Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"CONVERSION" or "REVELATION"?

St. Paul's Own Words:

"For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus. Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord's brother."(Gal 1:11-19)

"Last of all, as to one untimely born, he [Jesus] appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me."
(1 Cor 15:8-10)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SERENDIPITY

It was not my first time to visit the place where people have been lawfully deprive exercising their basic rights for freedom because of some acts committed which is contrary to the norms set by human standard. They are individuals who hunger in exercising thier innate freedom, which can be liked to a bird flying willfully in the serene cloudy sky after escaping from the small and lonely cage. They are our brothers and sisters in the detention cell who happened to be detained for a grave cause in search for authentic truth and justice. Criticism might be their surname but they are not as notorious as we perceive them. They have been detained because of their deviant behaviors but some of them are just victims of inequality as an effect of human fragility and therefore need our heartfelt concern.


Starjed Micro-Financing Corporation with its corporate officers and staffs headed by the Human Formation and Evangelization Department visited the two jails in the province of Surigao namely: Surigao Norte Provincial Jail and Surigao City Jail to greet each inmate a meaningful Christmas as our deepest way of showing our concerns to them and to make them feel the joyful and bountiful spirit of Christmas by giving something with great generosity. It might not be too expensive but what matters most is the purity of our intentions. We did not confine ourselves in our own comfort zones and spend pleasurably the little things that we have but rather, we reach out and extend our wide open arms to share the things that the world is valuing for the sake of our beloved brethren whom we most value. By so doing, we become ambassadors of Jesus’ unfathomable generosity for the salvation of the whole humanity. This is our way of responding the call to “kenosis”, to let go and emptied oneself of the things which we value for a greater purpose. Such may somehow be a reflection of the ultimate and mysterious “kenosis” of Jesus whom we devotedly follow.

“Meri Krismas na lang, sa akong mga minahal, sa akong mga kahigalaan sa malipayong puluy-anan, ako may nag-antos wa magpaabot nga kaloy-an i-ampo lamang ninyo kami ug meri krismas na lang…” a popular lyrics of the song I personally heard in the jail that kept on lingering my ears. It really manifested Jesus’ influence in their lives. I don’t know who made the lyrics of the song but it would openly suggest how lonely it would be to celebrate Christmas in the jail. It pained me a lot as if my heart is pierced with a lance having the thought in my mind that they would only celebrate their Christmas in the very little corner of the prison cell while others have been jumping and enjoying all out loud. They seemed to be the loneliest people living amidst of the jubilant environment. It is as if they were in a concert standing in the middle, so idle and lonely while others are shouting and dancing with oozing energy. I might be too emotional but with all honesty, I almost shed tears watching over them singing and dancing inside their prison cell trying to convince themselves that Christmas would still be the same even inside the jail. I could really sense the glow of their hopeless faces and the gladness in their hearts being visited by a family not by blood but a family united in the mercy of the Lord. They might be deprived of seeing the bright and crystallized Christmas lights and d├ęcor yet Starjed stands by her name, that is, to be a star that gives direction, a star that gives hope, a star that gives illumination to the lives that is clouded with so much darkness. Starjed, moved by the mercy of the Lord, brought her light to the dark corners of the prison cell so that the light of Jesus would shine so brightly in the hearts of every inmate. Hearts have been burning with so much happiness both the inmates and the Starjed family despite the cold bars that desperately separate us apart. It adds to their confidence and hope for a brighter tomorrow by just manifesting our sincere sympathy to them instead of putting them in a box of prejudices. They badly need us; they hunger for our presence, to make them feel that they still belong to a community where they came from. Ultimately, they need our prayers for the reparation of what has been damage, for what has been lost and to help them become courageous to hope for a new world that awaits them soon.


The opportunity to learn starts with a simple experience. It was just an ordinary visit but a rare chance of a heartwarming encounter with the least expected persons. I could not contain the feeling of amazement having been moved with such experience that somehow broadens the horizon of my learning not from the academe or any other center of education but in the isolated site of a prison cell. It was just an accidental discovery of something that is so pleasant, fortunate and valuable. A grace-filled encounter that we call serendipity

Friday, January 15, 2010

DEEP


DEEP is where it is DARK: where there is MYSTERY: where the way is not known; where it is easy to become FEARFUL and even turn back.

But DEEP within your heart, GOD is where there's always STRENGHT to go in; where TRUTH becomes known: where your LOVE holds me close: where I need not be afraid.

My HIDDEN SELF,DEEP,DEEP DOWN in the WOMB of YOURSELF: SAFE... NOURISHED... GUARDED... ENLIVENED.


TAKE ME THERE, GOD... I WANT TO GO...

Read prayerfully the poem!!!..... It's a beautiful poem composed by Joyce Rupp.... May I invite you then to see your deepest self; Our deepest mysteries within.... Be courageous enough to face the real YOU...