THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2020
We need to be built on Rock. That is about who we are and
what we do. It is about our relationship with God and our
doing the work of God.
begins with restoration. The Israelites had been exiled to
Babylon but now were allowed by Cyrus, king of Persia, to
return to Jerusalem in Judah. Jerusalem lay in ruins, and
everything, from the physical infrastructure to the temple
to the ritual worship, had to be restored. Today we too face
a crisis in our Church. Many Catholics have fallen away and
we continue to lose Catholics by the day. The Church herself
is threatened with modernists who are overturning age-old
This is the milieu we as CFC-FFL find ourselves in. Our own
brethren in CFC veered away from our basic vision, which inevitably
led to a split. We consider ourselves the remnant that God
has raised in order to work at restoration, and renew the
path intended for us from the very start. This work has not
only been for the restoration of our community, but also for
the renewal of the larger Church. As with the Israelites,
Ezra the reformer says, “mercy came to us from the Lord,
our God, who left us a remnant and gave us a stake in his
holy place” (Ezr 9:8a).
It all starts with repentance for sin, both for our own and
for the sins of others, especially in our community and our
Church. We who realize the holiness of our God and the ugliness
of sin must be weighed down by such transgressions. “When
I had heard this, I tore my cloak and my mantle, plucked hair
from my head and beard, and sat there devastated.” (Ezr
9:3). All of us must dread the consequences of our rejection
of God. “Around me gathered all who were in dread of
the sentence of the God of Israel on the apostasy of the exiles”
(Ezr 9:4a). What is the way out? It is repentance. “Then,
at the time of the evening sacrifice, I rose in my wretchedness,
and with cloak and mantle torn I fell on my knees, stretching
out my hands to the Lord, my God.” (Ezr 9:5). And Ezra
said a penitential prayer (Ezr 9:6ff).
here is our assurance. No matter how far we have strayed,
no matter how much a mess we have made in our community, no
matter how desperate the situation in our Church seems to
be, “when you turn back to him with all your heart,
and with all your soul do what is right before him, then he
will turn to you, and will hide his face from you no longer.”
(Tb 13:6a). With true repentance, there is restoration. With
restoration in our personal relationship with God, there is
the opportunity to once again be used by Him to accomplish
His purposes through us, to do our mission, including the
renewal of our Church. “Thus he has given us new life
to raise again the house of our God and restore its ruins”
Now what work has God given us to do? Our mission is the very
mission of Jesus. Our work is the same work given the apostles.
Jesus “sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God”
(Lk 9:2a). The primary work of God is salvation. For this
to happen, people need to meet Christ the Savior. Then we
need to live Christ our Master. When we turn back to Jesus
and when we start to do what is right, then there is salvation.
We are able to meet Christ when other people share Christ.
Such is the need for the proclamation of the gospel.
in doing the work, we like the apostles would come against
diabolical forces, but Jesus “gave them power and authority
over all demons” (Lk 9:1a). They were “to cure
diseases” (Lk 9:1b), especially the infirmity of sin,
including negative speech, disunity in the body of Christ,
the failure of servant leadership, and the like. They were
sent “to heal the sick” (Lk 9:2b), to bring God’s
wholeness and well-being into the spiritual and physical realm.
if we are to be built on the Rock that is Christ, we follow
in Jesus’ footsteps as well as that of his apostles.
“Then they set out and went from village to village
proclaiming the good news and curing diseases everywhere.”
to every town and area in the whole world. Onward to the grassroots
at the peripheries. Onward to rapid, massive and worldwide