Mini-talk given by Marite Lavina, BCBP Greenhills, during the Ladies Breakout Forum, 30th NAC, Davao, Apr 24, 2010, in response to Nancy Catan’s talk on “The Role of Women in the BCBP”.
Women in the BCBP are no different than the men. Let me repeat that: Women in the BCBP are no different than the men … in the sense that
• We share the same BCBP Vision and Mission
• We are called to be holy disciples of Christ, and
• We evangelize by how we live our lives.
IN OUR FAMILY:
We work as a couple in translating these values in our family life, so that our children and the people who live with us experience Christ in how we communicate and treat one another. Through our example as parents, our family becomes a holy family, a church in miniature. Men give witness to the gospel as husband and father; women give witness to the gospel as wife and mother.
IN OUR BUSINESS MILIEU:
Women in the business community, particularly those in positions of authority, share in the evangelization work of the BCBP by reflecting Christ into their marketplace. This they do by ensuring that Christ’s values prevail in the business dealings within their sphere of influence.
IN OUR BCBP COMMUNITY:
Women share in the evangelization work in the BCBP community by making Christ present in the way we live the Commitment Card. We live our lives so that everyone who comes into the BCBP finds a home here because they experience Christ in the way we relate to one another.
IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD:
Women can also share in BCBP’s evangelization work by bringing Christ to those in need in their neighborhood community. This can come in the form of social action, livelihood training, counseling, conducting bible study or catechism classes. In James 2:14, 26 we read: “My brothers, what good is it to profess faith without practicing it? …faith without works is dead as a body without breath.”
Fr. Pat Giordano, Bobby’s former high schoolteachers, a very good friend and Nancy’s co-author, once asked me, “The BCBP is a great community but how have you helped the Philippines become a better country? How have you harnessed all these talents and treasures and goodness in order to make your presence felt, in a very positive way?”
And so, in addition to Nancy’s examples, I recommend that we begin to look at the neighborhoods around our chapter where we can help make lives better. We don’t need to wait for our Chapter Head to tell us how to respond to the needs in our neighborhood community.
At one time, all the Action Groups in our Unit reached out to various communities in need… the aged and infirm, abandoned children with cerebral palsy, drug addicts on rehab, prisoners and retired priests, to name a few. Together with the men, the women brought needed food, medicine and supplies. They played and cared for children who needed to be hugged. They made time for the old and the lonely who needed someone to talk to. At the next chapter assembly, members shared about how their experiences had blessed them and this paved the way for the chapter’s succeeding programs: medical/dental missions, feeding programs, soap-making classes.
I know that many BCBP women are already doing this since it is a natural activity for us given our motherly instincts. We may not be building houses, but we will be enriching lives. And hopefully, when we finally come face to face with our Lord, we will hear Him say, as is written in Matthew 25:34-36, 40:
Come, you have my Father’s blessing! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you comforted me, in prison and you came to visit me. … I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.
WE ARE WOMEN OF STRENGTH
Always remember that BCBP women are women of strength!
• Having a quiet and gentle spirit does not mean we are pushovers. We know the truth and we live by it.
• Being submissive doesn’t mean we are subservient. When you think you are right but your husband still decides to do something different, it takes strength to be able to say: “OK, I will support you in your decision and pray that you are successful.”
• Finally, it takes strength (and competence) to effectively balance home, work and community.
BCBP WOMEN, women of strength, your homes, your business milieu, the BCBP community, your country … all are waiting to meet CHRIST.
When will YOU let them meet HIM?