Live as Children of Light
CFC Theme for 2019
CFC Japan Celebrates 23-Year Milestone
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
It was a beautiful day, March 30, 2019, for the Couples for Christ(CFC) Japan's 23rd anniversary celebration!
As in the past year, the event was a chance for CFC Japan members , near and far, to come together to celebrate as a community.
The day began with a peculiar and special Mass held in Koko Plaza Osaka Youth Center in Osaka City. The Mass was celebrated by Thomas Aquinas Manyo Cardinal Maeda of the Archdiocese of Osaka, as Principal Celebrant, and concelebrated by Reverend Fathers Armando Romero, Miguel Aragon Moreno, Tans Consulta and Reverend Galuh Arjanta Bubun.
In his homily, the good Cardinal congratulated CFC Japan on its 23rd anniversary, saying, "Couples for Christ is the mission of the Christian marriage, of the Christian family, and all members are all witnesses. As written in the scriptures today, marriage is love, not a sacrifice, that is to say, couples and families should love one another as Christ has loved us".
After the Mass, the Cardinal was handed with a simple gift as a token of gratitude from Bro. Joe Yamamoto and Sis. Mila Yamamoto, on behalf of the Couples for Christ Japan and the CFC International Council (IC), expressing his thanks to the Cardinal and acknowledging CFC Japan's debt of gratitude to the Catholic Church in Japan for opening the doors for CFC.
At the start of the sessions, the CFC Japan community asked for the grace to receive God Himself during the "Light in the Lord Weekend" retreat. In this retreat, we asked God to manifest Himself by giving us the grace to see the Lord's light shining in and through us. With our continuing theme, "Rekindle the Gift, Fulfill your Ministry", the verses in Ephesians 5:8-9, 14 teach us the "how's" of rekindling and fulfilling our ministry by living as children of light.
Focusing on the Central Message, Jesus Christ is the One true source of light, the Speakers, who came all the way from Manila, shared with the participants that through the mission of attraction, we are instruments of the Lord's light that illuminate and radiate the world, beginning with our own home. After every session, Reflection Questions were shared between couples and among the participants.
Worship Leader, Bro. Erwin Paler, CFC Japan's Governance Team (GT) member, led the morning worship.
Bro. Leo Labrador, CFC Japan Coordinator, delivered the Talk on Session 1: Darkness in the Home. His talk centered on the Home, being the primary place where we hope to experience fully the love of God, anchored on the bible verse, John 14:23: Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will keep my word, and My Father will love them, and I will come to them and make our home with them." Bro. Marvin Mapue, Unit Head of CFC Osaka, was the sharer for Session 1 together with his wife, Sis. Anna Mapue.
The afternoon worship was led by Bro. Alvin Valenzuela, CFC Japan's Governance Team (GT) member.
Bro. Joe Yamamoto, CFC International Council (IC) member, gave the Talk on Session 2: Live as Children of Light. His talk was anchored on Ephesians 5:8-9: "For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light, for light produces every kind of kindness and righteousness and truth." He said that like the Ephesians, before our personal renewal , we all have our "darkness", our share of lack of knowledge of the truth, and of our sinfulness, among others. But we have been changed. We have to look interiorly and seek to reconcile with God. Sis. Mila Yamamoto shared after the talk.
In Session 3: Radiate Christ's Fragrance and Aroma, Bro. Joel Santos, CFC North Asia Regional Coordinator, delivered the talk. As renewed Christians, and as CFC leaders, a crucial question was posed, "What attracted me to Jesus?" It is imperative for us to find out why we follow Jesus. His talk was anchored on Ephesians 5:2: "Christ loved us and handed Himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma." Sis. Erica Santos, his wife, was the sharer.
The last Talk, Session 4: Be the Light, was given Bro. Michael "Shok" Ariola, CFC President. He echoed the message from Ephesians 5:14: "... for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says: "Awake, O, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light." We are God's chosen people, and He has a purpose for us to fulfill in this mission of attraction. For those who have been in the community for so long, the Lord is giving us a good awakening, shaking us up from our deep sleep of complacency, self-entitlement attitudes, "business-as-usual" mode, and sends us off to wake up the world. In this way, we rekindle the gifts we have received, and fulfill the ministry that has been entrusted to us to be: Families in the Holy Spirit renewing the face of the earth. He invitedas sharers, his wife, Sis. Carel Ariola, and Sis. Jappy Molina, SFC Household Leader of CFC Kobe (Hyogo).
Bro. Boyet Vasquez, CFC Japan Country Head, who was on top of all the anniversary planning and preparations, gave a message passing on his thanks and appreciation to everyone involved, especially for this year's Event Host and Service Team, the CFC Osaka, headed by Bro. Marvin Mapue, CFC Osaka Unit Head, under Bro. Sonny Sator, CFC Japan Governance Team member, and Chapter Head of Chubu-Kansa-Hiroshima.
Truly, it was a blessed day with over 200 people in attendance. Congratulations to CFC Japan on it's 23rd Anniversary! We rejoice in the strength of our community. May CFC Japan and the entire Couples for Christ (CFC) walk always as Children of Light and keep the flame of faith alive in their hearts!
(Helen Cajilog, CFC Hiroshima)
Couples for Christ Japan
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