THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
BUILDING THE LORD’S HOUSE
Today’s reading: Haggai 1:1-8
was raised by God, with whom He entered into covenant and
established to be a mighty power in the world. However, they
were consistently unfaithful, and lost everything with the
destruction of the temple and exile of the Jews. But God gave
them chances over and over again. Now God allowed the Jews
to return from exile in Babylon under King Darius, and they
went about the task of restoring Jewish life in Judah and
rebuilding the temple.
story of CFC is similar, as we hopefully can still recall
when we stressed this in 2007 prior to the crisis, with the
story of Lamentations. But the hardheartedness persisted,
resulting in the split. Now just like with Israel, God restored
CFC to its authentic charism through CFC-FFL. We are rebuilding.
And, after 30 years, we once again face a crossroad this year.
can learn much from the words of the prophet Haggai. The crossroad
for us lies in this question: “Is it time for you to
dwell in your own paneled houses, while this house lies in
ruins?” (Hg 1:4).
The enemy continues to afflict the world, trying to destroy
faith, family and life. And the enemy has succeeded to a significant
CFC has been weakened. CFC-FFL, though restored, continues
to struggle against infidelities. There is lack of faithfulness
in living out the covenant. The work of evangelization and
mission is not surging.
Catholic Church, of which we are an integral part, has been
weakened--by the sex abuse scandal, by dissidents within,
by the nominalism of many Catholics. Most Catholics do not
regularly go to Sunday Mass. Many Catholics are in favor
of the RH bill, which surely will usher in such abominations
as abortion, divorce and same-sex marriage.
Philippines, where CFC started and which is among the last
nations standing against abortion and divorce, is plagued
by massive corruption and widespread poverty.
Now God raised CFC precisely for the work of this third millennium,
to do rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization, and to
do the work of renewing the family and defending life. These
three--affecting faith, family and life--are the most crucial
aspects of spiritual warfare today. And when we do our work
with zeal, we positively affect our Church and our nation.
how are we responding? Have we been too concerned about our
own house that we are neglecting the Lord’s house?
Have we neglected prayer and scripture reading because we
hardly have time for our other personal, family and work
we been unfaithful to household meetings and prayer assemblies,
where the first order is to worship the Lord, because we
have other things to do and other concerns to take care
we failed to support the community with our finances because
we are looking to our own needs first?
we failed to evangelize in our day-to-day environments (like
company and school) because we are too busy with the tasks
at hand and have too many things on our mind?
What is the result of all the above? The Lord’s house
remains in ruins, but our own houses remain in ruins too!
“You have sown much, but have brought in little; you
have eaten, but have not been satisfied; you have drunk, but
have not been exhilarated; have clothed yourselves, but not
been warmed; and he who earned wages earned them for a bag
with holes in it.” (Hg 1:6).
despite our best efforts, have we been failing at our various
aspects of life? It has to do with a spiritual principle:
God first, and everything else follows. We may be doing things
in reverse. Our error is to look first to our own needs and
activities, before venturing forth to really serve the Lord.
We want to fix our family life first before trying to fix
the family life of others. We want to accumulate money first
before deciding to give a tithe. We want to pursue our career
first before giving more of ourselves as a servant to the
Lord. We want to lick our wounds first before helping bring
healing to others. We have our priorities backwards!
“Now thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways!”
(Hg 1:5). God first! And right now! We give of ourselves to
God in our weakness, not in our strength. It is in fact in
our making God first that God then helps us with all our human
and secular concerns.
us consider our ways in relation to God’s ways.
In neglecting our prayer time or rushing through it because
of our busyness, consider how God promises to be there when
we call on Him and He will change our lot (Jer 29:12-14).
looking at our time and the many things we have to do for
earning a living for our family, consider that God gives
to His beloved even when we are asleep (Ps 127:2).
skipping community meetings so that we might have more time
for rest, consider how it is the God whom we worship who
will give rest to His laborers (Mt 11:28).
withholding a tithe because we have so many more expenses
and there is not enough funds, consider that God challenges
you to tithe and then expect Him to open the floodgates
of blessings (Mal 3:10).
worrying about life or food or body, consider God’s
promise to give us all these if we but seek first His kingdom
and His righteousness (Mt 6:33).
Once again, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your
ways!” (Hg 1:7).
Let us build the house of the Lord--in our hearts, in our
homes, in our community, in our nation, in our Church. Let
us respond wholeheartedly to God’s call, giving Him
our all--the fullness of our time, talent and treasure. Let
us put God first and foremost, loving Him with our whole heart,
mind, soul and strength, and living our lives according to
such selfless unconditional self-giving.
into the hill country; bring timber, and build the house that
I may take pleasure in it and receive my glory, says the Lord.”
(Hg 1:8). In other words, God says to us, as we look to our
life and mission parallel to Israel, “You are my servant,
he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory.”
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