FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
PROCLAIMING THE GOSPEL
January 27, 2016
Today’s gospel: Mark 4:1-20
We as CFC-FFL are called to rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization. This is what we have been doing since the decade of the 1990’s. Now we are called to the New Evangelization. Our response is LCSC, still rapid, massive and worldwide, but much more rapid and massive, intended for all Catholics (and other Christians as well).
The primary program of LCSC is the Life in Christ Seminar (LCS). This is intended to mainstream Catholic lay evangelization based in our parishes. It is focused on the initial first step in evangelization, which is often the missing first step, and that is the proclamation of the gospel. Without such proclamation, due to the specific “process” given us by God (see Rom 10:3-15a), many people will not move on to experience the salvation Jesus already won for them.
So such massive proclamation, to reach everyone especially those in the grassroots at the peripheries, is crucial to our Church’s missionary calling. “The sower sows the word.” (v.14). Now proclaiming the gospel is no guarantee that people will be converted. In reality, the hearts of people is hard soil. The word preached may fall on the path only to be eaten by birds, or on rocky ground where it withers, or among thorns where it is choked (v.3-7).
Indeed, the world, the flesh and the devil conspire to prevent the word sown from taking root. There is the world of “worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things” (v.19). There is the weakness of our sinful flesh, where, even if we initially respond enthusiastically to the gospel (v.16), because our faith is not deep (v.17a), we fall and fall away “when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word” (v.17b). Then there is of course Satan, who “comes at once and takes away the word sown in them.” (v.15).
But some of that seed will fall on rich soil. “And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.” (v.8a). There will be those people “who hear the word and accept it” (v.20a). They not only hear the gospel and meet Christ, but they go on to live Christ, and “bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” (v.20b).
Here is the essential point: Though many to whom the gospel is proclaimed will not move on to conversion and transformation in Christ, we still need to proclaim the gospel to everyone, so that they have the chance or opportunity to hear and believe and thus be saved! We need to share Christ. If the gospel is not proclaimed to them, then they have no chance at all. Satan will be happy, as he does not even have to snatch away the word that is sown, as there is no sowing done at all.
It is a great mystery that God has entrusted to His people the sowing of the word, to do the very work of Jesus. But “the mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you.” (v.11a). And since the evangelization of the world depends on understanding this basic call to do the missing first step, that is, to proclaim the gospel, then how can the rest follow if this is not in place? How can one eternally be saved, or grow in holiness and Christian perfection, or be saints, martyrs and warriors, or build the Church of the Poor, or become peacemakers, or be the light to the world? “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?” (v.13).
We have been called to the New Evangelization. And we have been given the way to respond, which is LCSC.
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