THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
RECOGNIZING THE TIME OF OUR VISITATION
Today’s reading: Luke 19:41-44
In today’s reading, Jesus laments for Jerusalem. Because
the Jews did not accept Jesus the messiah, they ultimately
suffered devastation. This has an important lesson for us.
Jesus says “I am with you always, until the end of the
age.” (Mt 28:20b). Jesus is committed to walk with us
during our earthly pilgrimage and as we participate in building
his kingdom on earth, until he returns in glory at the end
the same time, Jesus oftentimes makes a specific visitation
to His people, either individually or as a group or as a nation,
in order to give more specific tasks that help to accomplish
his purpose on earth.
has called each one of us, and has given us gifts, and has
assigned tasks to us. If we respond, we fulfill our purpose
according to God’s will. Jesus also calls and raises
groups or movements, such as CFC, to cover important aspects
of his work. For us in CFC (now CFC-FFL), this work is evangelization
and family renewal. Then Jesus also calls nations, such as
the Philippines. This nation has a prophetic role to be God’s
light in Asia and to the world. Especially in this third millennium,
where the culture of death is rampaging throughout the world,
the Philippines will stand as the last bastion for family
and for life.
has His eternal plan for the life of the world, until the
Lord Jesus returns once again. God chooses people for specific
tasks, just as He chose Mary, a simple maiden in Israel. When
Mary gave her yes, she unleashed a chain of events that resulted
in God Himself becoming man and dying on the cross and thus
winning salvation for all. Likewise, God calls and chooses
others for other tasks, not as earth-shaking as the call to
Mary, but important nonetheless, in the whole plan of salvation.
Thus it is not a question of whether God visits His people,
for He does. The question is whether people will respond.
God, through the angel Gabriel in the case of Mary, through
other circumstances in other cases, visits His people. What
would have happened if Mary had not given her yes? Well, today
some, or perhaps many, who are called do not respond. That
is truly tragic.
people respond, great things will happen, simply because God
will be able to move forward His very own divine work. We
have seen in our personal lives and in the life of CFC-FFL
how God can accomplish great things--radical transformation
in Christ, broken marriages restored and becoming vibrant,
families made strong and truly life-giving, sinful people
growing to holiness, worldwide evangelization in the power
of the Spirit, and so on.
if people do not respond, or worse, do not even realize the
visitation of God, what happens?
Jesus weeps. “If this day you only knew what makes for
peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes.” (Lk 19:42).
Jesus weeps over our blindness, that we do not recognize the
time of our visitation. Here is the Prince of Peace, who can
bring us the peace that everyone craves for, but instead we
will reap devastation. Jesus weeps over the hardness of heart
that makes us not fully embrace him and his call to us, to
prefer our own wayward ways. Jesus weeps over our fate, that
we experience devastation rather than the blessings that he
brings. Jesus went to great lengths, suffering and dying on
the cross, to bring us salvation and the fullness of life
in him. How truly sad it must be for him to see us going down
the wrong path, when he has already illumined the way.
Second, we will weep, because we will suffer devastation apart
from the protective embrace of God. Satan is on the rampage,
and he oppresses and persecutes God’s people, he destroys
marriages and families, he murders unborn children, he keeps
the world enslaved under his oppressive yoke. He will totally
try to devastate the lives of people.
only security and hope is in God. Indeed, Jesus came to bring
peace. With Jesus we can be at peace with ourselves and at
peace with others, and have peace of mind and heart despite
the storms that rage around us. How truly tragic it would
be if we miss the time of God’s visitation.
What must we do?
must know what makes for peace (Lk 19:42a). It is Jesus. Only
Jesus can bring that peace that surpasses all understanding
into our lives, our hearts, our homes, our societies, our
nations. Thus we must work to bring Jesus into the lives of
people and into the life of the world. This is our work of
evangelization and mission. We must be zealous and passionate
for this all-important work.
we must recognize the time of our visitation (Lk 19:44b).
For CFC, it started in 1981. By this time it should already
be clear to us who we are and what we are to do. Our mission
is all about faith, family and life. Our identity is to be
disciples who are centered on Christ, faithful to our covenant,
and carrying the cross. In 29 years all these should already
be clear. What is left is the extent and intensity of our
response to God’s call.
we recognize the time of our visitation and have learned the
lessons Jesus has taught us, including the centrality of the
cross and redemptive suffering, then we can withstand the
devastation to be wreaked by the enemy (Lk 19:43-44a). Then
we will not only survive, but we will thrive.
us go about our work with the knowledge and conviction that
God has called us, chosen us, raised us, empowered us, and
will sustain us by His grace and strength. Let us go forth
and bring the peace of Christ upon a suffering and lost world.
let us respond such that Jesus will not weep, but will rather
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