Jimmy Lozare, 16 January 2015
The above theme selected by the Thai Council for our 25th Anniversary last year ‘connected’ the CFC Theme of the Year of 2014 (“Behold and Ponder,” from John 19:27 and Luke 2:52) with the new theme for 2015 (“Love More,” from John 21:15-17) before we knew of the latter.
And we do need to receive God’s love first, for we cannot share or give something that we do not possess. It is fitting that we all start our CFC journey with CLP Session I – God’s Love.
Everything is so timely now with a world full of conflict, violence, and despair, and people have no peace because, maybe at one time or another, we have not truly loved enough. St. Paul states it clearly that the three most important ideals we need in life are faith, love and hope, but the greatest of these, and the most enduring, is love (I Corinthians 13:13).
In celebrating 25 years of CFC-Thailand last October it is nice to look back to “behold and ponder” the mighty works of God in our vibrant community and in our own families, and to look forward to try harder to “love more” for this year onwards.
Twenty-five years is a milestone of adulthood and maturity, and it is encouraging to see how CFC has truly grown, not only in numbers and mission areas, but also spiritually, with CFC getting actively involved in the CBCT Commission on the Lay Apostolate for the Laity department and the Family department in the past three years, with Amb. Precha/Sirikul Pitisant of the Thai Council representing CFC-Thailand in both.
The Diocese of Surat Thani has taken over the Diocese of Ubon Ratchathani as our fastest growing mission area – with the English groups expanding from Phuket to Krabi, Chumphon, Nakhon Sri Thammarat, and Surat Thani itself, and the Thai groups growing from Phanom and Phuket, to Prachuab Khirikhan, and Surat Thani as well.
CFC is grateful for the active support of His Excellency Bishop Joseph Prathan, who has been a big help, and the move of Fr. Terry Tapay from Chiang Mai to Phanom is heaven-sent. Bishop Prathan has recently appointed Fr. Tapay the new CFC spiritual director for the diocese I find it interesting to prayerfully “behold and ponder” that at the end of my time on earth, and finding myself standing face to face with our Lord, He will not ask me about my “achievements” (my ministry, service, sacrifices, etc.) nor possessions, stature, titles and awards, but how much I have loved (Matthew 25:31ff), with the ultimate question being “Do you love Me?” (John 21:15-17).
I hope I would have enough courage then and be able to say with grace, like Peter, that – “Lord, You know everything, You know that I love You.” (John 21:17). Actually I’m more afraid of a second question not really asked, “Why have you come alone, where is your brother?” I cannot respond as Cain did, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” because I know the answer to that, as I’m certain you also do – that we are all called to “go out” on mission.
I pray and wish that at that time maybe I could hopefully echo Ezra, and say: “They refused to obey and no longer remembered the miracles You had worked for them. They stiffened their necks and turned their heads to their slavery in Egypt. But You are a God of pardons, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in mercy; You did not forsake them.” (Nehemiah 9:17)
In this age of divine mercy, may: “The Lord bless you and keep you! The Lord let His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you! The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!” (Numbers 6:24-26).