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The Filipino Family: Missionary Disciples of The Eucharist

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." ...John 1:1


Bishop Gilbert Garcera of the Diocese of Daet in Camarines Norte was the recollection master during the annual recollection of the CFC Elders Assembly.


The recollection was held in the morning of January 10, 2016 at the Lay Force in Guadalupe, Makati. He began by quoting the above testimony from Saint John the Evangelist proclaiming that Jesus Christ is our life and the beginning of life.


The bishop reminded everyone that that particular day was the last day of the Christmas season as well as the celebration of the Baptism of Christ. Being only a few days into the New Year, the bishop encouraged everyone to have a New Year’s resolution in order to attain our personal goals in life. He remarked that such resolution serves as a constant reminder of what we wish to achieve to better our life. He challenged the EA members present to constantly seek change,be open to change, and accept change, in the midst of spiritual battles and worldly temptation. He stressed that we should continue to stand firm in the belief that we are created in the image and likeness of God—the Creator of everything including our very own lives.


New Year… Fresh start… New Life… How do we start right?

Bishop Garcera cited Isaiah 40:31, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew the strength. They will take up wings like eagles. They will run and not struggle. They will walk and not tire.” He drew upon the example of an eagle that needs to be pushed for change to happen, to be gently coaxed to overcome conflicting emotions—the thrill of soaring and the fear of falling—and eventually to accept the painful process of CHANGE that it needs in order to be equipped for a new journey ahead.


When do we start to change?

Bishop Garcera cited the work of Dr. Caroline Leaf, a cognitive neuroscientist specializing in Neuropsychology, in her book Switch On Your Brain, where she links scientific principles of the brain with the Wisdom, Love and Truth of God’s Word. Dr. Leaf posited that the mind is the most powerful thing in the universe after God.


The talk allowed me to reflect on the truth that God made us in His image, that we are a reflection of God in all the good things He has done in our lives. We are indeed, as Bishop Garcera emphasized, wired for His love which is basically the core of our Christian life. It is painful to see that despite the two millennia that have passed since Christ’s birth, the world has not changed much. “Glory to God and Peace to Men” remains to be simply an expression, not a reality. Bishop Garcera encouraged us to look beyond by the renewal of our mind, if we believe that there is still hope for change and for the reward that God will give us at the end of our journey.


The bishop highlighted three important things we need to do in order to remain focused in our faith journey with our families:

  • Pray the Rosary as a family daily
  • Receive the Eucharist/attend Holy Mass daily
  • Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession)


Bishop Garcera likened the family to a sacred temple which accepts the love of God. He emphasized the message of Pope Francis that there is no perfect family and that there are no perfect parents or perfect children. Disappointments, even deep resentments, prevail in many homes. However, there is still hope, if one wants to know the mind of God, to find the capacity to watch over one’s own heart, mind, and action. Bishop Garcera asked the participants to take time to reflect on what happened in the previous year, to be more vigilant, to resist hatred, envy and pride, and to control our emotions so as not to inflict harm on others.


The recollection gave my husband and me the firm resolve to commit our family to God’s will. Together we will bring back the joy of praying the Rosary at home. As parents, we resolve to witness to other parents that we need to educate our children to be more loving, patient, persevering, generous, and God–fearing. We need to teach our children to be joyful amidst the difficulties in everyday life, and ready to smile all the time. Family is a gift from God, a place of life, an enclave of cure and a stage of forgiveness as Pope Francis imparted in his message to families.


As Catholics, let us carry with us the assurance of Jesusthat we are saved and that He loves us. As we face the challenges of 2016, it is time to let go of past burdens. Like the eagle, we must take the painful decision to go through the process of change in order to soar high again! (Indette Gaspillo)

Added on Tuesday, February 9, 2016



 

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