This weekend Jesus sends out his disciples to share the good news with others. What is the content of this good news? That God in His Christ has set us free and has brought lasting joy and peace into our lives. He gave the apostles authority and power over unclean spirits, that is, all those things and experiences that weigh people down, and lead them towards death rather than life. In order for them to share this good news with others, they need to unburden themselves from all forms of undue attachment: they should carry no money, no bag, no extra clothes, and not even food. Why? We all know by experience that undue attachment to these things easily takes over our hearts and block our vision of God’s caring presence in our lives. Overtime, we become possessed by them, and so, we lose our freedom and joy and peace. When they take possession of us, they become our demons and we become their subjects. The good news frees us from these demons and leads us to depend wholly on the God who never fails us.
God gives us Himself constantly. But we receive him with the disposition of humble dependence and simplicity. This trusting dependence is called FAITH. He wants to free us and bring us true joy and lasting freedom, so we can share the same joy and freedom with others. But how often do we both want and not want to be filled with the joy of the Lord because of our “demons”! Try this weekend to identify the burdens in your life, these “demons”: the excess things you do not need but which occupy space in both your house and heart; the emotional baggage that has possessed you from the past – such as unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, unhealthy guilt, self-hate, envy, etc.; and the worries of the future that take away your peace. Give away excess things you do not need to those who need them; hand over to Jesus your emotional situations that have held your heart and mind hostage for long; release yourself to His power. When you let Jesus take these “demons” from you, you definitely will experience immense joy and peace and freedom. This experience of true freedom in Christ, joy and peace in the Lord, is what we share as the Good News of the Kingdom of God.
It is this sharing of the Lord from your personal experience of Him that is called New Evangelization. We cannot be satisfied with just being nominal Christians, Churchgoers without transforming experience of the Lord. It is this openness to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit that makes us committed Christians ready to share our lives and experience of the Lord with others. Evangelization is sharing what we have experienced: what we have seen, heard and touched with our hands (See I John 1:5). I therefore encourage you to consciously give time to the Lord. You may begin by taking seriously your participation at Sunday Liturgies and try to do your spiritual homework each week. The Lord will bless you as you do so, and will surely bless others through you.