September 7, 2013
Today’s reading: Colossians 1:21-23
Because God has His plan for the world, because He has called, chosen and raised us as CFC-FFL to be part of bringing about that plan, because we are just His instruments, and because we are to witness to His very self and the gospel, then He provides what we need. He equips and empowers us.
God does what He needs to do. There is nothing lacking in His provision. But with everything that He provides us, we still need to act, to respond, to cooperate with His grace, to discern His will, to humbly allow ourselves to be used by Him. If God’s will is not done, it can only be because of us and our inadequate responses.
So how do we respond? How can we truly be empowered to be Jesus’ witnesses?
First, we must never forget what God in His goodness has done for us. “And you who once were alienated and hostile in mind because of evil deeds he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through his death” (Col 1:21a). Jesus plucked us out of sin and darkness and brought us back to the Father. And Jesus did that through a sacrificial death. God Himself became man, humbled himself, accepted death on a cross, just for you and me. Wow! So we were brought from darkness to light, from sin to grace, from death to life, from futility to purpose in life. We must know then that our lives now belong to Jesus. And we must never do anything that is not pleasing to him. Whenever we are tempted, or frustrated, or complaining, or wanting to give up, we must remind ourselves of what Jesus has done for us. This helps us to “persevere in the faith” (Col 1:23a).
Second, we must know what our calling is, and that is, we are called to holiness of life. Jesus intends “to present you holy, without blemish, and irreproachable before him” (Col 1:21b). Wow! We know ourselves--sinful, at times rebellious, unwilling to give all of ourselves to God, being the obstacles to the work, indulging in the flesh, stained by the world. But Jesus sees us differently. He sees and knows what we can become, by his grace and power. He intends for us to be holy, to be blameless. He wants us beside him, at his right and at his left, throughout eternity. How wonderful it is to know that God Himself desires our highest good. We must be aware that only we ourselves can prevent what God intends from happening. We must consciously and continuously strive for Christian perfection.
How do we persevere in the faith and strive for Christian perfection? We must be “firmly grounded, stable, and not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard” (Col 1:23b). Jesus has already provided us what we need. He has brought us to Christian community and back to his body the Church. There is a wealth of teaching and formation. There is pastoral support. We make use of the tools to growth in the Christian life, not failing in daily prayer, daily reading of the Bible, internalizing formation teachings, being faithful to meetings and the life of the body, doing service, having an active sacramental life. This is how we are firmly grounded on the rock that is Christ. This is how we remain stable--not double-minded, not fickle, not shifting depending on our moods, not blowing hot now but cold later, persevering in living our covenant, striving for peace and unity in the body. This is how we will be able to maintain the hope of the gospel that we have heard. What God has given us is good news!
And this good news is to be “preached to every creature under heaven” (Col 1:23c). Jesus called and gathered us in order to do a massive work of evangelization. We are among those workers who are needed in order to bring in a bountiful harvest.
So God has already done His part. Everything has been provided for. Now it is our turn to stand and be counted. We have been empowered, and we are continually being empowered. So go and witness to Jesus, in holiness of life and in persistent proclamation of the gospel.
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