THE SERVANT GENERAL
WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
IN THE HARVEST
Today’s reading: Matthew 9:32-38
Today’s gospel again speaks about Jesus’ mission,
which is also our mission in CFC-FFL. As we continue with
our work after 30 years, God once again reminds us of why
He raised and restored us, and that is, to send us forth to
do mission. (Please see “On Evangelization and Mission
(Part 9)” about “Jesus’ Mission, Our Mission,”
issued last December 4, 2010).
“Jesus went around to all the towns and villages”
(Mt 9:35a). We too, together with the whole Church, are sent
to every person and to every place in the world. Our mission
in CFC-FFL is rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization.
went “teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the
gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.”
(Mt 9:35b). This corresponds to our evangelistic work of continuing
formation for our members, of proclaiming the good news of
salvation in Jesus, and of total human liberation. We invite
people to our CLSs, but that is just the start of a very long
process of formation in Christ, with the goal of holiness
and Christian perfection. Thus the desirability of Christian
community. Through the process of transformation in Christ
through the years, we become whole and begin to experience
life in its abundance. We are freed from the dominion of the
enemy, and no one is left in need.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has given his life for his
sheep. He has already won salvation for us all. He has already
made it possible for us to live a life of abundance, here
and certainly in the hereafter. Despite this, many people
are still troubled and abandoned, living like sheep without
a shepherd. This moves Jesus’ heart to pity.
Our work is to help gather God’s sheep. Our work ought
to please Jesus, as he sees more people whom he has died for
coming into a vibrant life in him. We please Jesus as we live
our lives for him, and as we evangelize more and more.
Now Jesus has brought us into Christian community. Even for
those who have been brought into the sheepfold, there is a
need for continuing evangelization, as we live out the fullness
of the gospel in our lives. People need instruction, correction,
counsel, encouragement, inspiration, and so on. As such, there
is also a need for shepherds after God’s own heart.
These are the servant leaders in community.
Moses was used by God to establish His people Israel. Moses,
in looking to his successor, said to God, “May the Lord,
the God of the spirits of all mankind, set over the community
a man who shall act as their leader in all things, to guide
them in all their actions; that the Lord’s community
may not be like sheep without a shepherd.” (Nm 27:16-17).
From the Servant General, to the District Servants, to the
Chapter Servants, and all the other servant leaders, God’s
call is for them to pastor His people.
The servant leaders have a great responsibility, to keep the
mission going, and to ensure that the community members do
not become like sheep without a shepherd. Since they stand
in the very sandals of Jesus, they are to strive to be like
him in every way. They are to grow in holiness, and act in
complete commitment and obedience to the Father. The rest
of the brethren in turn must give the servant leaders their
active submission and all-out support.
When community gets its act together, according to the ways
of God, then it will become an effective and fruitful instrument.
Then there will be an abundant harvest. The harvest will be
abundant because Jesus has already won salvation for all on
the cross, and their salvation is the will and desire of God.
But in the mystery of God’s ways, He has also made Himself
dependent upon His people to bring in the harvest.
Right now, the laborers for the harvest are few (Mt 9:37).
Many Catholics are nominal. Many of those who are active in
church do not evangelize, that is, actively bring people into
the sheepfold. There is a dire need for more laborers.
In CFC-FFL, every member ought to be an evangelizer. Jesus
has already issued the great commission, telling his disciples
to go into the whole world to proclaim the gospel to all.
Let us pray for the grace to respond. Let us continually “ask
the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.”
let us certainly do our part.
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Way Forward in Christ (Part39) [PDF]