FROM THE DESK OF FR. PASCUAL
Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time
22nd Sunday of Ordinary Time
“Conduct your affairs with humility and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts…” ~Sirach 3: 17
In a world and a culture where achievements are recognized, huge contributions are praised, titles are to be honored and allurements are awarded, it is so difficult to live a conduct of humility. Pride lurks into the human soul and only what matters is the “I”. The strong sense of the “I” before “We” prevails. Thus, when it comes to conducting affairs, people tend to look for satisfaction, rewards and recognition. Also, places of honor are sought and the inclination to be praised is valuable.
The words from the Book of Sirach are words to wake us up of what truly matters and what is pleasing to God and even with others. His words, “conduct your affairs with humility and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts”, are words of wisdom to ponder and words to live by. Living a life of humility opens up to living a life of goodness. That is why, spiritual writers say, that the key to all virtues is humility. For a humble life makes a person generous and kind, loving and merciful and ever gracious not minding his or her own but for the good of others. If one conducts his or her affairs like this, could one not be loved more than a giver of gifts?
All of us are being called to live our lives for the Lord. Knowing our calling motivates us to look deeply into ourselves who really we are in His presence. God has given us so much time, talent and treasure. It is a matter of making good use of all these gifts in the spirit of humility that we can truly focus our minds and hearts to what is pleasing in His eyes. Let the words of Sirach encourage us to do even more and better what God has called us to do for others. In the end, the One who sees the good things we do will reward us even more than how the world rewards.
Burying Our Beloved Dead
You might be caught in surprise that one of the things that I would like to inform you is about burial or burying our beloved dead. In this Year of Mercy, our holy father, Pope Francis, calls every faithful to practice and live the Corporal Works of Mercy. Thus, one work of mercy is to bury the dead. Our beloved dead are very important in our lives. That is why, every time their date of birth and death come, we remember them and offer prayers for them. Many of you may also visit their grave and offer flowers and candles as a sign of our deep love and reminisce wonderful memories of them.
As part of the Church’s Ministry to tend to the families of the bereaved, it is also being called upon for the families and the church to take care of the deceased. Years have already passed that our own cemetery closed. Maybe many of us are not aware that we do have a cemetery along Kamehameha Highway. I am so grateful to our Maintenance Committee and many volunteers who devote their time to clean the cemetery regularly. In line with caring for our beloved dead, we are also looking for the possibility of having a columbarium, a niche for a funeral urn containing the ashes of the cremated dead. As cremation had been approved by the Church, ashes of our beloved dead should be buried or placed in a niche.
In line with this, I will be inserting an article next weekend for us to read through to guide us on this matter and share our thoughts about it. I will be meeting with our Building Committee, Finance Committee and Pastoral Council where we can go from addressing this as part of a ministry of our Church for our families and our beloved dead.
Lay Witnessing Talk by Pepita Amingay on August 14, 2016, 6:30 A.M. Mass
A member of Hospitality Ministry, Bereavement Ministry, Filipino Ministry, Blessed Mother Prayer Group, Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament (PABS) Ministry and Weekday Morning Choir
Good morning my fellow parishioners. I feel so blessed, privileged and excited to stand before you this morning to share my experience about my OLGC Stewardship, its blessings, benefits and rewards received.
Let me first introduce myself. I am Pepita Amingay, an OLGC Parishioner for nearly 25 years now and a widow since 1998.
I am a 6:30 A.M. Mass usher, greeter and director. I am at the church as early as 4:00 A.M. on Sundays to assist Mr. Cliff Duro and fellow ushers to prepare for Mass, open the ground gates, doors, windows and lights. As an usher I really enjoy and love talking to parishioners, greeting and assisting them, especially those who are visiting. I take pleasure in doing and helping in this ministry so much so that I also joined the 5:00 P.M. Sunday usher group.
OLGC is like my second home that has brought me the miracles of a blessed, happy, joyful and healthy life. It is with a giving heart and a helping hand that have inspired me to be involved with other ministries.
In 1998, I became a member of the Blessed Mother Prayer Group. We meet every Thursday at 4:30 P.M. to pray to our Blessed Mother. This ministry is very important for all of us, especially with the many troubles happening in our country and the world. We pray for the intercession and help of our Blessed Mother, especially in this year of Mercy. Joining this prayer group, I feel that I am a better and more prayerful person.
I am also involved with the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament or PABS. With PABS, I am committed to a schedule on Sundays, 6:00-7:00 P.M. weekly and am always ready to fill in for others when needed.
I am also a member of the Bereavement Ministry which provides assistance and support to bereaved families in our church before and after funerals. This is an “always on call” ministry that provides the many humbling and heartfelt rewards of love, friendship and comfort. Since it is “on call” ministry, I must always be prepared and generous in giving my time whenever needed.
For our daily Mass, I am also a member of the Morning Choir and experience the joy of singing our many beautiful and glorious songs. Music certainly is a great start of each day. Being able to sing is one of the many gifts I received from God, and joining the choir was a step in returning the “first fruits” to God.
As a member of the Filipino Ministry, the fellowship we enjoy in assisting other ministries is always a heavenly blessing. Some of the many fellowship events of this ministry, such as picnics, cooking and preparing food for the homeless often result in fun, loving interactions and social giving times.
Stewardship is a blessing of how we share our joys and gifts with our family, OLGC friends and Parish community. I feel so blessed by God to have received a merciful, happy and healthy life, and also to return the “first fruits” to God and placing our Parish ahead of all other interests. Saying “YES” to Stewardship will prayerfully reflect for you the values of giving of your time, talent and treasure and show your heartfelt love and appreciation to God.
In reflecting my life of Stewardship, I have come to realize the joyful rewards of giving and that all is done for the love and appreciation of God. I always try to reflect on how to live, to love, to forgive, to laugh and to pray. Every time I leave the house, adoration chapel, or church, I say a prayer that goes, “Lord as I go out of the door, make me an instrument of your Peace, an instrument of Healing and Forgiving, but most of all, make me an instrument of a Joyful Heart.” You will truly come to know as I have, that, “God is good all the time, and that all the time, God is good.”