BCBP NAC 40 Congratulatory Message by Fr. Herb Schneider

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Fr. Herb Schneider
BCBP Spiritual Director

A Happy 40th Anniversary to all!

What a strange way of celebrating our anniversary! What a  strange way of living out our BCBP mission and community life. The anniversary celebration in Davao cancelled. We cannot come together for breakfasts, Community Assemblies, Action Groups. But not only that, many of us do not go to work; some work from home. We are locked up in our homes.

In the Book of Revelation, the Risen Lord sends letters to the churches of Asia Minor through His prophet, John. In each of the letters at the end, we find: “Let the one who has ears, listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. We in the BCBP also need to ask: “What is the Spirit saying to us through the circumstances of our life now. One thing is  sure, the Lord wants to transform the BCBP so that it will be more fruitful as his servant in the marketplace and the professions. Let me offer a few suggestions of what the Lord might want at this time from His BCBP.

The first concerns family life. Before the lock-down, we spent hours in traffic. We rushed around from one obligation to another. We hardly had time and often saw little of one another in our families. The Lord has given us a gift of time. We are no longer stuck in traffic.  Most often we are at home together with our children. What a golden opportunity to grow as families. Husbands and wives have time for couple dialogue. I believe the Lord wishes us to use the time to grow in our relationships as spouses. What a golden opportunity to deepen communications with our children.  Even more important is to create a rich family life marked by prayer, service, and play, doing projects together. We must not waste this time by sitting on the couch and watching movies. I am not against watching a movie together, but even more important is to actively create a rich family life together.

My second suggestion concerns our BCBP life and mission.  Please make sure that your Action Groups meet faithfully every other week and that the focus of their meeting is on sharing of life. The Action Group Leader should know where his or her members are at, so that the Group can encourage, build up and  concretely help where that is necessary.

We do have the time now to catch up on our one-on-ones. Use FaceTime, Viber Video Calls, etc. to talk to your members. Make sure they are doing well in spite of everything.

We need to learn to use the technology that allows us to meet virtually as long as we cannot meet physically. I believe that even after this lock-down, we can learn to use the technology we have learned to aid us in caring for our members.

I believe it is more important for leaders of the BCBP and members to become familiar with modern technology and actually use it. We are preparing now for a greater work of evangelization  and we can begin already now by reaching out to colleagues in the work place and to co-workers, etc. through social media. We can bring the joy and peace of the risen Lord to others now. We don’t have to wait till things normalize.

One final suggestion. Many of us may not be that familiar with meeting apps and other technological tools, but most of us have a great resource at home, our children. They would be most happy to teach us and that brings me back to family life. Getting the kids involved in teaching us is a great way to come together as a family.

May I encourage all to come before the Lord and beg him to show you how you are to use the time available now in order to build up your family and to get ready to serve the Lord even more when the shut-down ends. I believe the next 40 years will be far more exciting. Our President Joffe talked about the significance of 40 in his Anniversary Address. If like the Israelites the first 40 years brought the BCBP to the borders of the Promised Land, how glorious must the time be when we actually enter the Promised Land. A Happy 40th Anniversary.

You are all in my prayers.

Fr. Herb
BCBP Spiritual Director

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