FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
September 16-17, 2016
Today’s gospel: Luke 8:1-15
The way of New Evangelization given to us, and through us to the Church, is LCSC. Its primary program of proclamation is the Life in Christ Seminar (LCS). After the LCS, unlike in CFC-FFL where those who finish the CLS are brought into the community for further formation including being in households, the LCS graduates are supposed to look to the parish for further formation. Their community is the parish. Some criticize this methodology as inadequate, since those who meet Christ need to be formed in order to live Christ.
While indeed one who meets Christ should then go on to live Christ, the reality is that it starts with meeting Christ, through the proclamation of the gospel. The missing first step in evangelization is indeed such proclamation. This is what Jesus did. Jesus “journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.” (v.1). While Jesus also stayed around at times to expound on the gospel, the great majority just heard from him the initial proclamation of the good news. Formation later came in other ways. What first needed to happen was for the seed to be planted. “The seed is the word of God.” (v.11b).
Is it really lack of formation that causes one to reject the initial proclamation of the gospel and the seed that is sown? Not according to the parable of the sower. The enemies of the gospel are first the devil, then trials in life, then anxieties and riches and pleasures of life (v.12-14). In fact, I have encountered very many brethren who received intensive formation over many years, who as servant leaders even were the ones already giving such formation to others, but who later would fall away, failing to live out even basic teaching such as not resorting to gossip, slander, lying and building factions.
Of course formation is important, for it cannot be that “they have no root” (v.13b). But such formation will come, someway, somehow, for “the seed that fell on rich soil” (v.15a). What makes for such rich soil? “They are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.” (v.15b). Now these godly traits are not man’s work but God’s. To have a pure heart and endurance is simply by the grace of God. But to hear the word is simply through the action of man.
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