Monday, May 22, 2017

Finding Faults

Matthew 11:16-19

John came without eating and drinking and they accused him of being possessed, and here comes Jesus, who eats and drinks and was accused a glutton, drunkard and friend of tax collectors.

The gospel reading from Matthew 11:16-19 echoes the same attitudes that sometimes still comes up in us, the tendency to look at only at what is wrong instead of looking what the other has done right. Just because we always see a certain person doing the same old bad habits, we already judge him to the point that when he does good things, we still find fault in what he has done.

It is not so much about brushing aside the wrongs, but more about acknowledging the good things the person has done.

The reading from Isaiah 48:17-19, if paraphrased today, says, “I am the God who had taught you for your own good and lead you to the place I have planned for you. If only you had listened to my instructions, you could have been fulfilling your dreams that I dreamed for you as well. If only you had just listened to me, but you choose to focus on others and what they are doing instead of focusing on me. You could have lived a full satisfying life, with a family that will keep your name long before you are gone.”

We might as well take note of this message before we ourselves will say “If only…” Before it’s too late, let us focus on what is good in others and encourage them to continue doing the same, instead of focusing on their faults and discouraging them. Let us build one another instead of tearing apart.  There are so many things to do than just faultfinding.

by aats

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Trailblazers


Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

This photo was taken when I was visiting Bukidnon, a province in Northern Mindanao, back when I was assigned in Mindanao. We were walking on a trail on our way to a monastery nearby.

This kind of reminds me of our role to not just be good followers but brave leaders who will dare carve new path for others to follow. It’s scary knowing that to trailblaze is to brave the unknown and it can mean painful sacrifices. However, the joy of adventure and discovery is fulfilling too, much more knowing that is for, of and with God.

Another thing about this photo is the blessing of being with nature. One of the things that I love about mission is the fact that you got the opportunity to see different environment… nature at its best! You will never get enough of God in nature, His messages are written in every flowers and trees and yes even in weeds! I find comfort, peace and direction in nature.

Lord, grant us the grace to brave the unknown and the joy of seeing you in the trees, flowers and yes even in weeds. Amen.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Being Real

Being on mission allows you to talk to so many people and even more privilege to have one on one and be part of someone else life. I have observe that most of the time when I talk to members, stories shared are shared in unadorned words, straight to the point and honest but as soon as members becomes leaders, tendency is to be choosy with words and tries to find the best euphemism someone can have because they are afraid to be judge. In the end they end up not being fully real and honest. Talking with members is a good reminder that the more we grow in leadership, the more real and honest should we become not the other way around. Being real and honest is an act of humility.

Teach us O Lord to be real and honest. Amen.

by aats

Of Question and Answer

After all these years of mission, there were plenty of times when I felt tired, dry and empty and so it is now, it comes sometimes occasionally and sometimes frequently. These kinds of things make me question why am I here in the first place? Why am I in mission? What if I live a different life? Tiredness, dryness and emptiness really drive us closer to the question that matters in life, whether we like it or not.

Affirmation, consolation and blessings of course come along, unexpectedly most of the time. But the questions linger on… and so I’ve learned to live with it and came to the conclusion that sometimes questions are much better than having answers. There are things that are beyond my understanding and to accept it is to “understand” itself.

However, though questions persist, life and mission itself continues. And I found that as long as I continue my life and mission, answers do come along the way.

So is this journey worth walking for? As long as I am with God and my life is for God, I believe I am on the right direction and the journey is more than worth walking for.

Mission after all is for others more than self and so while we question, we continue the mission, we fight the good fight and run the good race, because as G. K. Chesterton said, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.”

by aats