FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2017
DIVISION IN THE BODY
October 26, 2017
Today’s gospel: Luke 12:49-53
Do you even wonder why there is so much division in the one body of Christ that is the Church? After the first millennium, East and West split. After another half a millennium, the Protestant Reformation came. Through the centuries the Catholic religious congregations have split and re-split. Many Church associations including CFC itself have split. And all these happened as people were striving to serve God!
Further, the cause of division is Jesus! Is he not the Prince of Peace? Are we not all part of the one body of Christ? Is not God’s plan for the fullness of times to unite all in Christ? Well, Jesus himself has told us, “Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” (v.51). Jesus did warn us.
The division among God’s people has to do with being for or against Jesus, with accepting or rejecting his message. This will happen even among the closest of relatives (v.52-53). There are those who have decided to live for themselves, to live according to the world and the flesh. Many today have rejected the call to holiness and discipleship.
But it also has to do with people, while desiring to love and serve the Lord, having their own agenda, priorities, directions, preferences. Oftentimes, while not being outrightly bad, such directions are not in accordance with the intent of God. Many times God’s people do good, but miss out on the greater good that God intends. For example:
- Maintenance in parishes rather than a focus on evangelization reaching the grassroots at the peripheries.
- Emphasis on social justice concerns such as poverty, immigration and climate change rather than countering the assault on marriage, the family and life.
- Focus on catechesis and the sacraments while missing out on evangelization and mission.
The greatest need today is the proclamation of the gospel, leading to transformation and personal renewal in Christ. This was Jesus’ intent. “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (v.49). Jesus set the stage for the fire of the Holy Spirit to come upon the world. It would be a refining and purifying fire. It would bring God’s people to holiness and foster great zeal for the gospel.
This is the challenge to God’s people. Today there is division within the Church, the family of God, basically between conservatives and liberals. The Church is being torn apart, with even Cardinals versus Cardinals. The Church is losing Catholics by the day. Will Jesus return to still find faith on earth?
This is the challenge to us in CFC-FFL as well. While our vision and mission is clear, and our Core Values provide crucial guideposts, there is still some dissent and division. This hampers our moving forward in the power of God’s Spirit. We must strive to be ONE in Christ, as we move Onward to the New Evangelization. There is much to be done and much that can be done.
We must be holy warriors whom Jesus can use to set the earth on fire.
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