FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
CALLED TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
January 3, 2013
Today’s reading: 1 John 2:29-3:6
The New Evangelization is a call to meet Christ, to live Christ, and to share Christ. We can only truly do these if we strive to live and grow in righteousness. We are children of God (1 Jn 3:1a), disciples of Jesus, and instruments of the Holy Spirit. We are a people of God. This means we act in the ways of God. How is that manifest? “If you consider that he is righteous, you also know that everyone who acts in righteousness is begotten by him.” (1 Jn 2:29).
We meet Jesus and we get to know him. But here is the truth: “no one who sins has seen him or known him.” (1 Jn 3:6b). We are to live like Jesus. But here is the truth: “No one who remains in him sins” (1 Jn 3:6a). God is righteous and so should we be. Here is what we should know: “that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.” (1 Jn 3:5). Jesus is pure and sinless while we are not. But that is precisely why Jesus came into the world to redeem us. He has washed us clean by his blood. The challenge is now to remain spotless, to be like Jesus. “Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as he is pure.” (1 Jn 3:3).
We belong to God. But here is the truth: “Everyone who commits sin commits lawlessness, for sin is lawlessness.” (1 Jn 3:4). Lawlessness is the activity of the antichrist. It is hostility to God and rejection of Christ. It is the exact opposite of our call. So if we sin, we are no longer children of God but are children of the devil. If we sin, we have not truly met Jesus, we do not live like him, and we are unable to effectively share him to others.
But God reminds us through John, “Beloved, we are God’s children now” (1 Jn 3:2a). And “so we are.” (1 Jn 3:1b). And so we look to being restored to paradise. While in this life, Jesus has made the call to holiness and perfection. We are to be righteous and to live pure. We cannot fully appreciate how we can live according to the very holiness of God, for “what we shall be has not yet been revealed.” (1 Jn 3:2b). But we have an inkling. Jesus has already walked among us in the flesh. We now live by and through and in his Spirit. We look forward to what is to come, a perfect existence in heaven. “We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 Jn 3:2c).
What a very wonderful state to look forward to! What great motivation to live righteous lives!
But there is more. We not only meet Christ and live Christ, but we also need to share Christ. Meeting Christ is about our own conversion and transformation. Living Christ is about our becoming effective instruments to witness to him. If we met Jesus and are living for him but do not share him with others, then we are most selfish, for there are many others in the world who are lost, for the world “did not know him.” (1 Jn 3:1d).
But how can the world meet and know Christ? It is through us who reflect Christ. It is through us who proclaim Christ. Unfortunately there are so many so-called Christians in the world but “the world does not know us” (1 Jn 3:1c). The world does not see Christ in us. The world does not hear the voice of Christ through us. We need to share Christ.
The New Evangelization is a call to righteousness, so that we can meet Christ, live Christ, and share Christ.
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