THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
HOW CAN I REPAY THE LORD?
Today’s reading: Psalm 116:12-18
Everything we are and do for the Lord is a consequence of
what He has already done for us. The problem comes when we
are unaware, or unmindful of, or take for granted, or forget,
or ignore, or are ungrateful for, the many blessings we have
received from Him.
basically has God done for us? God has “loosed my bonds.”
(v.16b). He has redeemed me. He has freed me from bondage
to sin, darkness and the evil one. He has brought me from
hopelessness and helplessness to great hope and strength in
the Spirit. I should be totally overwhelmed by what God has
done, and so profusely grateful. “How can I repay the
Lord for all the great good done for me?” (v.12).
we are not even required to repay His great blessings. They
are freely given. They are given not with something demanded
in return, but only out of God’s great love, whether
requited or not.
then, we do need to respond. How can we not respond in the
face of such great love? What then is the proper response?
will raise the cup of salvation and call on the name of the
Lord.” (v.13). First, we look to the salvation won by
Jesus for us on the cross. The saving self-sacrificial act
of Jesus is the foundation for everything that we are and
what we are called to do in the world. It is the most profound
manifestation of God’s love for us. It is the assurance
that since God already gave His very life, He would give us
everything else besides. So we raise the cup to that, we “toast”
such a great act. And we call upon his name, that is, accept
him as Savior and Lord. This is how we appropriate for ourselves
the salvation won for us (see Romans 10:13). As we celebrate
Good Friday and Easter Sunday, let us meditate once more on
this great event.
I am your servant” (v.16a). Second, as Jesus paid the
price for our salvation, we now belong to him. We are his
servants, nay, his slaves (though he treats us as his friends).
We should henceforth not just do what we want to do with our
lives, but consider how we can be of service to him. This
includes proclaiming the gospel, so that many more will experience
salvation in him.
will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.”
(v.14,18). Third, as God has called us to be His people, and
as the Lord has brought us into a particular community, we
need to actively live out our covenant. We have a covenant
as Catholic Christians and we serve the Church. We have a
covenant as CFC-FFL and we live out all we have vowed to the
Lord. This is the way God can effectively use us in His service.
will offer a sacrifice of praise and call on the name of the
Lord.” (v.17). Fourth, we must always be a people of
praise and worship, never ceasing to pray, always in the presence
of God. It is so easy to be sucked in by the world, and basically
forget what God has done for us. The antidote is daily prayer,
daily reading of the Bible, the Eucharist, community worship,
fidelity to covenant.
God has brought us from death to life. “Dear in the
eyes of the Lord is the death of his devoted.” (v.15).
God does not want us to return to a life of bondage and death.
God even allowed the death of His own Son in order to bring
us life. When we do die a physical death, then God intends
it only as a transition to life eternal.