May 28, 2023

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Luke 1:46)
Mama Mary sang her joy having received God’s grace in its fullness. She sang her gratitude magnifying the Lord. Mama Mary is a model of humility and gratefulness. She cannot magnify God if she was not humble.
Humble people acknowledge success not as their sole effort but the work of God while boastful people can hardly admit that success, talents, and wealth come from God.
Humble people can easily listen and always be grateful. They can easily admit their limitations and hence, they can easily seek help from people around them.
Mama Mary, having realized God’s fullness of grace in her life, did not keep it to herself. She left home and went in search for people in need.
She visited Elizabeth and assisted her for three months. Mama Mary did not bring herself to Elizabeth but she brought Jesus at home. The overflowing grace overwhelmed Elizabeth and John in her womb enticing them to sing their gratitude and joy.
When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”
Humble people are generous people and cannot be selfish. Mama Mary has all these qualities and is indeed a great model of discipleship. She was the mother of Jesus and yet a disciple.
The Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) of Sagada, namely Our Lady of Lourdes in Aguid, San Lorenzo Ruiz in Tanulong, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Nangonogan celebrated their respective Harvest Thanksgiving Festival with overflowing gesture of generosity.
Everybody participated. Each one felt the joy of being together and thanked the Lord for the abundant blessings that aided each family to overcome the challenges of the pandemic.
The communities offered their harvest during the Holy Mass as their way to thank God. Some also declared it as their expression of love to the church.
Selfish people can hardly appreciate people who can sacrifice for others because they will only care for their personal good and interest. Unfortunately, selfish people will deprive themselves from the joy of giving and from the fun of creativity and initiative. They are also contented with what they can get and forget the rest. It is sad to note that selfish people will not experience divine providence in their life and in their family.
After more than a year, I had the opportunity to beat the gongs in Tanulong. The community prepared the holy mass and the lively program punctuated by the beating of gongs. The community danced to their hearts content. I felt the joy and I saw the eyes of everyone thirsting for the healing of everyone and the healing of the world. The youth gave life to the liturgy and they gave life to the program through creativity especially music.
Rev. Fr. William Bilag has inspired the community through his powerful preaching. He serenaded the people with his folk country songs. He also entertained himself beating the gong and the community dancing around. The newly-ordained Deacon Frederick Lid-ayen has immersed with the people and the mutual learning was appreciated.
Like Mama Mary, the Sagada BECs, amidst the pandemic, did not forget to thank God for the harvest and blessings. They devoted a day to thank him through dances, music, offerings, prayers, and above all the Holy Eucharist.
Having experienced the lively and yet solemn prayers, the solidarity of the community, and the joy of giving motivated all the more the youth to serve the Lord and the communities.
The BEC of Our Lady of Mount Carmel also celebrated their Harvest Thanksgiving Festival on Aug. 15. It was a beautiful celebration on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
As a community, we sang together, “Our souls magnify the Lord.” The Harvest Festival was given life by the youth through music and dances.
Unlike Tanulong BEC, the Our Lady of Mount Carmel BEC missed the beating of gongs and the cultural dances. It could have given a cultural color.
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