AT THE FIRST RESTORATION ASSEMBLY EUCHARIST,
COUPLES FOR CHRIST FOUNDATION FOR FAMILY AND LIFE,
Sunday, 19th. August, 2007, St. James College
Jer 38;4-10; Heb 12:1-4; Lk 12:49-53
you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth?
No, I tell you, but rather division.”
are not my words, but the words of Jesus. Imagine Jesus
is talking about himself as one encouraging division
and a split. This might seem to shock us, because we
link Jesus with unity, peace and harmony.
was He talking about and even planning for division?
Jesus was sent to restore mankind to its original dignity.
Jesus came to destroy the works of Satan. He explained
it very well when He said that good seed was sown, but
because of the enemy, weeds were found among the wheat.
came that we may have life and have it in abundance.
He came to make us children of God. He came to bring
life to a dead religion: to replace externalism with
interiority, legalism with the spirit of the law, self-righteous
living with seeing everything as a gift.
saw how people would live like sons and daughters of
God here on earth in this very life itself: they could
pray as He prayed, they could heal the sick and raise
the dead as He did (as a son or a daughter of God would
do), they could live as brothers and sisters having
a dignity that came not from their possessions and status
in society but from being children of God. He saw that
it would be difficult to be good by one’s own
strength; that we would find building God’s Kingdom
a burden, without the Spirit.
approach towards restoration was radical. He said that
you can address God as Father. He said if you look at
a woman with lust, you have committed adultery in your
heart. He said in those days it was said, love your
friends and hate your enemy; but I tell you love your
enemies and do good to those who persecute you…
He sat with sinners thus willing to incur excommunication
that befell those who associated themselves with outcasts
was thus a prophet. Who is a prophet? A prophet is one
who comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable.
His role was to bring back (restore) the People to the
Covenant way of life.
the first reading, we are given another model of a restorer
for our times, Jeremiah, the prophet. He did not say
things that people loved to hear. He said things that
God wanted Him to say, even if it meant being unpopular,
being maligned and finally destroyed.
the Church, too, you have modern prophets, like St.
John of the Cross, a Carmelite, who was exiled by his
own superiors, when he tried to reform his congregation.
St. Peter Julian Eymard, a diocesan priest, and then
a Marist, was led to found the Blessed Sacrament Congregation.
When he left the Marist to do so, he was considered
proud, and what not, because he did something different.
Today he is a saint.
CFC GK paper no.3 caused a stir and a storm in the hearts
and minds of many. There was much maligning, misunderstanding
and calling of names. Like the king in the first reading,
some leaders in the community washed their hands, while
others tried to destroy the prophets. The good thing
is that the same king salvaged his reputation.
is in the mire. It has to be restored. Only prophetic
people can see this. And the work of restoration is
a work of the Spirit. A lasting restoration never takes
place using a ‘New Age’ approach, or a corporate
mind (which has to have recourse to lies, deceptions,
manipulations and the like to somehow achieve its self-seeking
Spirit is given only to those who have no other saviors
and props to rely on, except the Lord. The restored
CFC has to start from scratch: a new name, a new logo,
a new office, new funds… But you need not be disturbed
as long as you rely on the Spirit. CFC was meant to
be a Spirit-oriented community.
took off in 2003 and it has set its target for 2010.
I challenge you, even though the work for the poor in
this restored community starts today, you will by 2010
do much more than what others have been trying to do
all these years, because of the Spirit. (Clapping) You
are inadequate, you are sinful, you are not competent;
but because of the Spirit, you will be surprised to
see marvels and miracles before your very eyes: namely,
the earth restored (not only a nation). Then you will
be led to ask: But how was all this possible?
second reading makes mention of a host of witnesses,
ordinary and simple people who performed unheard of
feats of courage, because they relied on the Spirit.
If you wish to live in the Spirit, you need to really
sense the wisdom behind the words of Jesus: if you want
to go up, you must go down; if you want to live, you
must die. You really need to see the true joy that comes
from following it; you need to see how foolish you would
be, if you did otherwise.
then your relationship with God. Be a Spirit-led community,
open to the gifts of the Spirit: strong in praise, tongues,
prophecy, healing and whatever is required to build
the community and evangelize in an effective way. Restore
your relationship with each other. Just imagine most
of the council members have been together for a number
of years: meeting together, planning together, at missions
together, at international conferences together; and
yet, in the recent crisis, they failed to support each
other, to see eye to eye with each other, to understand
the other…Were their smiles and hand shaking ‘plastic’?
Learn to excel in loving each other.
in the restored CFC community is not a matter of numbers.
It is a matter of being on the side of the truth. And
you know from the Gospel that those who love the truth
are very few (taking the narrow way). But like Joshua,
who relied on the power of God, you too can say with
him, ‘As for me and my household, we will serve
the Lord.” [Say after me: As for me and my household,
we will serve the Lord.] Amen.
Justin Sequeira, SSS