March 23, 2023

We ponder on the themes of profit, generosity, and the humble Christian communities of Sagada, Mountain Province in the light of Matthew 16:25-27.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. What profit would there be for one to gain the world and forfeit his life? Or what can one give in exchange for his life? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in his Father’s glory, and then he will repay all according to his conduct.”
There is nothing wrong with profit. Everybody is happy when there is profit. Every entrepreneur must work hard, work well, and work wisely to increase profit. It is good.
But let us be reminded that profit can close the doors and windows of generosity. When profit becomes our ultimate goal in life, we become selfish, greedy, and ungrateful. It can happen when we treat profit as the ultimate gauge of success and the ultimate end.
Our constant acknowledgment that God is the author of life, source of life and every blessing, divine provider, and ultimate end will dispel the possibility of greed in our life.
On Aug. 30, the two Roman Catholic churches of Sagada namely Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Nangonogan and St. Joseph Church in Kilong celebrated their Harvest Thanksgiving Festival.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church celebrated the annual festival beautifully and joyfully.
The celebration featured and highlighted God as the author of creation, source of every good, the daily provider of needs, and the end of everything. Natural logic dictates that we must thank God for everything. God does not need our praises and expressions of gratitude but He will be pleased with our good deeds.
Thank you means: 1. I am not the absolute owner of what I have; 2. Somebody gave it to me; 3. I must be responsible steward to mean: I must take good care of the gifts, I must multiply the goodness,and I must use the gifts well, not to abuse and not to misuse; 4. I continue to plead for His blessings especially those my daily needs;and 5. I continue to acknowledge God’s faithfulness.
God does not need our thank you but saying thank you pleases Him and eventually be more generous to us.Generosity to serve is the best act of thanksgiving while saying thank you is pleasing to the giver’s heart.
I admire the youth of our Basic Ecclesial Communities in Sagada. They are getting actively involved in the church prayer life, activities, and social concerns.
The active youth ministry is obviously one of the best features of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.
I am grateful to the youth advisers who are happily sacrificing their time, talent, and treasure to guide and teach the youth. I am blessed to have them as collaborators.
I was overwhelmed by the offerings of the people and by their participation. I was teary eyed, feeling the love of everyone that despite the pandemic, people came to thank God through the annual Harvest Thanksgiving Festival.
The long queue of offerings and the well-organized presentation of the elements of life before the Holy Mass were indeed inspiring and touching.
Saying thank you is actually acknowledging that we are not owners of the things we have and remind us that somebody handed these blessings. It reminds us to take care of the blessings and we must be responsible stewards. It also affirms the faithfulness, mercy, compassion, and forgiveness of God.
In like manner, when we say thank you to people, they will be pleased and become more generous to us. A pleasing personality makes sense in a relationship.Of course, the best expression of gratitude is our generosity to serve others.
I use the Sagada youth as example of thanking God through their generous services to the people and community. The services they do are encouraging more youth to contribute something good to the community. The Bontoc Ili SK was moved with the selfless services and they came all the way from Bontoc to help in the Kiltepan park project. Posted on Facebook, more Sangguniang Kabataan groups were inspired and expressed willingness to help too.
God is indeed a God of providence. The project has no funds yet it is advancing because of grateful people who acknowledge God’s blessings in their lives and want to share it too.
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