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Gellie Vale T.

Managbanag BSA-2
ReEd 3 TTh 2:30-4:00 PM

July 22, 2014

Mr. Melvin Tajale



The Center for Religious Education (CRE), Campus Ministry Office (CMO), and the Institute of
Non-Formal Education and Community Outreach Program (INFECOP) of the University of San JoseRecoletos celebrated the joint CRE, CMO, and INFECOP Religious Affairs Week on July 9-13,
2012.Themed: Sharing, Living, Jesus in the Year of Faith with S. Pedro Calungsod de Cebu, the activity
featured various activities geared towards spirituality enhancement among Josenians.
Last July 8, 2013, was the Scapular Investiture at CFPA. Rev. Fr. Amado Emmanuel Bolilia,
OAR officiated the Mass for the Scapular Investiture of the REED 3 and 4 students of the university.
The said activity was to disseminate the information and propagation of the devotion to our Lady of Mt.
Carmel at the Brown Scapular depicting the Marian character of OAR.
Before the start of the Mass, I was so struck when I saw students so energetic and happy. They
all seemed happy celebrating the Religious Affairs Week. They also seemed excited to hear the Homily
of Fr. Bolilia. As an attendee, I also felt the same way.
The introduction song was played and the altar servers and priests marched to the altar. As
Though I am not a good singer, I sang along the song and I felt content and happy. After Readings and
Resposorial Psalm, the Homily was delivered by Fr. Bolilia; Mt 9:3238.
According to the gospel, Jesus could only reach a few no matter how much He tried. There were
simply too many people who needed help. But instead of giving in to helplessness and despair, He
looked forward to a time when there would be many harvesters working alongside Him. Oftentimes
we think of fellow workers of the Lord as a special elite group of people that would be difficult to
follow. We tend to forget that in our own state of life, we could extend help by being conscious of our
faith and allowing it to shape our choices and decisions. Our example, in word and deed of a lived faith,
is enough to do our share in advancing the work of God.
Fr. Bolilia had given emphasis as to how we use our freedom to make choices responsibly. I have
learned from it that our lives are made up of small choices. Seldom do we make a large, consequential
decision. The little decisions shape our character and make us who we are. Our character is the
composite, the net result of all those small choices. We have the power to choose and those choices
influence our eternal lives. One of the reasons we are on this earth is to be proven to see if we will
follow God. God has given us our moral agency, the power to choose, and no person or organization can
take it away. What can be taken away or reduced in this life is our freedom, which is the power to act on
our choices. A restriction of freedom in these ways "reduces the extent to which we can act upon our

choices, but it does not deprive us of our God-given free agency." (Oaks, 1987) We tend to think of
agency as a personal matter. Often overlooked, however, is the fact that choices have consequences. We
are free to consider our options, to make choices, and to act, but once an action has been taken we are
not free from its consequences. We all want to be free, but only in growing in our understanding of what
Freedom means can we be truly free. Our culture sometimes says freedom means having no rules or
restrictions. It defines freedom as being able to do whatever I want and whenever I want to do it.
However, when we examine the lives of others who have based their life on that definition we see lives
that are warped by obsessions and lives that are wasted by uncontrolled behavior. These disorders lead
to broken relationships and much pain and emotional suffering.
God wants us all to be free. Freedom is a gift. Along with this freedom to choose, however, He
has also given us the responsibility to use that freedom properly.
God came to heal our brokenness and suffering. He came to mend and to guide us into healthy
relationships by offering us the greatest and the most perfect relationship that we can have, a loving
relationship with Him who is most merciful and all loving. Out of love for us He gave us His Word to
guide us to true freedom and to enable us by His grace to find true fulfillment and purpose for our lives.
God is a loving Father. He has given us rules to live by not because he wants to control us, but rather
because He loves us so much He wants to protect us from harm. Why does a father tell his three year
old son not to play in the street ? He does so because the father knows what is best and he wants to
protect his son. Similarly, Gods rules are for our own benefit. He knows what we need whats good for
When it was time to say Peace be with you to others, I could clearly see the smile on their
faces and through their eyes, the holy of giving peace.
After that was the investiture which was conferral with the Scapular that indicated our special
devotion and consecration to Mary. According to Catholic tradition, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to
St. Simon Stock at Cambridge, England, on Sunday, 16 July, 1251. In answer to his appeal for help for
his oppressed order, she appeared to him with a scapular in her hand and said: "Take, beloved son this
scapular of thy order as a badge of my confraternity and for thee and all Carmelites a special sign of
grace; whoever dies in this garment, will not suffer everlasting fire. It is the sign of salvation, a
safeguard in dangers, a pledge of peace and of the covenant". I felt joyful and blessed since I got the
chance to be invested with the Scapular and like the rosary, the Brown Scapular that carries promise of
salvation, has become the badge of the devout Catholic and the true servant of Mary.
The mass ended and I returned to my class with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.