FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
PENTECOST AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
May 24, 2015
1 Corinthians 12:3-13
When we look to the New Evangelization, we need to look to Pentecost and to the role of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is key to accomplishing the Great Commission and continuing with the salvific work of Christ. Jesus sends us, just as he was sent by the Father. “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (Jn 20:21b). In sending us, Jesus equips us with the Holy Spirit. “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Spirit.’” (Jn 20:22).
The Holy Spirit is key to effectively doing the work of renewal among God’s people. We are sent to the ends of the earth, and it is the Holy Spirit who empowers us to witness to Jesus, thus bringing about transformation in people. “Send forth your spirit, they are created and you renew the face of the earth.” (Ps 104:30).
The Holy Spirit provides the spirituality that is suited for worldwide mission. This is charismatic spirituality. “And they were filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” (Acts 2:4). The one language of love and the one message of salvation in Jesus is to be proclaimed to the world, certainly in different languages and dialects. The peoples of the world will hear proclaimers of the gospel “speaking in our own tongues of the mighty acts of God.” (Acts 2:11b).
The Holy Spirit provides the gifts that equip the Christian community to do the work of evangelization. “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit” (1 Cor 12:4). Every member of the body of Christ is given a gift, in order that he/she might participate in the overall work of evangelization. “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” (1 Cor 12:7). “But one and the same Spirit produces all of these, distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.” (1 Cor 12:11).
The Holy Spirit brings about unity in the body. “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Cor 12:13a). This unity is important for our witness, so that the world may believe that God send His Son Jesus. And this unity enables the body, being one, to work as one, focused on the one mission of proclaiming Christ to the world. “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ.” (1 Cor 12:12). The one body proclaims the one Savior and Lord.
The Church needs to rediscover the role of the Holy Spirit in evangelization, and look to the Spirit’s provision (spirituality, gifts, methodology) in effectively doing the work. Onward to the New Evangelization!
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Note: Read “The Holy Spirit, the New Evangelization, and Pentecost.”