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New CFC Officers Prayed Over at MCG A Day After IC Recollection
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Fr. Benedict Lagarde Jr. MJ, conducted a solemn recollection for the International Council in preparation for the elections of the CFC Officers for 2014-2015 attended by all the 9 IC members and their spouses. He opened the recollection with verses from Psalm 63: “My soul thirst for you” about David’s ardent longing for God. He said that what matters most is our quest for God, our hunger and thirst for God. This ardent longing can lead us to give up even precious possessions.

He posed to them the questions “Are we doing what we are supposed to do?” and “Are we where we are supposed to be?” and stressed that there is no such thing as better, but only different, speaking about leadership. He recalled the story of the call of Moses in Exodus and reminded the elders that as leaders, they have to accept the fact that like Moses, they might not see and harvest the fruit of their labor. They should be prepared that sometimes they will not even be thanked, mentioned or remembered for the good things they have done. What is essential is the humility to recognize
and accept that God is the leader, and they are just instruments.

He also reflected on Deuteronomy 31: 1-8 on leadership transition. These verses speak about the leadership succession from Moses to Joshua. It was Moses himself who summoned Joshua and told him in front of all the people of Israel that God will be with Him and that he should not fear or be dismayed. He will lead them to the Promised Land.

It reminds leaders to be steadfast, and not to feel unworthy because it is not about them, it is about the Lord. God always intervenes in the life of His people.

Before the ending the first session, he exhorted CFC about the need for continuing formation. Formation is what makes Jesus alive in CFC. He told CFC to “put your money where your mouth is”. To strengthen formation means to put budget in formation. To this, all IC members agreed.

The celebration of the Holy Mass followed the first session. The homily centered on the gospel reading about the old and new wineskin. He said that some think that new ones are the new wineskins and the old ones are considered old wine. However, when the IC composition changed, the whole IC became new wine.

After the Mass, Fr. Benedict led them to reflect on John 13, Jesus washes the disciple’s feet. He said this was a dramatic event. Before washing their feet, He already knew that most of them will abandon him and some will betray him, yet he willingly washed their feet setting the example for leadership. He said this is the drama of leadership, leadership in action. 

It is an undeniable love of a leader and this is the same undeniable love of God that sustains CFC in its mission. He then led the elders to ponder on the essentials of what it means to follow Jesus by reading John Chapters 14-17. Before his arrest, passion and crucifixion, Jesus prepared them for the time when he would leave them by speaking to them about the true essence of leadership. 

Fr Benedict gave the elders time to ponder of the readings by leading them to an individual Lectio Divina. They were asked to choose a verse from the readings that spoke to them and asked them to write it and post it on the board so that everyone can read the inspired verses for each of them. Most chose verses from John 15 about the vine and the branches, abiding in God and bearing fruit that will remain. Other reflections came from John 17 on people being gifts of the Father to Jesus and John 14, do not let your hearts be troubled.

As the recollection came to a close, Fr. Benedict cited John 21 when Jesus appeared to his disciples in the sea of Tiberias. The very essence of this reading is Jesus’ love and forgiveness.

The resurrection allowed Jesus to show his disciples that they were forgiven for abandoning and betraying Him. He prepared food for them and ate with them. He then tasked Peter feed His sheep and follow him.

Jesus taught us forgiveness. He did not hate any of his disciples for what they have done. He showed us his forgiving heart. This is the same message for us in CFC. We are to be a forgiving a community. This is what will set us apart for the Lord.

After the recollection, the IC members spent 1 hour in silent contemplation in front of the Blessed Sacrament, listening to Jesus as a preparation for choosing who will lead CFC. 

The new set of officers who emerged during the elections were: Joe Tale (CFC Chairman), George Campos (Executive Director), Jimmy Ilagan (Treasurer), and Arnel Santos (Secretary). (Bernie Cuevas)



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