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(Part 43)


June 24, 2011
Today’s reading: Isaiah 49:1-6

It is so significant that on the eve of our 30th anniversary, the reading for today would be from the very verses that form our theme for this year, that of Isaiah 49:1-6. It is the Lord affirming what He has intended to teach us and show us and impress upon us.

And so we review what God has been telling us.

“The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.” (Is 49:1)

This is about destiny. According to the eternal plan of God, He raised CFC in 1981 and gave us our mission, that of evangelization through family renewal.

“He made of me a sharp-edged sword .... He made me a polished arrow” (Is 49:2)

This is about formation. In order to fulfill our destiny, we need to be formed according to the mind and heart of God. So through the years, God formed us to be His instrument and army. As His weapons, we would go into spiritual battle against the dominion of the evil one.

“You are my servant, .... through whom I show my glory.” (Is 49:3)

This is about servanthood. We are not just formed about the technicalities of our work, but we are to be those servants loyal, obedient and faithful to the Master. If we do the very work of God according to His mind and ways, then His glory will shine forth in and through us.

“Though I thought I had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly, spent my strength, yet my reward is with the Lord, my recompense is with my God.” (Is 49:4)

This is about endurance and perseverance. If we are to be the good and faithful servants the Lord desires, we need to endure through the hardships of mission. There will be ups and downs, victories and seeming defeats. But we persevere, never giving up, never backing down. In times of frustration or impending disillusionment about how our work might be going, we look to God. We stand on the faithfulness of God. We trust in Him. And we know that whatever happens, if we do what we are called upon to do, then God will reward us in the end.

“For now the Lord has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, that Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; and I am made glorious in the sight of the Lord, .... It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel” (Is 49:5,6a)

God now reiterates what He is about. He called us from all eternity, He raised us in 1981, He gathered us as His people and formed us as His servants through the years, He restored us as a remnant in 2007, and He has manifested His glory through our life and work. But even all that is still too little. There is so much more.

“I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is 49:6b)

God raised, formed and restored us in order to do the work of rapid, massive and worldwide evangelization. The work God has given is all about the great commission, given to all Christians, to proclaim the good news of salvation in Jesus. We do this by the witness of our lives and the testimony of our words. In this, the very light of Jesus shines in and through us.

We do divine work, according to a divine calling. As such we can never do this on our own human strength or resources. Indeed, through all these 30 years, we have relied on the power and strength of God. We are mere instruments.

Now, 30 years after, our vision and mission are clear. Our purification and formation through fire have been accomplished. Now, more than ever, knowing that the great and wonderful work of God in and through us over 30 years is still too little, we face the future with hope, joy and trust in the Almighty God who is just and righteous. Now, in work of proclaiming the good news of Jesus, in renewing families and in defending life, God is making available the fullness of His strength.

Let us give totally of ourselves, in even greater commitment and faithfulness, and always be able to say: “My God is now my strength!” (Is 49:5).

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