THE NEW EVANGELIZATION (Part 11): STEWARDS OF GOD’S GRACE

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

 

THE NEW EVANGELIZATION

(Part 11)

 

STEWARDS OF GOD’S GRACE

 

October 24, 2012

 

Today’s readings:

Ephesians 3:2-12

Isaiah 12:2-6

Luke 12:39-48

 

 

In the work of evangelization, we who are servants of the Lord Jesus are stewards. Like Paul, we have been given “the stewardship of God’s grace” (Eph 3:2). “This grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the inscrutable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8b). We are to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus, to pagans who have not heard the gospel and also to Christians who have become nominal or lapsed in their faith.

In this third millennium, in this Year of Faith, this work is crucial. Thus each follower of Christ is called to be a “faithful and prudent steward” (Lk 12:42a). If not, he will be punished. “That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely” (Lk 12:47). Why is that? It is because God is counting on His people to be instruments of His salvation to others. “This was according to the eternal purpose that he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Eph 3:11). Jesus went to the cross and won salvation for all, but this good news has to be proclaimed. That is our work.

We especially in CFC-FFL are called to be evangelizers. We exist to evangelize. Our continuing task: “among the nations make known his deeds” (Is 12:4b). God has blessed us over 31 years, and taught us how to go about this worldwide work in an effective way. We have accumulated a wealth of pastoral wisdom and experience, of servant leaders, of presence throughout the world. We are to use all these to do an even wider and more massive work of evangelization. And let us be mindful of what God expects: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Lk 12:48b).

 

Jesus our Savior has already won victory on the cross. Thus, despite the challenges of the work of evangelization, we must be “confident and unafraid” (Is 12:2b). In Jesus “we have boldness of speech and confidence of access through faith in him.” (Eph 3:12). We servants have direct access to the Master. We can boldly proclaim the good news. We can boldly charge into the fray, knowing that our “strength and (our) courage is the Lord, and he has been (our) savior.” (Is 12:2c).

 

We are living in the end times, and the work of the New Evangelization becomes even more urgent and crucial. We need to give even more of ourselves. We need to be faithful servants and stewards. Otherwise “that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish him severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful.” (Lk 12:46).

So we must continue without let-up on our work of evangelization. This work is until the Lord returns in glory. “Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so.” (Lk 12:43).

 

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