IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE SAMARITAN WOMAN
March 23, 2014
Today’s gospel: John 4:5-42
LCSC is a work of mainstreaming Catholic lay evangelization. Evangelization is among the most important works in the Church today. Many Catholics are lapsed, and many more people are lost. Evil abounds. But God is at work. Jesus had said that the harvest is rich but the laborers are few. God brings us into the LCSC movement in order that we might be those laborers that will bring in the massive harvest.
But we need to see the vision. We need to see the need, the potential, the urgency, and the call being made by God upon us. “I tell you, look up and see the fields ripe for the harvest.” (v.35b). The harvest will wither on the vine if not picked. The time is now. There is no time to lose, to be distracted, to be complacent, to fight among ourselves, to be weary, to be preoccupied with other things, to have other priorities, to promote our own agendas.
Evangelization is about proclaiming the salvation Jesus won on the cross for all. But many continue to be lost because no one is reaching out to them. We are supposed to be “gathering crops for eternal life” (v.36b). What greater task is there? What we are called to do is about the destination of souls for all eternity.
We need to give the work of evangelization our all. This is especially so now that we have been given the way to really rapid and massive evangelization in LCSC. God has opened a wide door for us. We no longer have the excuse that we have tried but just that the soil has become hard. The massive harvest is there, and we just need to present ourselves as workers. Since Jesus sends us to do his work, our attitude must also be that of Jesus. “My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.” (v.34). The Father sent Jesus, and he was obedient and totally consumed by the task. Now Jesus sends us. Are we still busy feeding ourselves rather than going about his work?
The task, while challenging, is not necessarily all that hard. Even as we are sinners and simply about our tasks in the world, just like the Samaritan woman, God arranges our encounter with him. We meet Christ. Then Jesus turns our lives topsy-turvy. We start to live Christ. We learn about right marital relationships and about right posture before God as we “worship in Spirit and truth.” (v.24b). But there is something more. We must not be able to contain ourselves in sharing our good fortune. We must share Christ. “The woman left her water jug and went into the town and said to the people, ‘Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?’” (v.28-29). We leave what we are doing and just tell people about Jesus. And in our case, we know Jesus is indeed the Messiah.
The result? “Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me everything I have done.’” (v.39). God uses us in a powerful way just by our simple testimony. We share Christ and so others meet Christ. The result? “They went out of the town and came to him.” (v.30). People will come out of their sinful lives, out of a darkened world, out of bondage from the evil one, and come to faith in Jesus. Then as they live Christ, they themselves will share Christ to others. The result? “Many more began to believe in him because of his word” (v.41). A rather simple methodology, resulting in ever growing circles of evangelization. The harvest indeed can be massive.
The work of the New Evangelization is a great privilege for us. It is the very work of God. It is work that builds upon what the Church has done in two millennia. It is founded upon the grace of God and the power of the Spirit. It is the extension of all the little interactions of people that has contributed to bringing them closer to the point of harvest. We are now just called to reap the fruit that has been made ready. “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). Jesus put in the most, giving his very life. The Holy Spirit puts in grace, guidance and empowerment. The Church puts in the fruits of her work through the centuries. Now it is our turn. Go and reap.
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God bless you.
“For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.” (Phil 1:21)