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(Part 25)


January 1, 2010
The first day of the new year

Today’s readings
Numbers 6:22-27
Psalm 67:2-8
Galatians 4:4-7
Luke 2:16-21

2009 has gone, 2010 is upon us.

This year we have another opportunity to do God’s will, to be His instruments of renewal. This year we again look to living out our calling, that of being an evangelistic and missionary community, proclaiming Christ to the world.

This is in accordance with God’s eternal plan.

According to God’s plan, He sent His Son Jesus into the world. The angel of the Lord told Mary that the son she will bear is to be named “Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Mt 1:21). Jesus was “the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” (Lk 2:21). In like manner, according to the eternal plan of God for proclaiming His Son to the world, He raised CFC.[1]

When Jesus was born, the shepherds came and “made known the message that had been told them about this child.” (Lk 2:17). What was that message? The angel had told them that “a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.” (Lk 2:11). This is the very same message that we as CFC-FFL have been commissioned by Jesus to do. The good news we proclaim is Jesus as Savior, Messiah and Lord.

This is amazing good news! It is the news that truly matters. It is life-saving and life-changing news. It is news that we cannot keep to ourselves. We must proclaim Christ! When the shepherds made known the message, “all who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.” (Lk 2:18). Now we are called to proclaim that same message to the whole world. May all the peoples be as amazed as we were when we ourselves were evangelized.[2]

We continue to look to Mary as our model, as she “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” (Lk 2:19). On this very first day of the new year, let us shake off the revelries of last night and reflect upon our calling, our charism, our mission, our reason for being. And let us act![3]

When we do God’s will, then we will be blessed. Last year we were abundantly blessed by God. This year we continue to look to God’s blessings. “God, our God, blesses us. May God bless us still” (Ps 67:7b-8a).

Why can we confidently look to God’s blessings? First, because we have been redeemed by Jesus from our slavery to sin and have been restored to our relationship with God as His children. “So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.” (Gal 4:7). A Father simply wants what is best for His children.

Second, so that we can effectively become the instruments that God can use. Our basic call is evangelization. In this work we need encouragement, perseverance, zeal, as well as the practical aspects of money, stable family life, commitment from the brethren, support from the hierarchy, etc. In other words, we need the grace of the Holy Spirit, who guides us and accompanies us on our mission. Because we are children of God, we are confident that He anoints us with His Spirit in order to carry on His work. “As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’” (Gal 4:6).

And so we confidently look to God’s blessings this year, in order that He can accomplish His will in us.[4] So we pray: “May God bless us still; that the ends of the earth may revere our God.” (Ps 67:8).

Indeed our most basic foundation is prayer. This is the very first aspect of our covenant. It is fundamental to our relationship with Jesus and to tapping on to the power of the Holy Spirit. If we are to evangelize, we need God’s grace, guidance and anointing. I have already repeatedly spoken about our response of worship and evangelization. The two go together.

And so we continue to pray.
For ourselves, that we may be the effective witnesses to Christ: “May God be gracious to us and bless us; may God’s face shine upon us.” (Ps 67:2).
For others whom we seek to evangelize throughout the world, to bring them into a personal relationship with Jesus the Savior. “So shall your rule be known upon the earth, your saving power among all the nations.” (Ps 67:3).
For all people, that they may know the one true God and give Him the worship that is His due. “May the peoples praise you, God; may all the peoples praise you!” (Ps 67:4).
For the whole world, that the peoples and nations will know God, submit to His lordship, and thus be guided by Him. Only in this way can they experience the peace and joy that they desperately seek and need. “May the nations be glad and shout for joy; for you govern the peoples justly, you guide the nations upon the earth.” (Ps 67:5).

As we start this new year, we turn to God in prayer, asking for His blessings upon us. God told Moses to tell Aaron how to bless His people, the Israelites. “So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites, and I will bless them.” (Num 6:27).

We are God’s people. God raised us according to His eternal plan, used us, chastised us, purified us, and now continues to send us forth as His instruments to proclaim Jesus to the world. This is the very work of God. This is crucial work that needs the anointing and empowerment of the Holy Spirit. This is the great privilege that God has extended to us, in calling us to be His evangelizers and missionaries.

And so we invoke God’s name upon us and upon our work.

I bless you in the name of God.

“The Lord bless you and keep you!
The Lord let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!”
(Numbers 6:24-26)

Have a happy new year! And make it happy for many others as well.

* * *

[1] Among many other individuals, groups and associations of course.
[2] As we have grown in the Lord, our amazement continues.
[3] Let us hit the ground running in this new year.
[4] We look to blessings not just as rewards but as necessary for us to effectively do our work.


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