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(Part 9)


October 22, 2016

Today’s readings:
Ephesians 4:7-16
Psalm 122:1-5
Luke 13:1-9

We are an evangelistic and missionary community, established by God to do the work of evangelization and family renewal. If we do not evangelize the world, our families will always be under threat.

Evangelization is about the gospel of salvation in Jesus, and brings about repentance and faith in him. This is crucial because the world is in darkness and sin. Jesus saved us in order to bring us to eternal life with the Father in heaven. But if we do not accept him as Savior and Lord, and persist in our sin, then our lot will be eternal damnation. “But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” (Lk 13:3&5).

So God has called us in CFC-FFL to do His work. This is a great mystery, as mere sinful human beings do divine work. But if God calls, then He qualifies. “But grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” (Eph 4:7). And as God qualifies, then He equips. “And he gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry” (Eph 4:11-12a).

All of this is intended “for building up the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12b). It is the body that represents Christ. It is the body that is the visible sign to the world of Christ’s presence. It is the body that does the work. Thus the body needs to be one. Such unity will always be challenged, disturbed by the evil one, in order to disrupt or even destroy God’s work. The disruption thrives on immature members and dissident servant leaders. It is built on a lack of holiness. Ultimate unity can only be in heaven. Thus we just need to strive and fight for this unity, “until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ” (Eph 4:13).

Our brethren need to grow in faith and holiness. Otherwise they can be easily manipulated by the evil one and by those leaders who have their own agenda. Growing in maturity is important “so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming.” Such leaders will not refrain from lies, slander, deception, manipulation and false teaching.

Growing in maturity is important. If we are not moving forward, we will slide backward. We must know the truth, not just about Jesus, but about our charism, vision and mission, and about our call to be one. As such, “living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ.” (Eph 4:15). If Christ is truly the head we follow and obey, then we will be united. Then the body will function as God intends for it to function. It is Jesus, “from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, with the proper functioning of each part, brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love.” (Eph 4:16).

As one united body, God can use us in the power of His Spirit to proclaim Christ, and help bring many to heaven, the new Jerusalem. “I rejoiced when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’ And now our feet are standing within your gates, Jerusalem.” (Ps 122:1-2).

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