THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2012
AN ABUNDANT LIFE IN JESUS
Today’s gospel: John 10:1-10
In the beginning, God created and what He created was good.
However, sin came into the picture and paradise was lost.
But right at that terrible moment of judgment, as the protagonists
in the drama were before God to receive His pronouncement
of their punishment, when all seemed totally lost, there came
a glimmer of hope.
said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between you
and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will
strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.”
(Gen 3:15). This was the very first prophecy of the coming
of a Savior. God’s plan had been momentarily thwarted,
but would not be thwarted forever. God had already put into
motion the plan that would enable man to be with Him once
again in paradise.
the fullness of time, God sent His very own Son into the world
to redeem it. “For God so loved the world that he gave
his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not
perish but might have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16). Once
again, God acted out of love.
Jesus came, and this is what he proclaimed: “I came
so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
(Jn 10:10b). God had created a world of abundance, but that
was lost. Now God, in Jesus, again offers an abundant life.
God is moving to restore us to His original plan.
has now been two millennia since Jesus came. How is life in
the world today? Is it abundant?
through the years the world has experienced unprecedented
wealth and progress. Standards of living have risen appreciatively.
Medical care has improved tremendously. But there are also
all the wrong thingsmassive poverty, wars that bring
death and misery, social inequality, environmental degradation.
There are pressures on land, food, water and energy. There
is injustice, violation of human rights, and absence of peace.
again it is not God’s fault, but the blame rests entirely
on man. Why are we not experiencing abundance of life today?
It is because man has turned away from God. It is because
man lives in disobedience to God’s law and in rebellion
to His way of life.
is what God promised His chosen people, the Israelites.
“If you live in accordance with my precepts and are
careful to observe my commandments, I will give you rain in
due season, so that the land will bear its crops, and the
trees their fruit; your threshing will last till vintage time,
and your vintage till the time for sowing, and you will have
food to eat in abundance, so that you may dwell securely in
your land. I will establish peace in the land, that you may
lie down to rest without anxiety. I will rid the country of
ravenous beasts, and keep the sword of war from sweeping across
your land.” (Lev 26:3-6).
Wow! Now that is abundance! More than enough food to eat.
Life unperturbed by fears or anxieties. A community experiencing
peace, justice and prosperity.
there is a big “IF”! We need to live in accordance
with God’s way of life, strictly obeying His commandments.
Tragically, many in today’s world, including so-called
Christians, are not living according to the ways and commands
The greatest blessing for man in paradise was that God was
with them, talking with them and walking with them. Until
that time when God finally brings us back to paradise where
we will live with Him eternally in heaven, He still offers
to be with us as we walk on our earthly pilgrimage. “I
will set my Dwelling among you, and will not disdain you.
Ever present in your midst, I will be your God, and you will
be my people” (Lev 26:11-12).
know that God is in our midst today. Jesus himself says, “For
where two or three are gathered together in my name, there
am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:20). Those so-called
Christians who are anti-life are not gathered in the name
of Jesus. Their actions in fact oppose what is of Jesus. If
God is not present in their day-to-day walk, then they walk
in darkness. Then they bring deathto themselves and to
Now there is a more profound aspect in experiencing an abundant
life. It is not just us living in God, but God Himself living
in us. The greatest manifestation of God’s presence
among us is the Eucharist, where Jesus is physically present
in the bread and wine. Jesus says, “I am the bread of
life.” (Jn 6:48). You want life? Then partake of Jesus’
body and blood in the Eucharist. You want abundant life? What
could be more abundant than God Himself living in us, spiritually
and physically? You want to live in a world of abundance?
He says, “the bread that I will give is my flesh for
the life of the world.” (Jn 6:51c).
the other hand, Jesus also says, “Amen, amen, I say
to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink
his blood, you do not have life within you.” (Jn 6:53).
You would be like a zombie, the walking dead.
Protestant denominations today no longer believe in the Real
Presence. They might have a communion service, but it is just
about a family fellowship. Do we then wonder why they have
become liberal and modernist in their faith? They accept contraception,
divorce, abortion and active homosexuality. They have become
purveyors of the culture of death. They not only do not have
life within them, but they are participating in depriving
others of life.
How do we live an abundant life on earth? That is a life in
Jesus, and he says, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks
my blood remains in me and I in him.” (Jn 6:56). How
will we ultimately make it to eternal life in heaven? Jesus
makes this promise: “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks
my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last
day.” (Jn 6:54).
(Excerpts from my new book, Forty Days of Life)