today, or to be exact, a few minutes ago, which means yesterday, since i'm writing this just after midnight, i celebrate(d) the first anniversary of my ordination to the presbyterate.
although generally unintentionally planned, the things i did this morning and afternoon were somewhat symbolic of the ministries i had on my first year. i said Mass in the morning, in honor of the Immaculate Conception, with the people from rapu-rapu gathered at the kampo ng bayan in front of the provincial capitol. fr. oli, cssr, concelebrated with me inside one of the tents. together we prayed for justice and blessings from God to resolve the issue plaguing the people of rapu-rapu: mining and its dire effects to the island community.
then i went to tahao road church to officiate a wedding. then baptism for several infants. then off to tabaco city for a blessing of a cousin's new internet shop and for an aunt's birthday.
it has been an exciting year. too bad much of what caused the excitement may not be prudently published here or elsewhere. i have been swallowed/embraced by/became part of the establishment! and an integral part of it even, owing to my present job.
did some perspectives change? definitely. seeing things from within, sometimes looking out, most of the time looking inwards, necessitates certain changes. one thing i can honestly say: whoever says the Church is monolithic, doesn't know what he is talking about.
change of principles? hopefully not.
they say we're lucky for we of the present stand upon the shoulder of giants. walter burghardt, s.j., is one giant i like to assume to stand upon. i believe the words he spoke in a homily delivered at a Mass to celebrate his 50 years in the ministry, best approximates my first year in the priesthood:
"In the course of a half century,
I have seen more Catholic corruption
than you have read of. I have tasted it.
I have been reasonably corrupt myself.
And yet I joy in this Church—
this living, pulsing, sinning people of God,
love it with a crucifying passion.
Why? For all the Catholic hate,
I experience here a community of love.
For all the institutional idiocy,
I find here a tradition of reason.
For all the individual repressions,
I breathe here an air of freedom.
For all the fear of sex,
I discover here the redemption of my body.
In an age so inhuman,
I touch here the tears of compassion.In a world so grim and humorless,
I share here rich joy and laughter.
In the midst of death
I hear here an incomparable stress on life.
For all the apparent absence of God,
I sense here the real presence of Christ."
on top of that, i really feel blessed and thankful. as i was reviewing my year a few hours ago, suddenly it dawned on me: practically all of my personal intentions/wish list during my thanksgiving mass have been fulfilled before the year turned full circle to this anniversary.
God does answer prayers in his own ways. masuripot an Dios!
looking forward to another year of answered prayers & 'sinful' ministries. waxing prophetic, maybe Rapu-Rapu's woes may finally be over before my next ordination anniversary.
Praise be the name of the Lord!