July 25, 2024

The Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) of Aguid, Sagada, Mountain Province planned to have their recollection at the Bumay-eng twin falls.
Bumay-eng Falls is one of the beautiful natural wealths of Aguid.
The falls is difficult to find since it is approximately a three-hour walk from Aguid. The footpath is narrow and a wrong balance while walking means injury or death.
On the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, the BEC trekked the dangerous and long winding path. The fresh air and beautiful sceneries along the way were natural therapies that overcome fear.
Relief will welcome first timers when they reach resting stations to fuel themselves with determination and hope.
Fear gradually faded when along the way the beauty of creation unraveled her secrets, absorbing the soul to a mystical experience of faith and beauty. The mountains, hills, rivers, pine trees, the pinewood scent, blue sky, clouds, grasses, crystal clear waters along the irrigation, birds chirping, crickets singing, crabs climbing, and fishes dancing gave us real experience of natural beauty and joy.
The integrity of creation motivated us to praise the Lord. God indeed is a God of natural beauty.
Unfortunately, I fell twice. I soaked my shoes and pants but it paid to be welcomed by Mother Earth.
Reaching the falls, the youth under the supervision of brother Rocky Camideng gathered stones and erected an altar while the old folks set up two bonfires that served as altar candles.
On June 29, the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul, we celebrated the first holy mass at the foot of Bumay-eng Falls.
Here were our learnings: Creativity and ingenuity were employed by the congregation to set up the needs for the holy mass;
Respect and appreciation to Mother Earth were upheld by the young people; The deep connection of the human person with her environment was experienced during the holy mass. The soul was lifted up to commune with Mother Earth;
The love for Mother Earth was fortified through mystical experience of the soul;
The praying community appreciated natural beauties but it did not end with the physical beauty but led to acknowledge the author of beauty and to thank Him for the gift of nature;
The congregation has experienced the true meaning of communion among themselves and with the nature through prayer and sacrifice;
The BEC was uplifted and renewed through the laudato si experience.
I did not plan to take a dip in the fountain’s pool after celebrating mass but the crystal clear water was too enticing.
The youth also did not mind the freezing water and took a dip.
Pope Francis in his laudato si, mi signore, which means “Praise be to you, my Lord,” underlines our social relationship – with God, with our neighbor, and with our natural environment.
St. Francis of Assisi is known for this line, “Praise be to you, my Lord” to acknowledge Mother Earth like embracing humanity with much love. It is drawing us to see Mother Earth as a real mother that protects her children from danger. Not only in reciprocity that we must therefore care about our Mother Earth but an innate respect to a real mother. Mother Earth is our one common home. We are morally and spiritually responsible for her. Pope Francis therefore is exhorting everyone to love Mother Earth.
Pope Francis on the Solemnity of Saint Peter and St. Paul did not miss to mention the importance of these saints, “The church looks to these two giants of faith and sees two apostles who set free the power of the Gospel in our world, only because first they themselves had been set free by their encounter with Christ. Peter and Paul bequeath to us the image of a church entrusted to our hands, yet guided by the Lord with fidelity and tender love.” He added, “A church that is weak, yet finds strength in the presence of God.”
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