THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Today’s gospel: Matthew 9:35-10:8
The elements of the mission work of Jesus are very much the
mainstays of the Live Christ, Share Christ movement. As such,
LCSC is very well suited to the call to the New Evangelization.
What are these elements?
an emphasis on the re-evangelization of lapsed Catholics.
Jesus instructed the apostles, “Go rather to the lost
sheep of the house of Israel.” (v.6). While he had won
salvation for all humankind, he wanted to focus first on the
people of God. Then later they could focus on everyone
else. The unfortunate situation of our Church today is that
most Catholics are lapsed and nominal. LCSC intends to reached
these lapsed Catholics, the lost sheep (99 of the 100). It
intends to help renew and strengthen the one, true Church,
that is, the Catholic Church. As the people of God are being
renewed, they would be the workers to reach out to everyone
a focus on the proclamation of the gospel, which is the missing
first step in the whole process of evangelization. Jesus was
“proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom” (v.35c).
Catholics need to hear the authentic gospel, to be evangelized
and not just catechized and sacramentalized. Proclamation
brings them to meet Christ, and enter into an intimate personal
relationship with him.
zeal for the gospel. What motivates the LCSC movement is the
great need that is in the world, a world that is in darkness.
This is ironic because Jesus has already come and has already
redeemed the world. But souls continue to be lost. We take
on the heart of Jesus. “At the sight of the crowds,
his heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled
and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” (v.36).
We desire to bring back the lost sheep to the Good Shepherd
and to the sheepfold, the Church. In this we are persistent,
insistent, persevering. We share Christ.
rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization. “Jesus
went around to all the towns and villages”
(v.35a). If he could have, he would have gone to the ends
of the earth. But he did not have to, it would be his disciples
who would bring that work throughout the whole world. The
intent of LCSC is to reach all lapsed Catholics, all one billion
of them. Thus its methodologies have been made simple and
easily replicable. Just like with Peter’s sermon on
the day of Pentecost, one Life in Christ Seminar (LCS) could
reach 3,000 people in one day. Then those who finish the LCS
can very easily themselves move on to conduct other LCSs,
expanding the circles of renewal exponentially.
lay empowerment. Jesus “said to his disciples, ‘The
harvest is abundant but the laborers are few” (v.37).
Why will the harvest not be abundant, when Jesus has already
won salvation for all, when the grace of God is abundant,
when the power of the Holy Spirit is available? But what are
needed are more and more workers, because there are very many
to be reached. Those workers are there, in the parishes, as
well as the many others who will join the movement. They need
to be re-focused, re-energized, pastorally supported. More
and more of the 99.9+% of the people of God that are the laypeople
need to be involved in the work, and LCSC is a way of raising
and training those workers.
formation based in parishes. The workers for the harvest need
to be formed. Jesus was “teaching in their synagogues”
(v.35b). But there is a general lack of formation in parishes
and in Church organizations. So LCSC has its Servant Leaders
Formation (SeLF) program, which provides needed teaching and
formation to parish workers. Those who meet Christ need to
live Christ. They must grow in holiness and discipleship.
work with the poor. Jesus was “curing every disease
and illness.” (v.35d). The poor are those who fall short
of the fullness of dignity as children of God. The poor are
those beloved by God. The Church has a preferential option
for the poor. Jesus’ own mission is to bring glad tidings
to the poor. The judgment of the nations at the end of time
will be determined by what one does for the least of Jesus’
brethren. So work with the poor is crucial. LCSC accomplishes
this through its No One in Need (NONe) movement. This is a
holistic work with the poor, providing moral and spiritual
formation, livelihood training, children’s education,
shelter and health.
engagement in spiritual warfare. Jesus instructed the apostles,
“drive out demons.” (v.8b). Once we do evangelization
and mission, we automatically engage the forces of darkness,
and are thrust into spiritual warfare. The whole world is
under the dominion of the evil one, and our work of evangelization,
mission and renewal is intended to bring people out of captivity
to the devil, and back into the embrace of God. In this work,
we wield weapons of righteousness and we put on the armor
spiritual renewal. Jesus instructed the apostles, “Cure
the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers” (v.8a). For
the apostles this was literal. While these might still happen
today, we look to this instruction as healing spiritual illness,
bringing people back to life from the death of sin, and purifying
lives and providing restoration to the Church. People are
called to live Christ, in holiness and seeking after Christian
perfection, in discipleship and a total giving of self to
the gospel given for free. One principle of LCSC is that our
programs are given free of charge. This is unlike expectations
and practice in the Church, where stipends are normally given
to resource persons. But we do not want money to stand in
the way of the gospel. And we are mindful of how Jesus paid
the price for our salvation. It is God’s free gift to
us. “Without cost you have received; without cost you
are to give.” (v.8c).
God calls us and sends us forth, just as Jesus did with the
apostles. LCSC provides us the way by which we can fully live
out God’s call. “As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” (v.7).