Up Close and Priestly but Never Personal

Healed to heal, Healed to serve
The task of building-up a spirit-filled community can be felt from the hectic schedule and intense activities being undertaken in our Parish. Everyone, leaders in their own right, is doing their part.
Like a one big happy family, the whole parish moves as one, from the Team of Pastors to the Pastoral Council and its Ministries to the Lay Organizations and Movements down to the chapel level. As in a household, all chores are adequately being fulfilled.
But what if a prodigal son or daughter returns and finds out nobody’s home or the house is closed and has no feast? And what if the so-called “elder- brother-syndrome” fills the air?
How does it feel if one is on the road towards change and nobody wants him to? Probably he’ll opt to go back to wasting his life and be worse than before, and to become host to eight demons ( Matt. 12:3-45), or he may become stone cold – oblivious to any goodness, and choose to become an avid attacker of the church hierarchy instead.
I talked to one of our pastors about this and suggested to him to encourage all Lay Organizations and Movements (LOM) to open their doors to lost sheep. I thought it was as simple as that, until he quoted to me Matt 8:4, “ Do not tell anyone. Go, make haste to the priest. Let him check you up.”
I missed that one ! Truly, God commissioned His priests to take care of the plight of returnees, the ones who have been healed – changed. And true enough, the priests have the knowledge, ability and compassion to deal with these things.
To be able to function well, one must be put in the right place. “Where one stumbled, it is there he ought to rise”, as the saying goes. The sacrament of reconciliation does not only forgive trespasses but brings the offender back to the community. One is healed in order to heal and to serve. Dili lang mapasaylo ang sala diha sa sakramento sa pasaylo kondili ipasig-uli ang napasaylo pagbalik sa iyang katilingban nga gilihukan,aron makaayo usab siya sa lain ug mosugod pagpangalagad para sa uban alang sa gingharian.
Metanoia – a change of heart, is the call of the Lenten Season. A changed heart is a new heart. A newly changed person need not be given big responsibilities in the large scale of service activities in the community. What is essential is that one serves where he is needed. And one can only truly know where he is needed when he heeds the words of Christ, “
Go,make haste to the priest. Let him check you up.” (RDD)

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