Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto Parish Chapter

WESTB2C Cluster

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The Obedience of Matthew

I desire mercy not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but the sinners. – Matthew 9:13

Today’s gospel highlights the calling of Matthew as one of Jesus’s disciples. Being a tax collector, people hated him and he was labeled sinner. Despite all these, Jesus chose and called him in his ministry. The call is surprising, but equally surprising is the readiness of Matthew to respond to the call. When Jesus called him, he knew that he was forgiven so he accepted it with profound gratefulness by saying YES to him.

“When we are called and chosen, we are consistently forgiven.”

Jesus decision to choose Matthew tells us that the Lord does not focus on our imperfections but on how He can fulfill his mission in us. By allowing ourselves to be used by God through our service, we are consequently opening our lives to be transformed. The decision to follow him signifies our acceptance of his forgiveness, therefore we do not have to focus on our past sins and guilt rather on his love and mercy.

Does your past sins or current struggles hinders you from giving your all to the Lord?

Don’t think one is ever too wicked to be his disciple. As they say, your past does not define your future. Remember how a despised tax collector was transformed by God’s mercy and believe that you are meant for better things. Like Matthew, all you have to do is say YES to his invitation.

While it is true that we must separate ourselves with sins and evil ways, we must not isolate.  Allow your painful past to become wounds that heal. Allow the Lord to bless others through you, the lessons that you learn from the past are meant to be shared so you can help others. To become light to the world, we have to shine in darkness.

Don’t let your imperfections rob the bright future ahead of you.

God is up for something better. Listen to him and obey when He say, “FOLLOW ME!”


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Servant Leader

As Christians, we have a perfect example of a Servant Leader in Jesus Christ. There’s a story in the bible when two of his disciples requested place of honor at Jesus “left and right”. They believed that leadership meant position of great honor and power, He in turn, cleared out that greatness is not about superiority or lording it over, rather it is serving others.

Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:43-45

Servant leadership is more than just an attitude, it is a unique form of discipleship. A state of total surrender and of denying oneself, “member’s welfare first before mine”. It is a choice we make when we are firm with the decision to follow the life of Christ, to live a life the way he lived and love the way he loved. So regardless of the position, we have this mindset to live a life of service whether in leadership role or not.

As they say, leaders are made not born because leadership skills can be taught. On the other hand, servant-leadership is a choice, it cannot be forced to someone. It must be embraced out of personal decision and commitment.

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One-to-ones in Transformation (June Prison Ministry Service)

I would like to share what happened on the weekend of June 16 to 17, 2012. Upon waking up on June 18, I really felt like a different person. I thought I came from a retreat. The transformation from the inside has been very evident. I’ve learned in the book, The Purpose Driven Life (which I’m reading right now, and yes, only now 🙂 ), that changes spiritually and emotionally don’t necessarily mean they can only happen on retreat, recollection, powerful talks, seminars and conferences. But also through every day experiences, through a nice conversation with a person, number of persons or a group of people, through watching an inspirational show, through serving and other means.

On June 16, I attended the chapter’s CLP Talk 11 and 12. It was a very rewarding night for the speakers talked about the Mission of the Couples for Christ and the Transformation with Christ. It was also a chance to be with the CLP participants and the service team. After the CLP, Sis Cath, Bro Kimm, Bro Milo and myself headed to the house of Sis Jophine to prepare the things we will be using for the Prison Service the next day. The house was quite far, then we realized distance is not a hindrance to a person who really wants to serve, and I truly honor Sis Jophine for that and the other servants who also live from afar.

It was a nice conversation with the team and with Sis Ipay during the preparation of the things we will use for the service. What’s nice about it is the sense of maturity of everyone. It was evident that we don’t talk as girls and boys, but as young adults, men and women. What I learned from the night is that, life is not really perfect for anyone, but if one understands that life is a blessing and that everything that’s been happening has a good reason, he/she will have an optimism to carry on even if it’s hard. We have our own struggles and questions in our personal lives, in our faith, in our service and in our everyday experiences. As what was stated from The Purpose Driven Life, this life is a test of faith and a test of trust of our Almighty God. And through this, our relationship with Him will grow deeper each day. With our frequent communication with Him, I know He is smiling down on us from heaven.

After the entire tasks were done and some chit chats, we finally slept. We woke up at 5.30am to pack the food that we will serve.

Upon arrival at the entrance of Medium Security Camp, we found out that we will be serving with Singles for Christ from the chapter, West C2-B. Two different chapters but with one desire, and that is to serve, all for the glory of God.

The program for that day was the one-to-ones of the participants and the facilitators from West B1-A and West C2-B. The activity is in preparation for the Baptism the following Sunday. As the one-to-ones was occurring, the Music Ministry of West B1-A sang in one side and became the background music, which helped the participants reflect and think of the areas in their lives they want to be prayed for. The other service team became the prayer warrior and some served the lunch for the participants and service team.

The facilitators were overwhelmed and touched because of the trust given to them by the CLP participants in their one-to-ones. We all know it’s really hard to open-up what’s inside our hearts and mind. It takes guts. But the inmates willingly shared part of their lives to their facilitators which humbled the latter.

The whole service team was much fulfilled and smiles were present in our faces especially during the short sharing outside the Medium Security Camp.

But wait! There’s still more!

Bro Kimm, Bro Berl, Bro Avel, Bro Jherwin and Sis Majane returned to Bilibid the following Sunday, June 24, to serve for the Baptism. I truly honor them for their tireless effort because the night before the service, June 23, was our Chapter’s CLP Lord’s day in St. Jude. As what Sis Majane wrote in the caption of this picture, “Passion for my Mission”.

I’ll forever be grateful to God for all the experiences, realizations and learning He has given me. My life has been unfolding with every second and every minute that’s passing by. And I am just so positive about life.

Thank you SFC community for the tremendous impact in our lives. And with the power of the Holy Spirit, spiritual transformation can be achieved.

Happy Service! 🙂