(Part 30)




April 19, 2011

Today’s readings:

Isaiah 49:1-6

Psalm 71:1-17

We have said that Isaiah 49:1-6 could be likened to a compressed history of CFC (please see Part 12). We look at this passage once again, together with the psalm for today, to understand a bit more what God has called us to be and to do.

God has His plans from all eternity. For CFC-FFL, we have been destined by God to become His instrument for these times. “The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.” (Is 49:1b). Our name is “Couples for Christ.” This name, that we are “for Christ,” denotes our work of serving Jesus and proclaiming him to the world, thus our work of evangelization. Then we are “Couples,” denoting our work for family renewal. If God has destined us according to His very own plan, then we can look to His providing whatever we need in order to be able to do His will. Thus we can look to His strength for our work. Indeed, “from my mother’s womb you are my strength” (Ps 71:6b).

Through the years, mindful of what He had destined us to be, the Lord formed us, making us “a sharp-edged sword” and “a polished arrow” (Is 49:2). We can rightly claim, for all of our 30 years, “God, you have taught me from my youth” (Ps 71:17a).

God raised us to be His servants, through whom He will show His glory (Is 49:3). We give praise to our Master, and we do what our Master tells us to do. That is what we live for. That is the reason for our existence. That is what we do every day and for the rest of our lives. “My mouth shall be filled with your praise, shall sing your glory every day.” (Ps 71:8). We proclaim God’s glory, and we manifest God’s glory through our work.

Now there have been ups and downs in our community life. We even underwent a crisis in 2007 that led to a split. Some could have been tempted to think that they “had toiled in vain, and for nothing, uselessly spent (their) strength” (Is 49:4a). But God has allowed us to see that everything works for our good. We can only proclaim “day after day your acts of deliverance” (Ps 71:15b). God did in fact deliver us from that savage attack of the enemy, and brought about restoration. Now we know that whatever happens, our “reward is with the Lord, (our) recompense is with (our) God.” (Is 49:4b).

So God raised and restored us, in order that He might make us His “light to the nations, that (His) salvation may reach the ends of the earth.” (Is 49:6). That is what we are called to do. Our collective response? “My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds” (Ps 71:15a). We are evangelizers and missionaries.

So here we are, almost 30 years old, in a crucial time when the war for family and life is vicious. God “formed (us) as his servant from the womb” (Is 49:5a), He brought us back to Him and restored us (Is 49:5b), He will continue to manifest His glory through our work (Is 49:5c). For that, God gives us His very own strength (Is 49:5d).

To carry on the glorious work that God has destined us to do, we can look to His strength. So with confidence we declare: “Be my rock and refuge, my secure stronghold; for you are my rock and fortress.” (Ps 71:3). My God, “you are my strong refuge!” (Ps 71:7b).

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