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Nuncio Reminds CFC on 37th Anniversary: ‘Exhibit the Presence of Jesus!’
Friday, July 6, 2018

HIS Excellency Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines, who celebrated the Mass during the 37th anniversary celebration of Couples for Christ on June 23, stirred the community to manifest Christ not only within the community but outside it.

In his homily, the archbishop exhorted the crowd, estimated at about 40,000, gathered at the CCP Open Grounds to be like St. John the Baptist, whose feast was commemorated that afternoon. St. John was clear about his mission—to be for Christ and to make people see His presence in him.

The papal nuncio said, “To be for Christ is to be able to recognize His presence in our lives, in our daily activities. To be for Christ means to bear witness, not just with words but with our lives, first for ourselves (to believe) and for others (to testify).”

Archbishop Caccia expressed his amazement at seeing the community still rapt in attention during the entire Mass, despite the rain that poured out in torrents, drenching everyone and giving rise to a beautiful landscape of colorful umbrellas and ponchos.

“We need to do this to testify that our richness is in God, not in material things,” he said. “But it is not just austerity. There is also something inside, which is humility, for the self to decrease so that Christ may increase.”

Like John the Baptist, CFC is also called to be saints. Quoting Pope Francis, in his latest exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate, the Nuncio said, “We are called by God to be saints, to be an image of Jesus. Do not think only of the saints canonized by the Church, but also of the saints next door.”

He added, “The Holy Spirit bestows holiness in abundance among God’s holy and faithful people… In salvation history, the Lord saved one people. We are never completely ourselves unless we belong to a people. That is why no one is saved alone, as an isolated individual. Rather, God draws us to himself, taking into account the complex fabric of interpersonal relationships present in a human community. God wanted to enter into the life and history of a people.”

He further exhorted, “This is important for you married couples. You must not become saints individually, but as couples, because you are Couples for Christ.”

Shine Your Light
The papal nuncio’s homily about reflecting God’s presence inside and out was a fitting complement to the anniversary theme “Shine”, anchored on the verse from Matthew 5:14-16: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lamp stand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

In his anniversary message, CFC President Michael Ariola used the letters S-H-I-N-E to communicate five points on how the community can shine the light of Christ:

  • S - SERVE like Jesus served.
  • H - be faithful to your HOUSEHOLD.
  • I - IGNITE the Faith in others.
  • N - NURTURE Your Family.
  • E - ENRICH your Prayer life.

Parade of Lights, Music Fest
Aligned with the anniversary theme, this year’s parade featured a first for the communitya parade of lights. The Metro Manila sectors, provinces and the international delegates outdid each other in creating a stunning parade.

The Music Festival was likewise a welcome treat for CFC of all ages and the Family Ministries. Gracenote and SUD got the younger ministries flocking in front of the stage, while the South B Music Minstrels got the old-timers dancing.

It was a day full of grace, despite the heavy rains. But as Archbishop Caccia said, the sun shines after the dark clouds and the rains. The community, as it celebrated 37 years of unity in Christ, was again one in the hope that CFC, through the intercession of the Blessed Mother Mary, will continue to reflect the light that comes from Christ. (CFC Global Communications)



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