Friday, November 11, 2016

We belong!

Every person has an identity by which he/she is recognized, or belongs to, as an individual and member of a group, starting with the family.  The stronger the sense of belonging, the more secure and supportive the person becomes so that all members garner the feeling of unity and mutual self-giving.  Active membership spells loyalty that will strengthen the binding force that will unify efforts for success in endeavors undertaken.  This means participation in meetings and events, readiness to sacrifice and face struggles and differences courageously, always with respect for one another, regardless of rank, gender, social status, and ethnicity.  From the responsibility shown by the parents in the family, the child will also learn to be responsible and honest in his/her future family, community, and, as a Christian, the covenanted faith community or the parish. There will be joy in going through all the hard work and sacrifice because of true love that is at the root of relationships. 

The season of Advent-Christmas once more reminds us of the great love of the Blessed Trinity whereby the Father “gave His only Son so that everyone who believes in Him may not die but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16).  “The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us.  We saw His glory, the glory which He received as the Father's only Son” (Jn. 1:14). Jesus, the Son of God, wanted to belong to humanity. “He always had the nature of God, but He did not think that by force He should try to remain equal with God.  Instead of this, of His own free will He gave up all He had, and took the nature of a servant.  He became like a human being and appeared in human likeness” (Phil. 2:6-7).

As the year of the Parish as a Communion of Communities opens, it will be good to look into the quality of belongingness, fellowship and participation experienced by members of any parish or basic ecclesial community, with the aim of building a parish that is truly a faith community immersed in the lives of its people. Ultimately, we belong to God the Source of all being, and God will always give us what we need to fulfill His destiny for us.  May each day deepen our realization as being a 'child of the Most High God' and prod us to discern His loving will for the good of our family, community, and society.  Jesus our Brother has shown us the way, as He was born in and belonged to a  human family, and redeemed us unto His family–God's family.  If we could hear God sing, He might use the words of an old popular song: “You belong to My heart, now and forever.”

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