Establishing a lifelong covenant with the Lord…this is what is in the core of the life in Ligaya ng Panginoon (LNP) Community.
Last September 21, LNP held its annual Feast of the Covenant at St. Paul College – Pasig Auditorium.
14 married couples, six single men and 11 single women took their public commitment to the Lord and to the brothers and sisters in the community.
Below is the message of the Senior Head Coordinator, Lamberto Meer, during the Feast of the Covenant:
It is my prayer that through this personal sharing of mine, you will be encouraged to pursue, with even more vigor and zeal, our mission in HOPE.
Who has heard of American singer John Legend? His latest hit song which he dedicated to his wife is entitled “All of Me.”A friend sent me a You Tube rendition of it, some two months ago. Picture John Legend on the piano and a girl in a flowing dress accompanying him with a violin as he sings the song. (Don’t worry I won’t try to sing.) Here are some excerpts:
“All of me loves all of you.”
“I love all your perfect imperfections.”
“I give you all of me and you give me all of you.”
“You are my end and my beginning…..”
“I love all your perfect imperfections….”
Those words have been ringing in my ears, mind, heart and soul almost everyday ever since I heard it some two months ago, even after receiving Communion at Mass, believe it or not. But it’s no longer John Legend singing to his wife. It’s our Lord singing it to me over and over again – “I love all your perfect imperfections.” My response can only be to fall more and more in love with Him and more and more grateful to Him with the passing of each day.
Yes, brothers/sisters, that’s the way God loves us all. He loves all of us with all our perfect imperfections… Think of it! He loves us all with an overflowing kind of love! Indescribable… Boundless… Imagine the Sacred Heart of Jesus with love overflowing! If God can love us that way with all our imperfections, we too who are so imperfect, can, by God’s grace, love and accept each other with all our imperfections!
And so, this year’s theme: “Pursuing the Mission in Hope” really becomes possible!
Even if all the workers in the vineyard are imperfect and full of faults, there’s just so much love in the garden! The work gets lighter because grace abounds! We are not judging each other but all serving alongside each other.
(Yes, we may continue to give inputs, feedback, even correction, but all done through the eyes of Jesus Christ and with His heart)
That’s why Pope Francis is so refreshing and inspiring – i.e. he baptizes a child of an unwed mother; marries couples who already have children; in the World Youth Day in Brazil, he tells kids to go out into the streets and create a mess and be a blessing to others! So out of the box, so full of compassion!
The Organizing Team asked me if there were difficult situations/crises moments in my life where hope kept me going. As I reflected, there were three that immediately came to my mind, all having to do with my family:
- Loss of my father: It was in 1981–33 years ago. It was at the start of my renewal journey back to God. It created such an emotional upheaval in my life, as I was so mad that God took him away from me and I still wanted to give so much of myself to him, I still wanted to continue serving and loving him.
- Apples’ cancer: Ten years ago (2004). Coming face to face with death in the 1st person is so different from knowing death in the 3rd. It really put my relationship with Apples to the test – as fears , doubts, questions, confusion, misunderstandings deluged us in tsunami proportions.
- Then, there is Sabine, our two month old granddaughter last year (daughter of Jen/Toots Lopez). Afflicted with hydrocephalus and ventriculitis at two months, she was hospitalized for 32 days with all sorts of tubes and needles in her tiny head! Seeing our daughter, son-in-law, wife, Sabine and the whole family in pain was almost unbearable!
Any one of these three could have crushed me or those dear to me, but God got into the muddy trenches with us and pulled us out of it, time and again! He restored and rebuilt us, for as Scripture says – “He rebuilds the ruins!” And yes, God continues to love me and those around and dear to me, with all our perfect imperfections!
As I prayed last night, two favorite passages flashed in my mind:
2 Cor. 1:3-4: Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Father of compassion and God of all comfort….who comforts us in our troubles so that we can in turn comfort others who are in trouble with the same comfort that God comforted us with.
1 Cor. 1:18 – The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved, it is the power of God!
Embrace our crosses, brothers/sisters, for there you will encounter Jesus Christ, His love, His power, His victory!
Let me close by sharing what I shared in my frat group last Wednesday – God’s boundless generosity to the laborers, some hired at dawn, 9, 12, 3 and 5, all paid the same wages. Our discussion starter: “At what time were you hired and why?”
My answer – I was the very last one hired. I was not even looking for a job. I was just passing by and God called me and blessed me to overflowing!
And so, my brothers/sisters, here stands before you, a sinner, who wants to just express to our God every breathing moment of his life that he is so grateful for all God has done and continues to do in his life!
To our 45 newly covenanted members: it’s a great day to respond to God’s covenant invitation to grow in intimacy with Him! To you, all my already covenanted brothers/sisters, it’s a great day to be refreshed, recharged, renewed! To you my Underway brothers/sisters – your turn will come. In the meantime, be fertile ground for the Holy Spirit to form you. To you dear children and grandchildren – your parents/lolos/lolas/titos/titas love you. But most of all, God loves you ….with all your perfect imperfections!!
Happy Feast of the Covenant to all!