THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
AT JACOB’S WELL
Today’s gospel: John 4:5-42
Jesus was a great evangelizer, acting as such in whatever
situation he found himself in. This time he was passing through
Samaria, stopped at Jacob’s Well to rest, and engaged
the Samaritan woman in conversation. From this incident we
draw seven principles in going about the New Evangelization.
we must have a vision for the harvest. “I tell you,
look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.” (v.35b).
Jesus won salvation for everyone, the grace of God is abundant,
the power of the Holy Spirit is provided. So what else is
needed? The harvest is rich; but what are needed are the laborers.
We must see the desire of Jesus for all to be saved, and respond
seeing the vision of a massive harvest, we must grow in zeal
for the mission. It becomes our greatest priority. It becomes
our very life. It is more important than our day-to-day sustenance.
“My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and
to finish his work.” (v.34).
knowing the importance of the work, we must be bold in witnessing.
The Samaritan woman, with her encounter with Jesus, became
an evangelizer. She was the outcast of the town, having had
five husbands and now living with one who was not her husband,
and so she came to fetch water at noon, when no one would
be there at the well. But now she “left her water jar
and went into the town and said to the people, ‘Come
see a man ....’” (v.28-29a). She was not afraid
of rejection. She just boldly went forth to all, inviting
them to come and meet Jesus.
knowing the extent of the work, we must be totally dedicated,
to the point of self-denial. Jesus’ disciples urged
him to eat, but he told them that he needed to be about the
work of the Father (v.31,34). What could be more important
than saving souls? It is hard work, and so dedication and
endurance and perseverance are needed.
in looking at the massiveness of the work, we must look to
the whole Church to participate in the work. The harvest is
rich but the laborers are few. We need to look to the various
gifts given by the Spirit that enable the whole Church to
do a massive work. “One sows and another reaps.”
(v.37). One proclaims the gospel, another catechizes, another
gives continuing formation, and so on. With everyone participating,
we look to mainstreaming Catholic lay evangelization.
we collaborate with all workers in the Church, not mindful
of recognition, desiring only to get the overall work done.
We build on the work of others and vice versa. “I sent
you to reap what you have not worked for; others have done
the work, and you are sharing the fruits of their work.”
(v.38). If others benefit from our labors, then praise be
we never lose sight of the reality that what we do is God’s
work, that we are His instruments, that we depend totally
on His power. Thus we remain intimately rooted in him. We
enter more deeply in our relationship with Him. We pray and
we worship. We “worship in Spirit and truth.”
(v.24b). We rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance, inspiration,
zeal and endurance.
will be the result of all the above? Just like what happened
with the Samaritan woman and the townspeople, “many
of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him because
of the word of the woman who testified” (v.39a). The
Samaritan woman shared Christ; the townspeople met Christ;
they believed and accepted him as Savior and Lord. As they
themselves testified, “we have heard for ourselves,
and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”