Romans 12:2 “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect”.
My friends, in pursuit of perfection, did we step on each other’s toes? Did we, unknowingly hurt each other’s feelings? Did we utter unkind words, gossip or speak ill of another? Let’s step back a little and be bold enough to acknowledge our shortcomings. Let’s step back, not only to congratulate those who have done well, but more importantly to encourage those who are not. It is time for healing. It is time to move on.
As we conclude the 36th BCBP National Anniversary Celebration held last 22-23 April 2016 in Cebu City, I felt immense joy. Not because I am relieved of work, nor because of all the congratulatory messages and general success of the event; I felt joy because I finally understood the transformative nature of NAC; because I learned so much, experienced so much, and forged friendships.
On the scheduled arrival of our participating members, I rushed to the airport to check on the team handling the surge of arrivals. It was past 8 in the morning when I noticed this elderly couple smiling among the crowd. After 3 hours when 8 buses have already come and gone, I notice this same couple still smiling contentedly. Puzzled I asked why they were still there, why they haven’t insisted on joining one of earlier trips. Their response, “it’s okay bro, we can wait,” still smiling.
If that doesn’t set a beautiful tone for the succeeding days, I don’t know what will.
THANK YOU for taking to heart the checklist I asked of you in my welcome message. Thank you for bringing a Christ-like attitude throughout our 2-day event. Thank you for bringing compassion, humility, patience, kindness and joy to our celebration. Admittedly, there were disagreements, raising of voices, blame games, as well as intense emotional and spiritual warfare. Yet we all came as one, united. For sure, my patience was stretched ten times past its limit, but my love for you has stretched over a hundred times, and my joy a thousand times!
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”
After all, the transformative nature of NAC lies our search for inner peace, our unity as brothers and sisters, our longing for God. St Augustine said it perfectly, “Lord, our hearts are restless, until they can find rest in You.” And in St Paul’s letter to the Romans, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”.
What better way to end this celebration, than in finding true joy in the company of each other, in finding joy in denying ourselves of comforts – such as the first seats on the bus and special seats in the venues, reserved parking passes, etc… You made way for the comfort of others. You made sacrifices for your brothers and sisters. This is why I can conclude that our recent celebration was a definite success! You made it a success!
I now ask one last thing of you. We need your help.
We would very much like to feature the NAC36 in the Bcbp Kapatiran portal. Kindly visit http://www.bcbpnac36.com. I am sure you have PHOTOS of NAC worth remembering? Upload it. REFLECTIONS worth sharing? Post it. Lastly, we would love to hear your honest EVALUATION. Grade us.