Monday, January 6, 2014
Friday, March 25, 2011
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
PEACE be with all of you!
Christmas is the celebration of the Mystery of God’s Incarnation – God becoming like one of us. As Rev. Fr. Avery Dulles, SJ pointed out and emphasized: “The incarnation does not mean that God saves us from the pains of this life. It means that God-is-with-us. For the Christian, just as for everyone else, there will be cold, lonely seasons, seasons of sickness, seasons of frustration, and a season within which we will die. Christmas does not give us a ladder to climb out of the human condition. It gives us a drill that lets us burrow into heart of everything that is and, there, find it shimmering with divinity.”
It would be irresponsible and unrealistic to say the God by becoming one with us took away problems, pain, pressures of daily living; but, indeed, when God became one with us, an invitation to peek on God’s infinite love and the challenge to allow ourselves to be embraced by that love was offered.
As I lived with you for a year now, I saw, listened to, and felt the problems, pain, and pressures that came to us individually, as a family, and as a community – failing health… joblessness… sickness… marital difficulties… financial struggles… mistrust… unfaithfulness… coping with old age… and even death… Despite all these bleak and grim realities, I say, there is a reason to celebrate Christmas because I never felt or even doubted, not even for a single moment, that God has abandoned us.
As I lived with you for a year now, I saw, listened to, and felt so many graces given to me, given to you, given to families, given to us as a parish community – welcoming new members… baptisms… blessing of marriages… praying for one another… eating together… working together… perseverance… new friendships… expressing our care and concern for each other… being models of faith, hope, and love.
I greet you with these words: “May the LIGHT shine always in your life. Merry Christmas!” The twofold message (that I intend with this greeting) is for each one of us to allow Jesus to be our Light and that Light radiate to others as we try to follow Him.
As I end my Christmas message, I will take this opportunity to ask for your continued understanding, patience and love. For those whom I hurt, saddened, and/or neglected, I ask for forgiveness and prayers. With God’s grace, I promise and try to be a better Pastor.
Merry Christmas and a Prosperous and Peaceful New Year to you all!
In Opus Ministerii,
Fr. Edgar B. Cleofe
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I want to situate my reflection on the contemporary theology and its discussion on the ordination of priests, ordination as an event is a sacramental mirroring of a process. An ordinasyon sarong salming nin sarong proceso. Kun ini sarong proceso dili lamang ini nagbabatog nan natatapos sa katapusan san ordinasyon. Ordination as a process involves a number of elements, first, my vocation – which started even before I entered the seminary; second, the community involved in nurturing and affirming this vocation; third, the title and the character it brings – the ministry of service or servant-leadership.
I believe that the ministry that I lived all throughout these 9 years is constantly punctuated by gratitude. I constantly thank God for calling me to be His minister and His Church’s minister. A corollary to this is (my) the principle: doing something good is its own reward, for God deemed me worthy to be His instrument, unworthy though I am. But I’ll be lying if I don’t admit that I look forward to the reality of the rewards of everlasting joy – the experience of the fullness of life with God. I, precisely, try to be faithful to my ministry in order to give witness to heaven that should start here on earth.
I believe that the Church was not working on her own as she chooses her priests; the choice is by grace. An Dios na unang namoot sa akon nan nag-imbita na makasaro an buhay ko sa plano Niya para sa Simbahan. Gabos ini may bendisyon nin Espiritu Santo, kaya una ko na pinasasalamatan nan inoomaw an Diyos na nagtawag sa akon. Sa pangadyi ko, pinapasalamatan ko pirmi an mga eskwelahan nan seminaryo nan mga religious institutions na nagbulig para mapalago an saakon na bokasyon, nan an mga tawo na aram ko pirmi magpapadumdom sa akon para ako maghingoha na magin saro na mayad nan banal na padi.
The 9 years of my priesthood had a fair share of struggles and problems. I’m thankful to all the priests, the same members of the Holy Orders, with their own share of struggles, they supported and showed me how to live and love the ministry. I'm thankful to my family, who never failed to lift me up and cheer me up and simply never stopped loving me. I'm thankful to all my FRIENDS, who invited me to share their lives -- their joys and sorrows; and for accepting and loving me for who I am.
Let me share two very short reflections that reminded me to be always faithful to God’s calling. First is the person of Ate Lumen, a househelp, out of her need she gave me something as her contribution to my ordination, truly a widow’s mite, and she said that you cannot but return love with love. May the love I experienced and continuously experience from God, from her, from my family, from all that I “pastured” be the basis of my ministry as priest. May I always “repay love with love.” And even if the world is apathetic, to continue loving. Second, I asked myself, as I prayed: “Why do I shed tears as I pray for my anniversary?” In my prayers also, my question was answered. This was the answer: because of the over-flowing of grace and love and attention that I “relentlessly” receive from the whole Church and including the heavens – it is overwhelming to imagine that there was a moment in time – and that was during my ordination – that the saints centered their attention on me as the Church called upon them. May these graces and love continue to transform me to be a good and holy servant-leader of the Church.
To end, I know that most of the faithful know this: priests started to have simple dreams, simple and holy desires, to live a simple life and have foreseen their future as a future according to the plan of God. But there are times when priests stray from these visions and dreams, when these times happen and even before they happen, (we) the priests ask your support and prayers. Please pray for me and all your priests, as we pray for you. And together, may our lives, individually and as a community, be a constant praise to God, the life-giving Life living.