THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2011
THE CROSSROAD: OUR CHRISTIAN NATION
March 16, 2011
marks the 490th year of the founding of Christianity in the
Philippines. On March 16, 1521, the first Mass in Limasawa
Island off the coast of Leyte was celebrated by the Spaniards.
Others say that the founding of Christianity should be the
day when the first convert was baptized. Hundreds of Filipino
natives under Rajah Humabon were baptized on April 14 in Cebu.
I leave this debate to historians or theologians.
I want to focus on is that 10 years from now, in March 2021,
Filipino Catholics will celebrate 500 years of Christianity
in the Philippines. That is a milestone. And I believe that
2011 to 2021 will be a decade of grace for the nation. But
the Catholic Church in the Philippines will have to respond
to that decade of grace, and strongly go about the re-evangelization
of the Philippines.
Why is re-evangelization important and necessary? Evangelization
is always important, because this is God’s call to His
disciples. Our Catholic Church is a missionary church. But
there is a specific reason, particular to the Philippines
during this time in the life of the world.
stems from God’s plan for the Philippines. Being for
a long time the only Catholic nation in Asia (Timor Leste
is the second Catholic nation in Asia after independence from
Indonesia a few years ago), God intends the Philippines to
be His light in Asia, and even to the world. Indeed, the Filipino
diaspora is already 10 million strong, in practically all
the countries in the world. In the western world, it is the
Filipinos, together with some other Asians, who are invigorating
the parishes and keeping the faith alive.
seemingly strong as this Catholic nation is, there are many
Only a minority of Catholics goes to Mass regularly each
Catholics are nominal in their faith.
Catholics do not know the Bible.
Catholics are pro-reproductive health and many Catholic
women use contraceptives.
Catholics in government and private business are corrupt.
crimes are committed by Catholics.
Further, there are external threats.
Born-again groups and cults are taking many Catholics away
from the faith.
governments and anti-life groups are pushing for a reproductive
health bill, which inevitably will lead to abortion, same-sex
marriage and other abominations (this is the experience
of all countries in the world).
So God intends the Philippines to be His light in Asia and
to the world. But there are serious internal and external
threats that are rapidly eroding the faith.
needs to happen? There needs to be a massive re-evangelization
of the Philippines in the decade of grace from 2011 to 2021.
should be 4 major areas of focus. These are the most critical
aspects of how God wants to reinvigorate and strengthen the
Philippine Church and this Catholic nation to be able to face
the challenges of this third millennium. These are: (1) Re-evangelization,
(2) Renewal of the family, (3) Defense of life, and (4) Work
with the poor (building the Church of the Poor). There is
only a window of 10 years of grace, and so the work has to
be rapid and massive.
can such a work happen? It can happen of course only through
the grace and strength of God. But God works through human
instruments. Here is where CFC-FFL comes in. In almost 30
years, God has given CFC-FFL the ways, methods, programs,
processes, wisdom and experience to accomplish the 4 areas
of focus, and to do so in a massive way. God has already shown
us the way! We are now called to share our experience with
the whole Church, so that she, under the guidance of the hierarchy,
might move with the Spirit that has moved CFC all these years.
This will not be about recruitment into CFC-FFL, but how CFC-FFL
can share its experience and proven programs and methods with
the larger Church.
what God intends to do, you can also see why the enemy attacked
us severely, to try to stop what God was doing, and to prevent
CFC from becoming what God intended for it to become. Unfortunately
the enemy succeeded, causing the split in CFC in 2007. But
God will not be thwarted. So God raised a remnant, restored
to the authentic charism and call for CFC. That is CFC-FFL.
has been forming CFC-FFL since that time. His formation has
included the critical aspects that are crucial for Christians
to overcome the severe challenges of mission. These are lessons
about hope, joy, trust, reverential fear, redemptive suffering.
But we have not quite responded in the way that God expects.
There are still infidelities that persist. But the decade
of grace is already upon us. This is why CFC-FFL, on its 30th
year, finds itself at the crossroad. We either become a holy
and faithful remnant and be the servant through whom God shows
His glory (Is 49:3), or .....
The world is at a crossroad. The Philippines is at a crossroad.
CFC-FFL is at a crossroad. How we respond to God’s call
will have a significant bearing on how we present ourselves
as servant to the Philippine Church, which hopefully can appropriate
the grace that is being made available in this decade. How
the Philippine Church responds will determine how God can
use this nation as His light to the world.
we read the signs of the times, we must realize that we have
entered into the end times. There is no more time to lose.
The final battle is at hand.
Christ the stronger man can defeat Satan the strong man (Mt
12:29). But Jesus has called upon us his people to be his
instruments. Thus we are thrust into the forefront of the
war. And so, once again, as God prepares us for this year
and beyond, we look only to God’s strength.
us respond in fidelity, in total giving of self, and in holiness.
Only then can we truly claim, “My God is now my strength!”
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Theme for 2011-Part23 [PDF]