THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2018
NOT COMPREHENDING THE VISION
We, as Christians in general and as CFC-FFL in particular,
are destined for greatness. This is in accordance with God’s
plan and will. We are God’s children, Jesus’ servants,
and the Holy Spirit’s warriors. We are priests, kings
and prophets. In particular, as CFC-FFL, our charism is evangelization
founded on family renewal. Our mission is to help renew families
and to defend life.
greatness is God’s work and is powered by grace. We
are mere instruments. What we need to do is to allow God to
mold us and use us. For that to happen, we need to understand
what God wants and how we are to go about being His useful
instruments. This is where it all breaks down. Many are simply
unaware, despite years of formation in the community and exposure
to our work. So as Jesus asked his disciples, we ask our brethren:
“Do you not yet understand or comprehend?” (Mk
8:17b). Without vision a people perish. Without understanding
the vision, a people will simply go around in circles and
not fully achieve God’s purpose for them.
causes lack of understanding or comprehension, that prevents
one from greatness in Christ? Among others:
Hard hearts. “Are your hearts hardened?” (Mk
8:17c). Many people have hearts of stone rather than of
flesh, even as they have already heard the gospel. They
do not allow Jesus to fully change their hearts, but stick
to their human perceptions, preferences, priorities and
ways of thinking. They at times think they know better than
God. They stubbornly stick to their human ways. There is
no humble submission to the will of God, wherever that leads.
or deafness. “Do you have eyes and not see, ears and
not hear?” (Mk 8:18a). The wonders of God are all
around us. His blessings, both big and small, abound. Community
itself is such a strong support to usin our spiritual
life, for our family, in our service. But many take these
for granted. Failure to appreciate all this makes us not
search for and long for more. We remain wallowing in mediocrity
rather than attaining to the greatness that God intends
Forgetfulness of God’s goodness. “And do you
not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five
thousand” (Mk 8:18b-19a). They are those who easily
forget what God has done for them. When they are in trouble,
they are deep in prayer and petition. When the trouble passes,
they are back to their old ways. Gratitude to God does not
become a wellspring that gushes forth in profound awe of
God’s majesty, and a great desire to serve Him in
Lack of perseverance under trial. “Blessed is the
man who perseveres in temptation” (Jas 1:12a). God
is able to use affliction to mold us and allow us to grow
deeper in the faith. For some, when such trials come, they
fall away. They are not willing to learn the hard lessons.
They do not realize God’s purpose, that “when
he has been proved he will receive the crown of life”
(Jas 1:12b).This shows a basic lack of trust in God. They
do not realize that “the Lord will not forsake his
people, nor abandon his inheritance.” (Ps 94:14).
Perseverance is essential to greatness in Christ.
Deception by the enemy. “Do not be deceived, my beloved
brothers” (Jas 1:16). The enemy is of course at work.
Satan is the father of lies, and uses deception well. He
deceived Adam and Eve by telling them they could be gods
by their own effort, even as they were already living a
perfect life by God’s grace. They failed to see that
“all good giving and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights” (Jas 1:17a).
Many today are led by their own desires rather than simply
appreciating the blessings God gives in abundance. They
are thus prevented from seeing the even greater blessings
God has already prepared.
Not being guided and instructed by God. “Blessed the
one whom you guide, Lord, whom you teach by your instruction.”
(Ps 94:12). God guides and instructs us, through our formation
programs and the pastoral care of elders. But many who have
gone through the formation programs do not live out what
they have learned. They revert to acting in unchristian
ways when clear instruction has already been imparted to
Not appreciating the justice of God. “Judgment shall
again be just, and all the upright of heart will follow
it.” (Ps 94:15). Justice is giving to the other person
what is his due. To God is due awe and worship. To the community
and its leaders is due respect, loyalty and submission.
To brethren in community is due respect, fraternal love,
caring and sharing. To fail in this is to fail to see God’s
purpose for community. In turn, this prevents community
from accomplishing the fullness of God’s intent for
Not recognizing the extent of spiritual warfare. As an evangelistic
and missionary community, we are engaged in spiritual warfare.
This is God’s war, and we are His warriors. So God
asks, “Who will rise up for me against the wicked?
Who will stand up for me against evildoers?” (Ps 94:16).
The world is being overwhelmed by the forces of the enemy.
To not fully respond as holy warriors is to lose by default.
To not aggressively assault the enemy is not to experience
the great victories intended by God.
Not simply resting in God’s care. We all have problems.
Our advantage is we have God to turn to. “When cares
increase within me, your comfort gives me joy.” (Ps
94:19). We know God makes all things work for our good.
So whatever is happening, whether good or seemingly bad,
we can rejoice, as indeed we are to rejoice always and to
give thanks in all circumstances. Such an attitude helps
us greatly in pressing forward, even in the darkest of times.
God has already revealed a lot to us. We have undergone extensive
formation. We have been sent on worldwide mission. We should
know better. Think about these things. And answer Jesus’
question: “Do you still not understand?” (Mk 8:21).