FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
THE CALL TO HOLINESS
June 18, 2016
Today’s gospel: Matthew 6:24-34
The Church is called to the New Evangelization. An important element of that call is the age-old call to holiness. Unfortunately holiness is no longer being spoken of today. In fact, even within parts of the Church, even basic righteousness is neglected, and there is more accommodation of sin, at times in the guise of mercy and compassion.
What is holiness? It is to be set apart. It is not to be of the world. It is to belong to God, to live in His Kingdom on earth, to serve Him as Lord and King with our all.
Many Catholics today on the other hand have been co-opted by the world. You cannot distinguish them from the secularist world. Oh, let me correct that. In the area of the culture of death, in the assaults on family and life, Catholics in the western world often rank higher than the general population in accepting and advocating contraception, divorce, abortion, same-sex unions and euthanasia.
No wonder the Church is weak. No wonder we are losing Catholics by the day to the world, to sects and to cults. No wonder there are more and more Catholics who have become the enemy within. No wonder our Church is no longer living out its calling to be a missionary Church.
And no wonder why so many Catholics live such miserable lives. Always worrying about what to eat and what to wear. Always worrying and being anxious. Jesus tells us not to be that way (v.25,28a), to rather be trustful of a loving Father who provides richly for our needs (v.26,28b-30). “Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” (v.32b). Otherwise, we manifest our lack of faith. “O you of little faith” (v.30b). “All these things the pagans seek.” (v.32a). Are you a Christian or a pagan?
What then is our priority? It is to grow in holiness and to be fully embedded in the Kingdom of God. “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (v.33a). Then the provision of what we need is the bonus, as “all these things will be given you besides.” (v.33b). First things first, then every good thing follows.
The world and its allures continually beckon us. God too wants to draw us to Himself. Whom do we choose? You can’t have it both ways. “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (v.24). Unfortunately, many Catholics have chosen mammon. Do you then wonder why there is so much hate today for the Christian faith and for faithful Christians?
There is a crucial need for the New Evangelization. Get on board. Stop with excuses, even seemingly good ones like family and livelihood. Yes do not neglect those, but do not be exclusively absorbed by them, to the detriment of the call to holiness and helping build the Kingdom. Heed Jesus’ words about God’s provision. “Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.” (v.34a). With God intimately in our lives, yes we will be cared for.
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