FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES
October 23, 2015
Today’s gospel: Luke 12:54-59
Jesus has a pointed question (or perhaps a condemnation) for many of us in the Church today: “why do you not know how to interpret the present time?” (v.56b). Yes, why? When it should be very obvious to the serious observer who is a man of faith. What can we say about the present time?
Most basically, we are in the end times. When Jesus was asked what would be the sign of the end of the age, he cited many things that are happening today—wars, famines, natural calamities, persecution, false prophets, increase in evildoing, many fallen away. While we have had these through time immemorial, these have intensified greatly today and have taken on greater diabolical dimensions.
For one, there is a concerted assault on faith, family and life. These are led by great human powers—the US under Obama, the EU and the United Nations. These powers are imposing the reproductive health and gender ideologies on the world. What we are witnessing is a radical overturning of centuries of Judeo-Christian culture and values. We face a new paganism.
For another, Christians are increasingly persecuted. This comes from radical Muslims in the Middle East and Hindu extremists in India, but also from well-dressed and urbane government officials such as liberal US judges, EU commissioners or UN bureaucrats. This comes in the form of severe physical assaults such as beheading, crucifixion or immolation, but also in the form of government prohibition of prayer or the Ten Commandments in offices, arrest of peaceful pro-lifers praying at abortion clinics, or criminal persecution of businesses that decline to serve gay couples.
What else? We see a severe loss of faith, manifested by a severe drop in Church attendance and consequently empty churches (particularly in the west). In fact, 99 of the 100 sheep are lost. There is widespread immorality even among the “faithful.” Very many Catholics live in, contracept, divorce, abort and engage in gay sex. What has always been immoral has become the new normal.
What has been the Church response to the above? Well, there is the call to the New Evangelization. But what do we see so far (generally speaking)?
- Parishes are very busy but are not effectively reaching out to and bringing back the lost sheep.
- Some bishops are pushing for accommodation for those in sinful situations such as cohabitation, divorce and remarriage, and same-sex unions. These bishops have reached the Synod of Bishops with their proposals!
- Most priests and lay leaders are clueless as to how to respond to the call to the New Evangelization. Parishes are just continuing on with whatever programs and ministries they have had all this time.
- Many priests and lay leaders do not seem alarmed by the tsunami of evil overwhelming the whole world. It seems to be business-as-usual. There is no sense of urgency.
So Jesus asks us, “Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?” (v.57). Given the clear signs of the times above, what is right for us to do?
- We must engage in massive re-evangelization of lapsed and nominal Catholics. They are baptized pagans. We must aggressively go after them and bring them back to God and back to the Church. We must go to the grassroots and peripheries.
- We must start to involve the whole Church in this massive effort, especially the laity. Those who are brought back to Christ must go forth and share Christ. Parishes are to take on and live out the missionary nature of the Church.
- We must confront the enemy within, especially those serving the Church as clerics, religious and lay leaders. We must fight and weed out Modernism in the Church.
- We must grow in holiness and thus be effective witnesses to Christ.
How can we do the above? We in CFC-FFL have already been shown the way. This is through the LCSC movement.
Let us read and interpret the signs of the times. Let us do what is right. Let us realize the great urgency of our situation. Let us give of ourselves wholeheartedly and passionately to the cause of Christ. Let us not just go through the motions of our Christian faith but fail to conform ourselves to the core of that faith. Otherwise, we will hear Jesus tell us, “You hypocrites!” (v.56a).
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