Living Evangelizationˇ@ˇ@ˇ@Yan Po Takˇ@
"The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message." Act 16:15
"Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" 1 Corinthians 9:16
"both the sower and the reaper are glad together." John 4: 36
"Leave your country" Genesis 12:1
"Evangelizing family"
Jesus Sends Out Seventy-two disciples Luke 10:1
"The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few" Luke 10:2
"I am sending you out like lambs among wolves" Luke 10:3-4
"Whenever you enter a home, give it your blessing" Luke 10:5-7
"Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near" Luke 10:8-11
"The joy of Evangelization"

The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message.

Let us meditate on some events that occurred during the 2nd missionary journey of St Paul and his companions.
This journey is very important because it marks the beginning of the Evangelization of Europe. For the first time, Paul and his companions from Asia move into Europe.

"From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis. From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.

On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. 'If you consider me a believer in the Lord,' she said, 'come and stay at my house.' And she persuaded us." (Acts 16:11-15)

Lydia has a chance of listening to the proclamationof the Gospel done by Paul and his companions. But Paul and his companions do not convert Lydia. "The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message". The Evangelizer proclaims the Gospel. It is God who moves the heart of the listener. Conversion is a grace from God. All those who do Evangelization work know this truth very well.

Lydia's conversion is so deep, that she and her family become Evangelizers themselves. Their house becomes a centre of Evangelization. They take up this mission and continue it even after Paul and his companions leave Philippi for new places.

The Acts of the Apostles records how after a few days, Paul and his companions were put in jail in Philippi, " and when they came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left."(Acts 16:40)

All those who are willing to walk along the road of Evangelization, will see many miracles, and find out many people, who like Lydia and her family are ready to share this fascinating work.
Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!

All those who do Evangelization work should have the same feelings as St Paul had:
"If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord."(Romans,14:8)
Evangelization is our living. St Paul says that Evangelization is not a choice.

"Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!" (1 Corinthians,9:16)
Evangelization is also the highest for of worship.

"The grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit." (Romans, 15:16)

For St Paul Evangelization is a Liturgy, in which, what is consecrated by the Holy Spirit, is not bread and wine, but the Gentiles (those who do not know Jesus yet). Their conversion to God is the offering acceptable to God.
Every Christian is called to offer a living sacrifice to God.

"You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."(1Peter, 2:5)
Both the sower and the reaper are glad together.

It must have been harvest time when Jesus told his disciples: "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (John, 4:35)

Jesus was still near that well where he had met the Samaritan woman who would become, together with many other Samaritans, a good harvest of Evangelization.

No disciple would have ever imagined that that place, Samaria, was a field to harvest.

Jesus tells his disciples that very often, in the work of Evangelization, "one sows and another reaps. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefit of their labor." (John,4: 37)

To know that in the work of Evangelization, at times we are the harvesters, and at other times we are the sowers, is a very good antidote against both pride and discouragement. Sometimes we harvest what other Evangelizers sowed.

Sometimes other Evangelizers will reap what we sow today. And "both the sower and the reaper are glad together." (John, 4:36)
Leave your country

"The LORD said to Abram, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you'." (Genesis,12: 1)
It's amazing to think that this touching dialogue between God and Abraham took place almost 4000 years ago. It has remained the model of each call to Evangelization.

The first thing the Evangelizer is asked to do, is to leave his/her country, his/her culture, his/her ways of thinking, and he is sent to a new land, not a land of his/her choice, but "the land I will show you." The Evangelizer is ready to go anywhere. This gives him a freedom of action and a readiness to cope with all sorts of difficulties that are bound to make his journey not an easy one.

Leaving one's country and culture does not mean giving up one's own roots, but broadening up the horizon and seeing things in the light of the Universal. The Evangelizer remains linked to his cultural roots, but in a new and deeper way.
"I will bless you, and you will be a blessing." (Genesis,12:2)

The Evangelizer carries in his person and message the blessing of God. He will become a blessing himself for all those who encounter him.
The friends of Jesus' Passover carry this beautiful name "Passover": it means "Passage" from one place or situation to a new one. Abraham leaving his country experienced his Passover. Each Passover carries a new and more abundant Life, but only after passing through a "dying": dying to the old way of living.
Evangelizing family

Dear members of the Family movement. As you know from our website (, our group "the Friends of Jesus' Passover" will start the 4th missionary journey on the 28th of Nov. 02 and come back on the 15th of Dec. We will go to Singapore, Brisbane, Papua New Guinea, Brunei.

The theme of the missionary journey is "the Joy of living", a theme very much related to the family, the cradle of life.

I like to write a few words to all the families of the movement, to encourage them to follow our journey and pray for us, and become Evangelizing families. I like to quote two verses from the Acts of the Apostles.

"They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved." Acts,2:46-47)

Who are these people whose joy and courage make all the people around, look at them with wonder and a desire to join them? They are the first Christians in Jerusalem.

They have listened and accepted the apostles' Evangelization, and have been baptized. Now their new style of living makes them Evangelizers.
Their homes are full of joy and sincerity, their meals are a moment of intense unity, their communal prayer a moment of deep communion.

Their homes become the first Evangelization Centres, their families the first Evangelizing Communities.
Maybe they are not experts of Catechism or Bible, but their joy of living, their peacefulness, their concern for one another draws the attention of the people who daily join their Community.
It is true indeed that what the contemporary world needs today, is not so many smart preachers, but a few good witnesses.
Jesus Sends Out Seventy-two disciples

"The Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go." (Luke,10:1)

Besides the twelve apostles, Jesus sends out "others". Most probably Luke, with the number seventy- two, wants to symbolize the traditional number of Gentile nations. In that case, Luke wants to tell us that Jesus sends the whole Church (both the twelve apostles and the seventy two disciples) to the whole world (the seventy two nations which traditionally symbolize the whole world).

Jesus sends them "two by two": Evangelization is not an individual work. It is the mission of a Community of believers.

Jesus sends his Church ahead of Him to every place where He was about to go.

The purpose of Evangelization is the coming of Jesus.
Evangelizers are Jesus' forerunners. When He comes, the Evangelizer is no longer needed there. Jesus will make those who believe in Him new Evangelizers
.The Evangelizer will be sent to new places where Jesus has not come yet.
The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

"He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Luke,10:2)

Since there are so few workers, why don't we recruit more workers and assign them to the harvest?
Jesus tells us to ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers. It is He who sends, and it is He who makes the disciple see where the plentiful harvest is.
I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.

"Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road." (Luke, 10: 3-4)

The message of the Kingdom of God, is the evangelizer's true strength.
The disciple sent by Jesus to announce His Gospel, has no other source of power besides the Gospel itself. In this sense, the disciple is like a lamb.
But Jesus' disciple has a great trust in the "Sender".
The urgency of the announcement is so imperative, that there is no need to take along any money, or a traveler's bag, or even an extra pair of sandals. And there is no need stop to greet anyone on the road.

Whenever you enter a home, give it your blessing.

"Whenever you enter a home, give it your blessing. If those who live there are worthy, the blessing will stand; if they are not, the blessing will return to you. When you enter a town, don't move around from home to home. Stay in one place, eating and drinking what they provide you. Don't hesitate to accept hospitality, because those who work deserve their pay." (Luke, 10: 5-7)

Where are we going to stay? What are we going to eat? How much will it cost?
Is it safe? What kind of clothes or shoes will I need? Could we move to a better place?
These and many other questions are very common and very legitimate worries.
Compare them with Jesus' instructions to his disciples!
Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.

"When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.'" Luke, 10: 8-11)

When the evangelizers are warmly welcomed in a place they are sent to, they feel good and are happy to have been sent there. But when things are not so smooth, or just no one welcomes them, they feel down hearted, at times even angry.
All these feelings are very reasonable.
Jesus instructs his disciples to remain free: if you are not welcomed in one place, remember that I sent you to go all over the world !
The joy of Evangelization

"When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to him, "Lord, even the demons obey us when we use your name!" (Luke,10:17)
"Then Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit and said, "O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding the truth from those who think themselves so wise and clever, and for revealing it to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way." (Luke, 10: 21)

The evangelizers joyfully report to the sending Community and the Community joyfully gives thanks to God. All share the same deep joy. This joy is of the Holy Spirit, a fruit of the Holy Spirit