Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Learning to Embrace Change

Time had flown so fast and I was surprised to find that it was the month of June once again. This particular month had always been a time of transition for me. Every schoolyear, which always started in June, had signaled in a new set of teachers, subjects and classmates. I had my first day of work at the Sandiganbayan in June 2002 and had my last day three years later, in June 2005. I was installed as a Branch Women's Moderator in June 2003 and lingkod QC became a fully-governing branch on the same month of the same year. Finally, I stepped down from service in June 2005 and had said goodbyes to some family members who migrated around the same time.

Through the years, I've come to look forward to Lingkod QC anniversaries as opportunities for God to speak in extraordinary ways to me and to the branch I belong to. This year was different, however, in the sense that there was no bombastic, earth-shaking, career-shifting message for me. Since the call for us is to Go Back to Basics (Back2ba6), I was struck by a basic lesson in servanthood. While singing at the First Friday Mass, I was moved by the Offertory song - the Prayer for Generosity.

Teach me to serve you as I should. The prayer seemed to echo in my mind even days after the start of our anniversary month.

For as a servant I still was limited by my own "oughts" and "shoulds" about everything. I have a long way to go in giving and not counting the cost; in fighting and not heeding the wounds. I toil but I often seek for rest. I labor, but honestly I ask God for rewards! Clearly, I have taken orders but marched off without waiting for the rest of the instructions. Upon hearing God's will, I refused to do it His way and in His time. Does this sound familiar? These are classic mistakes of impatient perfectionists. Maybe I'll learn these lessons when I'm in heaven already. While here on earth, I stumble on the same pitfalls and it is only by Jesus' love that I am able to stand up and walk again. Yes, the blogger is a child. I have not lived up to my own ideas and ideals. I know it's time to get real and start a new year with more awareness, and acceptance, of my infirmities.

As I am in the middle of transitions again - in my family and my community, another change is taking place close to home. During Pentecost Mass last Sunday at our chapel, Fr. Steve gave a beautiful homily on the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. He even gave his personal testimony of how he was transformed from a very shy kid who was terrified of public speaking, into a preacher who loved to talk during gatherings big and small. I told some brothers and sisters afterwards of being blessed by these homilies from a little chapel two streets away from my house, and they said they wished they too did not have to go far to hear a good homily.

And it would not be limited to homilies anymore. He also announced that Don Antonio Heights - Our Lady of Fatima sub-parish will soon become a parish, with neighboring subdivisions under it, to be finalized by the Bishop. The announcement was met with applause, but not as loud as that for the one succeeding it. Fr. Steve said that the Missionaries of God's Love, in his person, would become our parish priest. The applause was deafening. The people loved him and looked forward to serving under him. He told me that it was one of the duties of the parish priest to bring out the gifts of the parishioners and invite them to share the same to the body. Now if only I could hide from the MGLs!

As I live in Barangay Holy Spirit, our subdivision sponsored the 2nd Kalapati Festival of Quezon City. Kids dressed as kalapatis (doves) paraded and there was a program held right after the morning mass, outside the clubhouse. QC officials, employees and residents packed our little clubhouse grounds. I felt it a fitting way to mark our birth into the map as a parish.

It made sense to me that as we commemorated the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit empowered us all to fulfill another mission - to build a parish, one that would be evangelistic, Spirit-led and Spirit-filled. I told the MGLs that I would do anything they asked of me. And then I said a prayer: Here I am Lord, saying yes to you again, but, please, teach me to serve You as I should.

No comments: