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(Part 141)


November 4, 2015

Today’s readings:
Romans 13:8-10
Psalm 112:1-9
Luke 14:25-33

“Hallelujah! Blessed the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commands.” (Ps 112:1). We are God’s people. We are Jesus’ disciples and servants. We are instruments of the Holy Spirit to accomplish God’s plan for the world. We ought to be in awe of our God, who is Almighty, eternal and all-powerful. And we ought to obey His commandments. No, not just obey, but delight in them! His commands are the way forward for us.

His most basic command is the commandment to love. The whole law and the prophets “are summed up in this saying, namely ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Rom 13:9b). And so it is that “the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Rom 13:8b). How are we to love? We are to do good and not evil. “Love does no evil to the neighbor” (Rom 13:10a).

Aside from the basic command to love, there are of course many others. Or, put another way, we manifest God’s love in so many different ways. For us in CFC-FFL, love is reflected in our fulfilling our mission. There are three basic aspects of our mission.

One, evangelization. Jesus’ basic command or commission before he ascended into heaven was for his disciples to proclaim the good news of salvation to all throughout the whole world (we will see the crucial need for this in tomorrow’s gospel).

Two, family renewal. We work at strengthening marriages and renewing the family. We look to the well-being of our children and our children’s children, thus through the generations. We do all this by passing on the faith, ensuring our children (and many other children) that they meet and live Christ. “His descendants shall be mighty in the land, a generation of the upright will be blessed.” (Ps 112:2).

Three, work with the poor. We work at liberation, from sin and from poverty. Our work, which is Jesus’ own work, has spiritual and social dimensions. “Lavishly he gives to the poor” (Ps 112:9a).

In calling us to this mission, we are to give our all. God’s work is all-important. Christ’s disciples are to focus on his commission. While we take care of our families, we are not to use that as an excuse not to do Jesus’ mission. “If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:26). While we work to provide for the needs of our families and to better our lives materially, we are not to use livelihood as an excuse not to do Jesus’ mission. Nor are we to use the blessings God gives through secular work merely for our own benefit and not for our mission. “In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:32b).

To obey God is extremely challenging and difficult (impossible if not by His grace and the power of the Spirit). But this is the wonderful call to discipleship. There will be difficulties, suffering and pain. It is embracing the cross. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” (Lk 14:27). But the cross is but the way to glory.

We take care of our children as well as look to the children of others as we evangelize. God then takes care of us. “Wealth and riches shall be in his house” (Ps 112:3a). We take care of God’s beloved poor, and our “righteousness shall endure forever” (Ps 112:9b). We do justice, that is, give to others what is their due (worship to God, respect to other people, equitable share of goods to the poor), as one “who conducts his affairs with justice” (Ps 112:5b), and we “shall never be shaken; the righteous shall be remembered forever.” (Ps 112:6).

We take care of God’s affairs and He takes cares of ours. That is a wonderful “deal”! God can do for us enormously much more than we can do for ourselves, whether for our families or for our livelihood. Thus we can have peace and joy in our hearts always. “For he shall never be shaken; He shall not fear an ill report; his heart is steadfast, trusting the Lord. His heart is tranquil, without fear” (Ps 112:6a,7-8a).

Is that not what life ought to be? A life of love, peace and joy. A life filled with hope and trust. A life of righteousness. A life doing mission for God. A life where one’s family is blessed, as one is used to be a blessing to others, especially to the poor. Let the psalmist say it again: “Hallelujah! Blessed the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commands.”

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