THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
September 5, 2013
The most fundamental reality that should lead to our continuing
transformation is that God loves us so much that He saved
us through the sacrifice of His own Son Jesus. “He delivered
us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom
of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness
of sins.” (Col 1:13-14).
is the basic astounding reality. We were dead to sin and now
we are alive in Christ. We were lost and now are found. We
were destined for hell but now are going to heaven. For this
reason, we should respond by turning our whole lives to Jesus
and starting to live in him and for him. He already purchased
us at the cost of his precious blood. We are his slaves, though
he has made us his friends.
How should our response manifest itself in concrete terms?
we must have the posture of gratitude and joy. We live our
lives “with joy” (Col 1:11d) for this indescribable
gift. We should always be “giving thanks to the Father,
who has made (us) fit to share in the inheritance of the holy
ones in light” (Col 1:12). Whatever is happening in
our lives, whatever difficulties we face, whatever disappointments
we meet, whatever suffering we endure, we have already been
saved. We are destined for heaven. That is why we have gratitude
and joy. No one and no circumstance should be able to take
these away from us.
though we are destined for heaven, we are still pilgrims in
this valley of tears. We are not yet in heaven, and we still
live in an evil world that tries to bring us down. And though
we have been saved, we can still be lost, if we stop clinging
to God. Thus we need to have “all endurance and patience”
(Col 1:11c). Besides, God uses suffering and adversity to
purify us, to bring us closer to Him, to strengthen us, to
keep us fully aware of our nothingness without Him, to keep
us from being swallowed up by the secular pleasures of life.
God allows problems and pain not because of His lack of care
for us, but precisely because He loves us and wants what is
best for us. If we are well secure in God’s love for
us, then we endure patiently.
in gratitude to God and knowing we are destined for heaven,
we are to “live in a manner worthy of the Lord, so as
to be fully pleasing” (Col 1:10a). We have been given
the privilege to live Christ. We are called to be saints.
We are being prepared to live with God forever in heaven.
By the grace of God and the power of the Spirit, we are to
rid ourselves of every stain.
entails two things, that would make us worthy of and pleasing
to Jesus. First, we should continue to be “growing in
the knowledge of God” (Col 1:10c). We start as babies
in Christ and through our earthly lifetime we grow to be saints.
We need to pray and read the Bible. We need to grow in spiritual
knowledge, drawing on the collective wisdom and experience
of the Church and her saints before us. Second, we need to
serve. We need to be engaged “in every good work bearing
fruit” (Col 1:10b). We evangelize, we serve the poor,
we work for justice, we help build up our Church. These two
things that make us worthy and pleasing to Jesus are about
the internal and the external, about our growth as Christians
and our service as Christians, about witnessing through both
personal sanctification and the proclamation of the gospel
through good works.
How is all this possible? We know ourselves. We are weak and
sinful. We sometimes persist in living our lives in opposition
to God. Even when we are not into active sin, we live for
ourselves and do not reach out to others beyond our own circles.
Even when we strive, we often stumble and fall.
what is important is that we are grateful and joyful, that
we patiently endure, and that we strive to live for Christ.
This is our part. When we live in this way, God provides what
we need. We will be “strengthened with every power,
in accord with his glorious might” (Col 1:11a). We cannot
succeed apart from the power and might of God. But this is
precisely the good news, that we do not have to reach heaven
just on our own. God wants us there, and God will provide
what we need to get there. We just have to do our part.
May you see with spiritual eyes. May your minds be filled
with God’s wisdom. May your hearts be touched by His
great love. We continue our journey together, and I “do
not cease praying for you and asking that you may be filled
with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom
and understanding” (Col 1:9).
P.S. We are an evangelistic and missionary community. We are
called to live our lives according to our charism. Today’s
gospel (Luke 5:1-11) is about the call of Simon the fisherman.
We too are so called, to be fishers of men. I encourage you
to read (or re-read) my very first book, Fishers of Men. I
pray that this book can help you live a life pleasing to God,
and thus help bring you to heaven. God bless you all.