It is time to rebuild people’s communion before God. With this truth, the mission of the Shalom Catholic Community in the Philippines celebrates 3 years of grace and experience with the Mercy of God in the third most Catholic country in the world and first in Asia. A great responsibility for a small community in formation, but one that does not fall down before the challenges and trust in God’s Will.
We can compare the “Shalom Manila” mission, present in the Philippines since September 2017, as a small child who begins a whole learning process.
According to scholars, the brain of a 3 year old child is almost completely developed although there is still much room for the development of new connections. Emotions and social relationships, language and learning and motor skills are also part of the process at this age. And you may ask yourself, and what does the mission have to do with it? We answer that: EVERYTHING!
In our daily life as a mission in a land where 86% of the population declares themselves Catholic, it is possible to realize that we have been called to learn, grow, bear fruit and spread Peace, which for us is a person: The Risen Christ who passed through the Cross. But, as a child, we need to learn and create new spaces so that the Love of God is known, even more. But not only known, but experienced. Today, we live in a time of creating relationships that are firmed in God’s Grace and Will at every moment.
For example, when we arrive in Manila we are faced with a great struggle: the local language. There are actually two of them: Tagalog and English. At first, the first temptation was to be like the prophet Jeremiah who asked the Lord: “I do not know how to speak. For I am only a child.” (Jer 1:6) and to whom the Lord answered, “Do not say, I am only a child: for you will seek all those to whom you are sent. (Jer 1:7). And so it was done. God sent us to a people who generate in the body of the community the desire for humility and simplicity of a child. And as a great response, today with the help of so many, the Shalom Manila mission continues to express, step by step, word by word, that God Himself desires that Love for His people be rebuilt.
In development, falls are frequent, sometimes simple things are still not so clear. However, there is a much greater movement: faith. And if it exists it is because God himself reveals it to a people thirsty for Peace. And if there is a people, God makes us grow in His Grace.
It is up to us to proclaim the grace:
THANK YOU, LORD, FOR HAVING CHOSEN US!