THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
KNOWING JESUS AND MAKING HIM KNOWN
January 23, 2014
Today’s gospel: Mark 3:7-12
Jesus was a popular preacher. “A large number of people followed from Galilee and from Judea.” (v.7b). Jesus was a wonder worker, curing many diseases and driving out unclean spirits (v.10-11). “Hearing what he was doing, a large number of people came to him also from Jerusalem, from Idumea, from beyond the Jordan, and from the neighborhood of Tyre and Sidon.” (v.8). In other words, people came from all over in order to meet him, to know him, and to be touched by him.
How do people meet Jesus? They have the gospel proclaimed to them; they are evangelized. There are two things to point out in this passage with regard to evangelization.
One, “whenever unclean spirits saw him they would fall down before him and shout, ‘You are the Son of God.’” (v.11). There are many people in the world who are unclean and who do not recognize Jesus as the Son of God and as the Savior. It is ironic that unclean spirits recognize Jesus but the children of God do not. Unclean spirits even fall down before him, while people do not show him respect nor bow down before him in worship.
Two, “he warned them sternly not to make him known.” (v.12). His time had not yet come. But still the unclean spirits proclaimed Jesus as the Son of God. Those whom Jesus healed were also ordered by him not to proclaim what had been done for them, but they did so anyway. They were told not to tell, but they told. In turn, we his disciples are told to tell the world about him, but we do not. Again this is very ironic.
And so we are called to the New Evangelization. We proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus, so that many more will meet Christ, be transformed, start to live Christ, and themselves be compelled to share Christ. Then we can expect that an even larger number of people from all over the world will come to Jesus.