Thursday, January 27, 2011

work is prayer, work is love

I have been reflecting on the value of loving your job. There are times of course when I feel bored and want to be somewhere else, the mall perhaps, or in my room, under the warm blanket..especially now that rain pours everyday and the wind is cold. Or go curl up in a couch and read a good book. But Jesus reminds me that my job is my mission field. It is where I can bear his light and shine it for all people to see.

Recently we've been encountering a lot of problems in the townhomes we've constructed last year. Leaking roofs, clogged downspouts, and bad plumbing gone berserk! Not to mention complaining homeowners who have to bear with a cessation in water supply, workers going in and out of their homes, etc, etc.

Sometimes, the thought of quitting the job comes into my mind. "God, I wish I can be out there, doing mission work with the poor, without thought for what to do next, what to say to irate homeowners, etc." But in the end, the voice of Jesus whispers(but really, he whispers loudly), "I placed you in the right job, you are there for a reason, that is your road to sanctity. Be patient, be kind, be tolerant. When you feel on the verge of giving up, offer it up to me, your cross, a sacrifice of love. I will strengthen you, equip you for the challenges, and sustain you when things go rough. When you are on the brink of anger, breathe me, and I will make a peaceful man of you. When you are afraid of the consequences, I will give you confidence in your decisions, and intuition enough to know what is right. When you are sad and tired of all the mental and physical stress, I will comfort you and give you rest. Cast all your cares upon me, you cannot outdo my generosity and my providence."

And when Jesus becomes silent, waiting for my reply, I breathe out and say, "Yes Lord, I know you can do it for me. You are far greater, more powerful, stronger and wiser. I cast my care on your shoulders. Come, let us begin to walk again." And it is always as if Jesus is my Simon of Cyrene, and we walk towards the Cross together, lightening each other's load.

Work is prayer, and work is love in action.

Monday, January 3, 2011

new year's resolutions

Happy New Year!

It is the tradition of most people to make new year's resolutions. I am not exempted from this. But do we mean it? Most of the time, by the end of the year we find we have not fulfilled our resolutions. Maybe it's a lack of will on our part, or maybe other more important (or more tempting) things cropped up and we lost our drive for that resolution.

I have made a list of resolutions myself. I am praying to God that I be able to fulfill them all in the year. Hopefully, the grace will be given to me to continue doing the good things I am doing and to eliminate the bad things that are hampering my growth.

Another great thing I have started this Christmas season is to join the Archdiocesan Renewal Catholic Services(ARCS), a missionary group of lay people who go to parishes (especially in the rural areas) and establish a Dawn Rosary group. Very Marian! I went on my first mission last December 30 and I had a blast!

The journey to Argao was wrought with anxieties as a part of my mudguard had to be fixed, I also feared that I was driving with a flat tire. But my companions Bro. John and Bro. Edgar assured me that Our Lady will keep us safe and that it's the Devil who is making all these anxieties happen. We prayed the Rosary (four decades) on the way and I asked for Mama Mary's protection on our journey.

And true enough, we reached the destination without any mishap. We had a hearty breakfast at Sr. Tuting's home. She served us tinolang isda and guso (fish and seaweed salad). Yum! Then we went on our way to the mountain barangay that we had to go to.  They were celebrating their anniversary for the Dawn Rosarians and we were invited. I had to leave the car below the rougher and hillier part of the way and we went to the chapel by way of motorcycles.

I was asked to give a testimony about my experience of the Lord and we had Mass. After the Mass we had a hearty lunch and then Bro. John gave his talk, followed by Bro. Edgar and his entertaining ice breakers, then we ended everything with Sr. Tuting's talk.

The good thing that struck me was how very simple the people were. Of course, you would expect this from a rural barangay, but there was a quality about it that impressed me. I sensed the presence of Christ. Truly, he is present in the poor and simple. And they are indeed blessed.

While waiting for a motorcycle while my companions went ahead of me, a couple invited me into their house so I can sit while waiting. The husband talked to me and asked me questions and stuff and it felt so good to just talk without any inhibitions.  Usually, when you're in the city, you should be wary of strangers. Talking to them might make you the victim of robbery or some other illegal activity. It was freeing to let go of qualms for awhile. And you feel that you can trust these people, even if you've never met them before. They make you feel at home and peaceful. God is with them. They asked a passing rider, their friend, to take me up to the chapel as he was on his way there too. And he let me ride FREE of charge! What a blessing!

We headed home safely after a light snack at Sr. Tuting's. And the day ended with a sigh of thanks that God has given me an opportunity to help the missions and to meet very good people. I love the poor, and I am convinced more and more that the poor are God's representatives here on earth.

"Whatever you do to the least of these, my brothers, you do it to me." --Jesus Christ