THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
OUR LIFE AND MISSION
Mass with Pope Benedict XVI at World Meeting of Families,
On this great event, with the Holy Father celebrating the
Eucharist with pilgrims from all over the world, the Lord
affirms His call to our life and mission.
Mass was mainly in Italian, with occasional readings/responses
in English, Spanish, French, German and Portuguese. Of the
4 prayers of the faithful, one was in English, and it was
this: “That their service to society may be animated
by the respect for the rights of the family and by the defense
of life from its beginning to its natural end.” That
is about renewing the family and defending life.
Mass readings also reinforced God’s constant call to
We start with Psalm 33, which affirms God’s words and
direction to us from the start of the crisis in 2007 through
2007 (theme of hope) - “May your kindness, Lord, be
upon us; we have put our hope in you.” (Ps 33:22).
(theme of joy) - “For in God our hearts rejoice”
(theme of trust) - “in your holy name we trust.”
(theme of the just and righteous Almighty; awe of God) -
“The Lord loves justice and right” (Ps 33:5a).”
“By the Lord’s word the heavens were made”
(Ps 33:6a). “Let all the earth fear the Lord; let
all who dwell in the world show reverence.” (Ps 33:8).
(theme of strength in God) - “Our soul waits for the
Lord, who is our help and shield.” (Ps 33:20).
Now our theme is “Choose Life” from the book of
Deuteronomy. We choose life by obeying God’s commandments.
We choose life so that we and our descendants may live. This
is what Moses told the Israelites: “This is why you
must now know, and fix in your heart, that the Lord is God
in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is
no other.” (Dt 4:39). In other words, choose God! How?
“You must keep his statutes and commandments which I
enjoin on you today” (Dt 4:40a). What will be the result?
“that you and your children after you may prosper, and
that you may have long life on the land” (Dt 4:40b).
Choose God. Choose life.
we obey God and do His will, we can expect to suffer. In 2007
God taught us the lessons of Lamentations. In 2010 God taught
us the lessons of Job. In between, God taught us to rejoice
always and trust in Him, no matter what, and especially in
the midst of suffering, persecution and pain. We “did
not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear”
(Rom 8:15a). We are children of God who are led by the Spirit
of God (Rom 8:14). As such, and as we do God’s work,
we will “suffer with him” (Rom 8:17b). We walk
the path of Christ and that path leads right to the cross.
But as we embrace the cross and endure, then “we may
also be glorified with him.” (Rom 8:17c). Death leads
to life. Defeat turns into victory.
is God’s purpose in all these? Well, it is as it was
from the very start. We are called to be evangelizers and
missionaries. We are called to proclaim God’s good news
of salvation to the whole world. We have been given the Great
Commission: “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all
nations” (Mt 28:19a). This is our reason for being.
work is the work of evangelization, founded on the renewal
of the family and the defense of life. These three--faith,
family and life (FFL) are the most important aspects of mission
in this third millennium.
Church, through this Eucharist celebrated by the Holy Father
at the World Meeting of Families in Milan, has in effect reiterated
and reinforced our mission. Let us respond with all our hearts
and strength. Let us truly choose the life that God has given
to us from the very beginning.
in the inevitable times of suffering and pain, let us always
remember Jesus’ assurance to us: “And behold,
I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt