Message of the Obispo Maximo On the 120th IFI Proclamation Anniversary
TO DEARLY BELOVED PEOPLE OF GOD In the Iglesia Filipina Independiente
Warm Christian greetings of peace and happy 120th IFI Proclamation Anniversary to all of us. May this celebration bring us as Church towards greater faithfulness and obedience to the Lord Jesus and towards renewed commitment and robust participation in advancing God’s mission. May we all be filled with the Lord’s grace to persevere in our calling and to undertake our continuing journey as Church with immense hope and trust in the Triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit who desires us for, and keeps us in, his purpose.
We know that his desire and purpose is for us as IFI to take part in his saving and renewing work in the world; thus God intends and calls us in the Lord Jesus to become the sign, sacrament, and foretaste of his kingdom in the power of the Holy Spirit. We are indeed grateful to God that this 120th Proclamation Anniversary becomes another fresh opportunity for us to show our continuing commitment and enthusiasm to be of service to his purpose and to demonstrate our joy in persisting to continue our journey towards approximating his desire and purpose for God’s full reign. Through and within this journey, we hope that we in the IFI become the sign by making our corporate life pointing to and leading towards the full blooming of God’s reign as we seek and offer service and servanthood among our struggling people; that we become the sacrament as we make visible in our life the kingdom values of truth, freedom, justice, peace and love that renew the world and dignify human life; and we become the foretaste when our life being IFI provides the experience, the feel, the presence of God’s kingdom as we strive to transform unjust structures and systems that denigrate communities and environment. We intend in our continuing journey therefore to shape our corporate life as IFI to rehearse God’s kingdom every day as we follow the Lord Jesus more closely, love him more dearly, and see him more clearly, day by day. That we in the IFI become more fully God’s Church for God’s World, living out his purpose in the way our Lord Jesus had shown and led us.
Our celebration theme for this 120th IFI Proclamation Anniversary prescribes us this intention. Hence we ask that we unite ourselves as one body, the IFI, in the spirit and challenges of the theme: “Journeying with Christ, firmly rooted in history, established in the faith, and abounding in thanksgiving, for bold witness and service” [Colossians 2:6-7].
The theme is designed as a derivative from the inspiration we discern out from the Second Chapter of the Letter to the Colossians written by St. Paul the Apostle when he was in prison to express his concern over the Christians in Colossae and to remind them about the basic marks of being a Christian community that is to be rooted and built up in Christ, to be established in the faith and to be abounding in thanksgiving. We see in these texts the inspiration for us as IFI to continue being, doing and becoming a Church as we move towards the future in God’s history. This is an appropriate reminder as we celebrate our 120th IFI Proclamation Anniversary that as we strive to continue to move forward  we have to be in consistent journey with Christ Jesus our Lord, abiding always in his presence and power;  we have to see our calling as Church firmly rooted in history where God almighty has worked and revealed himself in the liberating love and work of Jesus our Lord;  we have to recognize the need to be nurtured in the church’s teachings and be established in the faith, growing faithful to our baptism;  we have to recognize that as faith-community and human organization we have to be permeated, in fact, to abound and overflow with thanksgiving for it is indeed our immeasurable joy to serve the Lord and his kingdom after all, and  we understand our being Eucharistic community to mold and commit us deeply to bold witness and courageous service to advance God’s kingdom as we continue our journey, live-out our history, and translate our faith to actions. These are the marks of our celebration this year that hopefully will enable us to demonstrate that our church life as IFI continues the same way it begins in the faith of a God whom in Lord Jesus intervenes in our history and lifts us up in his calling to become a sign, sacrament and foretaste of God’s work. The theme is therefore our invitation for ourselves to live continuously in Christ.
It is our prayer then that this 120th IFI Proclamation Anniversary Celebration makes us truly a Church that thrives in Christ and inspires us to see ourselves as IFI as God’s wonderful creation for his purpose. We are, to paraphrase an author, God’s gift but what we shall become as Church is our gift to God. May this celebration lead us to renewed hope and strength in doing our mission as Church and to clearer vision on God’s kingdom as God’s people for purposeful IFI. We all wish every IFI member all over the world a happy and meaningful 120th Proclamation Anniversary. May God equip and bless us in this undertaking.
+ OBISPO MAXIMO
August 1 2022