by BCBP Editor

By Peter Paul Marcelo, BCBP Pasay
terms n conditions
“Give me life, O Lord, and I will do your commands.” Psalm 119:88

Terms and Conditions – a phrase we usually encounter in contracts that specifies the general or specific provisions, requirements or standards that form the integral part of an agreement. It generally consists of two elements. The“Offer” or “Demand” and the “Acceptance” made by two parties who exchange considerations to create mutuality of obligation. By adhering to the principle that “agreement should be kept”, modern society follows God’s desire of putting order into business and professions.

Our business environment is full of bargains and negotiations. Time immemorial, employees demand for salary increase, improvement of workplace conditions, and better benefit packages while employers would ask for loyalty, productivity, and efficiency from the work force.

From Psalm 119:88, it dawned on me that this same negotiation and bargaining activity also happen in the spiritual realm. One time in our lives we have engaged into one of these negotiations with God. We say, “O Lord, let me get through this one last exam…or interview…and I promise you I will attend mass every Sunday.” When we are in tight situations, we ask from the Lord. In exchange, we promise to do something good or remove a vice. Maybe we are in this community because of a bargain, who knows?

The very interesting, if not funny, thing about this negotiation is that God has, in fact, already given us life. Every breath we owe to the animation of the Holy Spirit. It was our Father who gave us the very heart beat of life at the moment of conception. He gave us a soul, an eternal life. God has already held up His part, the “Offer”, of the agreement. Seems like the only thing left is the second part where we are supposed to do His commands. It should not be that at any point in our life we’ll be saying,” OK, from this day on, I will obey your commands if you will do this and that.” God has already given us life.

The beautiful Psalm 119 is God’s words being presented from the point of view of an Old Testament mentality as God’s commandments. Not just the Big 10, but all of the many little commands that God invites us to do. In the Gospel of John, the only command mentioned was to “Love one another.” So, perhaps if we substitute this to our phrase, the modern bargaining might be, “O Lord, If you would only give me life, or do this small thing for me, or help me out in this situation, I promise to love people.” And again, God has held up his part of the bargain. It is now on us to do his commands.

Now it comes down to this question, “Do we love one another?” Not the warm and fuzzy, valentine’s day, hallmark kind of love but the genuine act of putting other people’s interests ahead of our own. Can we sacrifice for someone else? That someone can be a BCBP member or a friend, or, as Jesus commands, someone who does not like you at all. Can you sacrifice for that person? Can you serve with selfless love and put people’s needs above your own, even though that person does not give a hoot about you, or is even out to get you?

I am so proud of the members of the Chapter who have one way or another given their time to sacrifice for the other members’ needs. In my absence in the past few months, they made sure that activities run smoothly. For this year 2014, we will be seeing more members mature in their service and leadership. I am proud to present the new set of Community Leaders: Bro Mario Racho – Formation Director, Bro Emil Macalanda – Mission Director, Bro Arnel Diego – PSD, Bro Jack Ricaplaza – Unit Leader 1, Bro Dwight Penson – Unit Leader 2, Sis Net Canalita – treasurer, Sis Mimi Nolledo – Secretary. The former members of the Governance Team will continue to serve by doing AGL and ministry head duties. Bro Ike Abad and Bro Sen Cid will act as AGLs. Bro Mel Dulig will assist in the growth of Pasay North Mission as PSD. Bro Dama Cid will be our new Breakfast Head and Bro Leo De Vera will be our new Liturgical Ministry Head. We also created a new position, the Chapter Auditor, which will be occupied by Bro Elmer Almodovar. The other community leaders not mentioned retain their current position.

In your prayer time, I invite you all, particularly our community leaders, to read Psalm 119 and see how we as disciples can genuinely rejoice that God has given us commandments.

The act of thanking God for the commandments sounds awkward somehow in the unbelievers’ point of view. We do not rally in front of Pasay City Hall to thank the Mayor and City Council for giving us restrictions and ordinances that may or may not make our lives more convenient. It’s not normal for citizens to do this but if you will go through Psalm 119, being grateful for God’s commands is what this chapter actually says. We say, “Thank you for commanding me, Lord.”

In my reflection, I realize that if the Lord did not command me to selflessly love others, I will not do so and most probably be self-centered.

It’s good that God reminds us where we stand in this bargain today. He gives us life every day. So, I ask myself, “Am I keeping my end of the bargain?” At the end of the day, I pray that we can all say, “Yes Lord, I will serve you.”

Happy New year to all!

Love God.

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