his mind.’” (v.21).
Those closest to us, especially family and friends, sometimes (or often) do not understand our desire and commitment to do what God wants us to do.
- The parent who does not allow his son to be a priest or his daughter to be a lay fulltime pastoral worker in a renewal community. They might say, “Are you crazy? I sent you to school so you could be a priest or a missionary? What a waste!”
- The wife who makes it difficult for her husband, already zapped by the Lord, to respond with zeal and commitment, because he now spends more time outside the home.
- The best friend who is now a successful executive who keeps chiding his friend for choosing to serve God in community and get a low salary.
The life we have chosen, with the commitment we give to it, seems foolish to many in the world. This is especially painful, since our home is our haven, and our friends are our consolation. But that is the price we pay to respond to God’s call and serve Him.
On top of all of these, we of course face the enemy outside. They might even be those inside our Church and in our parishes. LIke the scribes who said Jesus was possessed by Beelzebul (v.22)! Have you experienced being maligned or slandered by a co-worker in the parish or in the Christian community? It unfortunately happens quite often.
Jesus calls us to be his evangelizers and missionaries. It will be challenging and not an easy life. But it will be an absolutely glorious life.
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