BY Peter Paul Marcelo, BCBP Pasay
February is the month I celebrate my birthday in the BCBP. I attended my first breakfast meeting on 21 February 1998, a few months after, I completed BCLP, and my life has never been the same since.
While many of my colleagues have left BCBP, a few of us stayed. One of our brothers asked me how come I stayed this long. I shared with him how I found happiness in the BCBP life. The key is this: GIVE more, EXPECT less.
Give more, expect less – that is the secret. Easier said than done, but if I have Jesus in my heart, I am more than a conqueror and will be able to follow His Holy Will. If I don’t have Jesus in my heart, I will do exactly the opposite. I will give less and less, and expect more and more. Before I know it, because of mounting frustration, my life in the BCBP would become miserable.
There’s an argument, would it be better if we give more and expect more also? Yes, that is a choice, but will you be happy? Give more and expect less, in fact you don’t have to expect at all, just give. I just give and lift up the result of those efforts to the workings of the Holy Spirit.
We can do this, achieve a happy BCBP life if we have Jesus in our hearts. And this is a challenge I usually present to everyone. Begin to love Jesus and invite Him to dwell in our hearts every day. Make our hearts a wonderful yet humble place for the King of Kings – the temple of the Holy Spirit.
Some time ago I came across a story of a priest who visited one of his students in one of his out-of-town trips. The boy was poor and lived in a simple bahay kubo. They did not have electricity and the only furniture was a chair. When the priest entered the house, he was treated like a king. He was offered the best seat in the house. Well, it was the only seat in the house. The mother took out her only money and gave it to the boy to buy ice cubes and a bottle of soda. She left nothing for herself and her son so that their guest would have refreshment.
This scene is so typical for the Filipino. We are known for the kind of hospitality we offer to our guest. We are so eager to offer the best of what we have so that the most humble visitor will be comfortable.
Sometimes I wonder whether I also offer the same hospitality to the Holy Spirit when I invite Him into my heart. Do we welcome Jesus in our hearts the way we Filipinos welcome our house guests?
In Romans 8:37, I was reminded why I need to invite the Lord into my heart. Scripture says, we are more than conquerors through Jesus who loves us. We can overcome all things.
I believe that more than the external elements, like trials, the weather, the crabby neighbor, the demanding boss, the weather, it is the internal, our innermost emotions, natural desires and instincts that are usually incompatible with God, that need to be defeated. My verbal and non-verbal expressions, the behaviors that come out automatically, and the natural reactions to various circumstances are to me the manifestations of what is inside my heart. If my heart is filled with evil, remorse, anger, and hatred, it will show in my words and actions no matter how much I pretend. It will show. If the Jesus is not in my heart, if my heart is not tuned in to the voice of God, if the Holy Spirit is not sitting at the throne of my heart, I will find it difficult to follow even the easiest instructions of the Holy Spirit.
I pray that my heart – and yours — is like the simple bahay kubo, and that the hospitality that I offer to the Holy Spirit is a Filipino-style “give Him the best of what I have—my heart, my life, my all. I will give more and expect less.
– He does not need a mansion. A simple bahay kubo will do, but offer Him the best seat in the house and treat Him like a King.
– What He desires is not a nine course meal. A glass of soda will do, but be ready to sacrifice everything for compassion and love of Him and all His creations.
– He does not prefer an offing of riches and gold, but simplicity, purity, honesty and humility of heart.
Let us promise, brothers and sisters, that we will continue to do everything out of love for Him. And, with a meek and humble heart, we invite Him every day, “Lord I welcome you in my bahay kubo today.”