Faithful to the Calling

Some people have expressed concern about the life and mission of Couples for Christ, where is it headed; how fast we should go; aren't we spreading ourselves too thinly? But we remain confident that it is the Lord who has been guiding CFC when we received our divine mandate.

To the question about the pace of the work, we believe we still are not going fast enough since the last few years saw a declining evangelization rate. This is below our goal of doubling in response to the Lord's call of rapid, massive and global evangelization.

There is also the concern with spreading ourselves too thinly with all that has been happening with the Family Ministries and now, the Special Ministries where the Lord is urging us to participate in the work of total human liberation. Hence, our theme for this year and beyond: bring glad tidings to the poor. The answer to that is both YES and NO. YES if the great majority of us would remain aloof or deaf to the call. YES if despite the number of our membership (about 1 M people) which is a vast potential source of manpower strength - members and even leaders still choose to be indifferent and uncommitted to the greater work. But definitely NO if all of those who hear God's call will shed off all doubts, fear of involvement, selfish self-indulgence, lukewarm participation and shallow commitment.

Perhaps, the right question to ask is: Do we have a choice? The Lord, in the last few years, have spoken very clearly about the great urgency that we need to put into our work. The evil one continues to dominate the world we live in and our efforts and reach are not yet enough to make a serious dent on Satan's stronghold. Therefore we need to fight this spiritual battle with greater determination knowing that the Lord constantly assures us of His victory, (Rev. 17:14) “They will fight with the Lamb but the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and king of kings, and those with him are called, chosen and faithful.”

We have been privileged to be called into this new life, we have been chosen from among the many to continue enjoying our way of life and helping others experience the same. The challenge that we face today is how to remain faithful for we know that with greater faithfulness comes greater empowerment and blessing.

How to remain faithful?

1. Start with the little things. Luke 16:10 “The person who is trustworthy in small matters is also trustworthy in great ones.” Let us be truthful even in small matters and we begin to cultivate the virtue of honesty as a way of life. And when we are faced with greater temptation, we will remain faithful to God. Let our yes be a “real yes”. That others can count on our word and never doubt us. Also, let us begin to be faithful to our commitment to prayer and scripture study as an important tool for our Christian growth.

2. Be faithful in showing compassion towards the needy. Luke 16:12 “If you are not trustworthy with what belongs to others, who will give you what is yours?” In this world, we all need someone we can help and someone to help us. Our first instinct to take seriously the task to be our brother's keeper. We need to be on the lookout for opportunities to take care of the needs of others beginning with our own family - our spouse; our children; our parents and others who are near and dear to us. And be assured that our needs will be met as well by others. I came across a Jewish saying which is very true especially in relation to our theme this year, “the poor need the rich in this world but the rich need the poor in the world to come”. Let us be ready to share our resources and to give alms that we may find Christ in each other. (Mt. 25:40) “… whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.”

3. Be faithful to do the things that are hardest to do. For in so doing, we become more Christ-like. Let us think of that one person who is most difficult to forgive and then, ask for the grace of God to go be reconciled with him. Maybe you have postponed doing this for a long time, maybe waiting for the perfect time to do it. Well, don't wait too long for you may not have the opportunity to do this in this world. Let us not wait to be in right relationship with someone on their deathbed but rather, let us build a strong bond of love now that will endure till the end and will serve as a good witness to Christ's love in our life. Some of us have difficulty in attending faithfully our required meetings and coming on time. This year, let us resolve to have perfect attendance and excellent on-time arrival. Another area that is hard to do is tithing. We may have accepted the teaching and the scriptural prescription but we find it most difficult to live out. Brethren, what we just need to do is to trust God - that He will provide for everything. Step out in faith, that this is the right thing to do and God will richly bless us with many good things.

4. Demonstrate faithfulness to someone who is in need and who cannot repay you. It is quite easy to be faithful to someone who can return the favor you do. Being faithful to our superior is easy and in fact, necessary for our job and promotion will depend on this. But faithfulness to the needs of our household help, to the carpenter who comes to your home to fix things, to the children in the street, to the squatter family near our residence, that is most difficult for there no assurance of a return of our investment. Let us ask ourselves, are we paying just wages to the people who work for us? Are we sensitive to the needs of our poorer brethren or do we judge them easily and say that they are poor because they are lazy? Let us listen to the cries of help not just with our ears but more so, with our hearts so that we develop a greater sensitivity for the needs of other. Let us remember the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37 and let this be a perfect example in loving our neighbor and in the process, finding Christ himself.

5. Finally, demonstrate faithfulness and steadfastness in times of trials. The years ahead will test our conviction about our way of life and the mission of CFC. These times will be trying times. And these times will test our commitment to the noble cause of Christ, our loyalty to our Lord and to one another, our devotion to this God-inspired duty and our fidelity to bringing glad tidings to the poor. We will be tested but we are supremely confident of remaining victorious in Christ as long as we remain faithful. to Him. Let us pray for the courage and boldness to endure till the end for it is in dying that we are born to eternal life, it is in giving generously of ourselves that others may live, it is in sacrificing unconditionally that we demonstrate our faithfulness to the God who has given us everything.

Christ set the example for us to follow, let us follow him all the way up to heaven by being a true disciple. (Mt. 16:24) “Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”'

1. Do I have a clear understanding and strong conviction about the life and mission?

2. What are the areas in my life where I need to grow in faithfulness to God and to my family?

3. Am I willing to give my all to the cause of Christ, or will I continue to be lukewarm to this way of life?

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