Today we have a very important theme: Faith and Fellowship.
Fellowship is defined as friendly association, especially with people who share the same interests.
In our first and Gospel readings for today, we can see that the early Christians regularly met and prayed together and their faith were nourished. They have a regular fellowship among themselves with friends and relatives who shared the same beliefs.
Here is from our Sunday Missal:
“Birds of a feather flock together. With respect to certain instincts, we humans are no different from cows in a pasture flocking together when a thunderstorm is threatening. We need one another’s company and inspiration to keep going. Marital love can survive only if the partners daily foster togetherness with all the means nature and religion suggest. The survival of faith is subject to the same conditions. A Christianity live ‘alone,’ all by oneself, does not last.
“We need belonging! Participate in some activity of your parish. Do not be a loner! Without being exclusive, have friends who feels the same as you do in matters of faith. And at meetings, contribute to the value of ‘belonging’ for all. Listen, be open to others, exchange ideas and experiences, share time and talents.”
Yes, we need to belong to a group if we are to grow in our Faith. It helps a lot. Studying the Word of God, the Sacred Truth book, with the life experiences of each of the member of the group, nourishes our soul. We learn, we grow deeper in our faith when we belong to a group.
In our company, we have a Sacred Truth Study (Bible) every Monday morning, 8 am, first hour of our working time. We group ourselves, with each group having around ten members. We have been doing this since the early 1990’s. Sometime last year, I was surprised when one of our officer, who had been with us for fourteen years, said, ‘Sir, sa totoo lang kaya ako tumagal dito sa kompanya natin, hindi dahil sa profit sharing, kundi dahil dito sa Bible study natin tuwing Lunes.’ (Sir, the reason why I stayed this long in our company was not because of our profit sharing, it is because of our Bible study every Monday morning). And this was seconded by two other officers, ‘Sir, ako rin.’ (Sir, me also).
I now realized that a Spiritual program like a Sacred Truth study, done regularly for sometime, say, sustained for ten years, will have a much deeper impact on employees than any other material benefits the company is giving. I thought all along profit sharing is most important for our employees. I didn’t realized how deep Spirituality can penetrate the soul. I can see now what The Lord mean when He said in the Holy Book, ‘Like a sword, My Words are sharp on both edges.’
Suggest find a group in your local church community. Usually there are many different organizations where we can join. Choose the one that suits your values. In addition you can also organize your own prayer group at home with your family. This may include also your household help, if you have one, or your sister’s family. Last year, my sister Imee in Bicol started it with her family together with their household help. She was happy to observed that her children, age ten and thirteen were not hesitant to share their thoughts.
Better still is if you can organize a group in your place of work. Nowadays, there are many offices, including government offices that have groups like this.
Happy 2nd Easter Sunday of the Fifty Days Easter Season ! Celebrate for The Lord !
Do not be afraid to be different.
As the late Pope John Paul, now a Saint, used to remind us, ‘Be not afraid’