THE SERVANT GENERAL
THEME FOR 2018
As God's people doing God's work, we are destined for greatness.
God provides what is needed, the fullness of grace and the
power of the Spirit. But it is also up to us, in how we respond
to God's call and grace. Oftentimes, we thwart the will of
God by our own shortcomings and sins.
our sins in community is strife among brethren and even leaders,
that leads to disunity and division. The fruit of such is
diminished vibrancy in communal life and reduced effectiveness
in mission work. Evangelization stalls and fidelity to meetings
is challenged. As such, we reap the fruit, as we are brought
low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins.
(Dn 3:37b). All this is the opposite of being great.
is the way forward? Just as we look to the mercy of God, we
must be merciful to each other. Given our fallen nature, we
will sin against each other. But this does not have to destroy
our relationships and community life. We have a way out. That
is forgiveness, not seven times but seventy-seven times. (Mt
how can I forgive someone who has done me great wrong? We
are able to do so of course by the grace of God, but also
because we look not so much to the person who wronged us,
but to God who has been merciful to us. This was the point
of the parable of the unforgiving servant. A servant owed
his master a great debt, which the master forgave; but this
same servant could not forgive a much smaller debt of another
servant to him (Mt 18:24-30).
scourged Jesus and sent him to the cross but he forgave us.
That was our great debt. Now we are to forgive others the
way he has forgiven us. The consequence of not doing so is
disastrous. God will not forgive us, and we will be unable
to repay our debt. Our punishment will be endless, indeed,
eternal. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each
of you forgives his brother from his heart. (Mt 18:35).
are we to do? We are to forgive from the heart. The
heart is the seat of decision. Forgiveness is not an emotional
act, but an act of the will. We may still feel hurt and pain,
we may still struggle with resentment and anger, but we decide
to do what is right, and that is to forgive. This takes humility.
We do not stand on pride or on our righteous anger or our
insistence that we are right and we did no wrong, but we simply
look to how God has dealt with us. Imagine the King taking
on our sins and going to the cross for us. He guides the humble
in righteousness, and teaches the humble his way. (Ps 25:9).
continue to ask God, Do not take away your mercy from us (Dn
3:35a). Indeed, God will continue to be merciful. But we too
must act. But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us
be received (Dn 3:39a). We must forgive one another. We must
avoid strife and division. We must be faithful to our covenant
with God and with one another. Then we can look to God with
trust and confidence. We can look to indeed becoming great
in Christ, as God intends, knowing that â€œthose
who trust in (God) cannot be put to shame. (Dn 3:40b).
will we be great in Christ? If we have done our part, then
God will do His. God will deliver us in accord with (His)
wonders (Dn 3:43a). We can accomplish great works for God,
acting with signs and wonders. And, as is the ultimate goal
in being great, we will bring glory to your name, O Lord (Dn
* * *
For to me life is Christ, and death is gain. (Phil 1:21)