My name is Joy. I live in Heroes Hill. I started to serve in the Church sometime in 2000. My husband and I served at the Mt. Carmel Parish at Project 6 because we used to live at Sanville Subdivision in Tandang Sora.
It was my husband who was first called by God to serve Him. Bong had been actively working in the Church since he was in high school, and there was even a point when he entered the seminary, long before I met him, of course. My involvement in the Church, however, used to be limited to just attending Mass on Sundays. I never felt that God was inviting me also to serve in His vineyard. Since my husband and I got married, he stopped serving in the Church. I suspected that he did it in deference to me because he knew that I didn’t have much enthusiasm in Church activities.
But, there was a period in our married life when I felt we needed to put Christ at the center of our relationship. I felt that Bong would be happier ministering again in the Church. Also, there was slight attraction stirring in my heart to respond to a vague invitation to share my time to Him. One day, I suggested to my husband that we serve at Mt. Carmel. He was surprised to say the least, looked me straight in the eyes for some time, and said slowly: “If that is what you want.” I answered: Yes. And that’s how I started working in the vineyard of the Lord.
Working in the vineyard is one thing, but working with a happy heart is another. I wasn’t prepared to discover the varied characters that the Lord has also invited as laborers in his farm. There were the gossips, the grumblers, the self-righteous, the attention-seekers, … I couldn’t understand. I was disappointed and discourage. Then, Bong, my husband, told me: Who did you expect to see? We are all broken in one way or another, and in our brokenness God is inviting us to come near to Him to receive healing. And we receive healing only when we forget our own hurt and see the need of our fellow brothers and sisters, and we could give our shoulder for them to lean on so that they, too, can approach our Lord.
I realize that we are all called to service for others. Our life will have meaning only when we expend it in the service for others. When my family transferred to Heroes Hill in 2004, the St. Andrew’s Chapel didn’t have a regular lector or commentator. Then, one day, one parishioner approached my husband and asked if we would serve in the chapel. Without hesitation, we answered yes. And so we were at St. Andrew’s Chapel in Heroes Hill every Sunday while serving at Mt. Carmel Parish, at Project 6, at the same time. And we felt at peace because it was the right thing to do. Bong continued to serve in both churches, but I decided to serve only at St. Andrew’s Chapel. I felt that one of us must stay with our children. They are our mission, too.
So, every time I work in the vineyard of our Lord, before the Mass, I would give thanks to the Lord for giving me the grace to accept again his invitation to serve Him, and I would pray that I may be a worthy instrument to bring His message to His people.
In this Week of Laity, let us remember that the Lord is constantly inviting us to help Him be near His people. He needs our feet to walk with the weary; our hands to embrace the lonely; our lips to proclaim His message of hope; our eyes to see the needy; and our heart to love the unloved. Won’t you allow yourself to be His labourer in His vineyard, for there is much work that needs to be done but few workers are willing to respond to His call. You know it is never too late to say YES.