Reflection: Here I Am, LCG proclaims

Here I Am, LCG proclaims

Robert Badrina


Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am!” I said, “Send me!” (Isaiah 6:8)

Abraham (Gen 22:1), Jacob (Gen 46:2), Moses (3:4), Isaiah (6:8), and Ananias (Acts 9:10), while coming from different milieus, have but one thing in common: God called them and they answered, “Here I am.”

On August 25-26, 2017, 32 members of the Lectors and Commentators Group (LCG) of the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice (PHS) went up to Antipolo for an overnight retreat. It’s been at least 10 years since LCG had such a spiritual activity, thus our gratefulness to God for his generosity through the parish and its parish priest, Fr. Henry Ferreras. Our gratitude, too, to Fr. Leonardo “Dong” Adapat and Sis. Olympia Aquino for guiding us in looking back and reflection on God’s personal call to proclaim his Word.

All of us are called by God to a specific mission or purpose. Truly, vocation, from “vocare” means “to call.” While some perceive vocation as only reserved for religious and consecrated life, it actually covers and applies to marriage and single blessedness as well.

One fruit of the Second Vatican Council is the apostolate of the laity, wherein lay faithful are given the opportunity to participate actively in liturgical celebrations like the Mass by performing functions or offices. The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy or Sacrosanctum Concilium (SC) very well articulates it, such that “[i]n liturgical celebrations, each person, minister or layman, who has an office to perform, should do all of, but only, those parts which pertain to his office by nature of the rite and the principles of liturgy” (SC 28). It adds in the next section that “[s]ervers, lectors, commentators, and members of the choir … exercise a genuine liturgical function…, thus [showing] the importance of the role of the laity in the celebration of the Eucharist” (SC 29).

The retreat personally gave me an intimate opportunity to be with the Lord who called me in this ministry of proclamation. The entire LCG likewise found solace and peace. No matter how diverse we are (that is, members include parents, children, housewives, professors, students, PhD holders, medical doctors, lawyers, engineers, government employees and private sector workers), including our ages that ranger from 18 to 70, we have responded positively to that call to proclaim Christ, the Word of God.

Indeed, our strength lies in our heterogeneity unified by the Caller who is God. While we can tell our own stories and anecdotes of calling and responding, the truth remains that it is God who chose us to be part of LCG in the first place. God took the initiative. We cannot take pride for anything, for even our response is sanctified with and upheld by grace.

Meanwhile, August 25, our retreat day, contains richness and significance in the parish history as it was the day in 1955 when the concrete shell of the church’s dome was poured and formed. It was a challenging and arduous task that needed sophisticated techniques and daring methods to achieve successful execution. As it particularly needed a good weather, it seemed the skies were not cooperative enough for it rained that day. Lo! There were only mild drizzles at the chapel’s construction site. It was exactly what the builders needed to ensure that the concrete would dry just slowly enough in order to achieve maximum strength. The huge dome appeared to be floating in the air and when Father Delaney, SJ (the first UP Chaplain) asked the chief civil engineer what it is holding up, the engineer simply answered, “Faith Father.”

The retreat reminded us that faith holds us together, like the dome of the parish. We may be coming from different and diverse backgrounds but this faith enables us to continue saying yes to the Lord. Our burning passion to serve the Lord through the proclamation of his Word is however not a simple response to his invitation. Entailed in it is a sense of responsibility and commitment to improve ourselves.

Thirty-two participated in the retreat — the same number of buttresses that hold the church’s structure. The thought seems to remind us that the people are the real walls and posts keeping the church firm and placed. As part of the community of faithful gathered together by God’s love and mercy in the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, we will continue to serve the Lord with gladness!

Robert Badrina is Vice Chair and Liturgical Committee Head of the Lectors and Commentators Group of the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice.

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