THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2011
HERE I AM
March 11, 2011
Today’s reading: Isaiah 58:1-9
One of our favorite songs in community is “Here I
Am, Lord.” In this song, we respond to the Lord’s
call on whom He will send to do His work in the world. This
is also the response of the prophet Isaiah to God’s
call. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
‘Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?’ ‘Here
I am;’ I said; ‘send me!’” (Is 6:8).
When we respond in that way, allowing the Lord to do with
us as He wills, then He sends us to do His work. To Isaiah,
God said, “Go and say to this people: ....”
(Is 6:9a). That started Isaiah off on his wonderful prophetic
as God calls us in CFC-FFL, when we respond, then God sends
us forth to bring His good news of salvation to the whole
world, to renew the family, and to defend life. With His
call and sending comes His anointing and equipping, together
with His grace and strength.
But there is an interesting aspect in today’s passage
from Isaiah. It is not we who answer “Here I am”
in response to God’s call, but it is God who says
“Here I am” in response to our call! “Then
you shall call, and the Lord will answer, you shall cry
for help, and he will say: Here I am!” (Is 58:9a).
is absolutely astounding and amazing. God answers to our
call! It is not we the servants who answer to the Master’s
call, but the other way around. But then, indeed Jesus has
made himself the suffering servant, serving his people without
holding anything back, even his very life.
What triggers such an amazing response from God? It is true
fasting. It is justice and mercy.
is first of all the work with the materially poor. It is
giving food, shelter and clothing to those without them
(Is 58:7). It is working at social justice, helping to free
those who are oppressed (Is 58:6). Our response in CFC-FFL
is our work with the poor and the larger work of our Social
Ministries. It is our work of building the Church of the
there is always a spiritual dimension to God’s work.
If we fed, clothed and sheltered the poor but did not proclaim
God’s good news of salvation to them, we would still
be remiss. We would in fact be missing out on the most important
aspects of our calling, which is evangelization. “Cry
out full-throated and unsparingly, lift up your voice like
a trumpet blast; tell my people their wickedness, and the
house of Jacob their sins.” (Is 58:1). We are to evangelize
with a passion, with boldness, giving of our all.
What in particular are we called to do? We work to set free
those oppressed by Satan, to break the yoke of the kingdom
of darkness. We are to share Christ the Bread of Life with
those who are hungry, bring those astray into the shelter
of God’s dominion, clothe the naked with the garment
this spiritual work, our own holiness and righteousness
are crucial. We do the very divine work of God and we must
be fitting instruments. We are to be just and merciful.
Indeed, these aspects of true fasting are what will make
us effective. “Would that today you might fast so
as to make your voice heard on high!” (Is 58:4b).
is the result of true fasting? “Then your light shall
break forth like the dawn” (Is 58:8a). We are called
by Jesus to be the light to the world. True fasting will
enable our light to truly be seen, a light that pushes out
the darkness at the break of dawn. Further, “the glory
of the Lord shall be your rear guard.” (Is 58:8d).
We are God’s servants through whom He intends to show
His glory (Is 49:3). True fasting enables us to become those
effective witnesses through whose work the glory of God
Remember, with justice and mercy, with responding to God’s
call to be His instruments, then we ourselves can call upon
God for all we need to do His work. And God will answer,
“Here I am.”
will renew our strength (Is 58:11b). We can finally say,
“My God is now my strength!”