FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
THE WORK OF THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
September 1, 2015
Today’s reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
Why are we focused on the New Evangelization? Why are we pushing so strongly and aggressively for LCSC as our lay response to the call to the New Evangelization? Well, because the times are urgent and the time is short. “For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.” (v.2). When that day comes, that is the time of judgment. You either go to heaven or to hell.
Are we prepared? Is the world prepared? No. Many are worldly. Many find their security not in God but in worldly things. Many are complacent. Many think they are secure where they are, but will be shocked when the end comes. “When people are saying, ‘Peace and security,’ then sudden disaster comes upon them, like labor pains upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.” (v.3). They will not escape God’s judgment.
This situation of being in darkness is not what God wants. “For God did not destine us for wrath, but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (v.9). Jesus already won our salvation. He already paid the price. He already prepared the way for us to get to heaven. He “died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him.” (v.10).
But 99 of the 100 sheep are lost. Are we with the 99 or the 1? Have we truly met and known Christ and are we now striving to live Christ? We hope we are counted among the 1! “For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness.” (v.5). If we are with the 1, then we not only live Christ but we must share Christ. We need to help search for and bring in the 99. Jesus, who already won salvation for them, has entrusted us with this task.
Are we doing this work of evangelization? Or are we complacent? Comfortable? Having many other different priorities and not that of the Lord’s? Are we growing in holiness or just standing still (he who does not move forward will eventually move backward)? Are we helping the Lord’s work or are we obstacles to the Lord’s work? Are we recognizing the signs of the times, thus prompting a sense of urgency? Will we be able to face Jesus when he comes and say that we tried our best in the mission given us? “But you, brothers, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief.” (v.4). Let us not be comfortable or complacent. Let us not rest or just sip piña coladas at the Country Club. “Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.” (v.6).
Let us continue to live Christ, to grow in faith, hope and love. “But since we are of the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet that is hope for salvation.” (v.8). Authentic faith, hope and love—that is the way to holiness. Authentic faith, hope and love—these are what should motivate us to proclaim Christ, to share Christ, so that many more will meet Christ, live Christ, and be saved.
We need all hands on board, if you count yourselves as part of the 1. Let us go after the 99 lost sheep. Let us build up the core that is CFC-FFL so that we can do the work that is LCSC. “Therefore, encourage one another and build one another up” (v.11a). I hope to be able to add: “as indeed you do.” (v.11b).
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