The Joy of Serving the Lord
The joy of serving the Lord is a manifestation of emotion of whats happening from within. It is a fact not a word. The same emotion manifested by a child in the womb of St. Elizabeth when the Lord visited her. It is my joyous learning which was learned in one of our monthly recollection that was shared by Fr. Adel Villarojo on August 21, 2015.
To expound the subject, let me extricate one of my personal experiences. It is a fact that there is joy when you serve other. You will find life by giving life, hope by giving hope and love by giving love with other.
Moreover, when it comes to theme writing in school, nothing beats the all-time favorite topic, how I spent my summer vacation. I don’t know about in your time, but it is a fact not a word, that as soon as classes started, my first assignment in English was to write about my summer vacation experiences. When you finished your studies and started to work, summer vacations don’t last for two months anymore or else your boss will fire you out from the office. So the all-time favorite question is different and your friends will ask, how did you spend your holy week? And where did I spend it? Most of the answers from these questions are the joyous experiences at the beach such as in Malapascua Island, Bantayan Island and Boracay or in Baguio by experiencing personally of picking strawberry, riding the horse and sight seeing in pines view sceneries. Whew! But when you go back to your work places, you would not consider how much money you’ve spent. What will matter’s most is the happiness you’ve been experienced, right?
Now that I’m in the seminary, I was one of the few seminarians given an opportunity during my summer vacation. I was with a set of friends from clergy to go around, blend the nature and chilling out on the same way and amazed by the nature’s beauty in Camotes Island. All I need was to take a few minutes to stop, hear, see and feel. And then I tried to pick some flower a long the road and experience to smell the fragrance of nature, like smelling a rose.
But one of my most unforgettable experiences started during my summer vacation seven years ago, when I’ve felt a real joy being a volunteered catechist in the slum area. Serving other as volunteer is a learning experience. I suggest or recommend it to other by testing themselves in a new situations to see what truly interests them, for me, I learned and love teaching children. It gives me to experience disappointment, to fail, the chance to risk doing something you’ve never done before and to learn from it. So, I learned about myself, my values, my beliefs and my views of the world in which I live. Discovering one’s talents, learning a new skill or a new knowledge, as well as, learning about the community you’ve serving for, and better understanding the social justice issues, around you.
So, summer vacation was an opportunity for me to nurture the virtues of commitment and selflessness for the welfare of the other, but mind you, when you do this, one thing that I have discovered. There is joy of fraternal communion with others, a double effects of such altruistic act: you are helping someone to grow in values and commitment and there’s also a sense of achievement in my part as volunteer. Serving “Gasa sa Gugma” of the missionaries of Charity community in Mabolo, Cebu City, cultivates virtues. I taught the children from the slum area but I was the one learning from them of what truly life is in the slum area or dealing those children which is product of broken family. One of the hardest part of my volunteer work was the time I had to leave. The aged one would smile and hold my hands and ask when I’ll see you again or when are you going to come back. At first, like most of the world, I was only concerned about my personal interest. I wanted to do only what Marcelino wanted to do.
Through volunteerism, I’ve learned and found the real meaning of self-giving. Being in the community, it is really an important too to be open. Open to ask help, open for criticism and open to accept one’s weaknesses because by that sense, I am open to God’s grace. It is a fact that seminary formation is not easy but by giving one’s self to the formation is a never ending saying yes to my life and to my God. Hence, there is joy in serving other because God is joy who is infinite other that dwells the other.
Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!
Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.
St. Thomas of Villanova House – OAD Aspirants
Tabor Hill, Brgy. San Jose (Talamban), Cebu CIty
Tel. no. (032) 344-6100
Be an Altruist
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