FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON EVANGELIZATION AND MISSION
WITNESSES TO JESUS
April 8, 2012
Today’s reading: Acts 10:34-43
Jesus is risen! This is the most significant aspect of our faith, the one reality on which everything hinges. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then we are still in our sins. But Jesus did rise. “This man God raised on the third day and granted that he be visible” (Acts 10:40). And so we are saved, for “everyone who believes in him will receive forgiveness of sins through his name.” (Acts 10:43b).
That is the good news. And good news needs to be proclaimed and shared. This is what the Great Commission is all about. “He commissioned us to preach to the people and testify that he is the one appointed by God as judge of the living and the dead.” (Acts 10:42). This task was not just for the apostles, not just for bishops and clergy, but for all professed disciples of Jesus, down to our time. That means you and me.
We are called to be witnesses to Jesus. “To him all the prophets bear witness” (Acts 10:43a). The apostles were “the witnesses chosen by God in advance” (Acts 10:41b). Now we too, just like the apostles, are to be the “witnesses of all that he did” (Acts 10:39a). We witness in our day-to-day environments.
Now we are not only to step into the footsteps of the apostles, but we are to step into the very sandals of Jesus Christ. “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (Acts 10:38).
We engage in spiritual warfare as we proclaim Christ. We assault the dominion of Satan. We help bring liberation and healing to all those oppressed by the devil. We do this with the anointing of God and in the power of the Holy Spirit. We proclaim “peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all” (Acts 10:36b).
We go forth confidently, knowing that God is with us. Jesus himself assured us that he will be with us always, to the end of the age.
The mission of the Church, which is our mission as well, is to proclaim Christ to the whole world. The empowerment of the Spirit is for us to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. The salvation Jesus won on the cross was not just for the Jews, not just to a favored few among the Gentiles like Cornelius, but for everyone. “God shows no partiality. Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him.” (Acts 10:34b-35).
Let us then proclaim to all that indeed Jesus is risen.
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