We celebrate the Solemnity of St. Clare of Assisi at 6 pm on Tuesday, August 11 with Most Reverend Broderick S. Pabillo, DD presiding. He will also bless newly built, SSAP Media Center, which was made possible by the Parish Fiesta donors. Join us also for the Memorial and Feast of our Saint of the Day. Send your mass intentions early.
In this week’s Parish Bulletin…
Looking Up, Looking Around, and Hearing God
by Gica Dionisio
I feel God’s presence most when I’m with nature. Through nature, I am able to see, feel, smell and hear what He wants to tell me.
I was in Siargao a while back and I was depressed at the time. I felt alone in the darkness of my miseries and worthless because I couldn’t do many things due to my condition.
But one evening — I saw God’s message for me — in the sky. My brother and I went stargazing and we saw the vast sky filled with stars. I was in complete awe, and I forgot my problems.
One star caught my eye. It shined brighter than the rest and was slightly apart from the others. As I looked at it, I told myself, “That’s me, I am alone in the dark,” and I began pitying myself again. But after a while, I realized it wasn’t that far from the other stars. It wasn’t alone. The sky was full of stars! And that’s when I got God’s message.
“We are not alone in the dark. Just like the many stars in the sky, there are many other people who are also going through a time of darkness in their lives. And just like the single star that guided the Three Wise Men, we have the capacity to be a guiding light for one another and a source of comfort.” It was the hopeful message I needed to hear.
And just last month, I received one again. I was struggling with another episode. I woke up feeling sad and heavy so I went outside to get some sunshine. Unfortunately, the clouds were dark grey and the rain was about to pour. It was as if I was staring at a painting of my feelings.
The dark clouds swiftly passing by drew my attention though, and when I saw it, I got God’s message. “It won’t be like this forever. This darkness will pass and the sun will shine again. This sadness will eventually pass and things will get better.”
It’s ironic how the dark rainy clouds gave me hope. I guess in any scenario we find ourselves — even in the darkest of times — God, in His mysterious ways, will always find a way to send us a sign of hope. So look up once in a while, you might just get the message you’re looking for.
Mary’s Assumption: Look Up!
Feast day, August 15
by Miki Eala
“Look up!” These are two words we hear people say — when beauty is in our midst — subsequently bringing hope a little closer to home. When Mama Mary kept her gaze fixed on Jesus as she was assumed into Heaven — she became the epitome of what it was to hope and find beauty — amidst the chaos. By this one act, she has become the exemplar of how we should strive to be especially in today’s most unusual circumstances.
Living through this pandemic — which may feel as if finding something positive in the world — is like playing a game of pick-up-sticks among the rubble. Every day we’re hit with news that can make us feel like the world is falling apart. More cases, more deaths, more people losing jobs, and the list goes on. This, understandably — leaves us feeling anxious and afraid — and brings our gaze to the lows of life. However, this is not what our world needs today.
More than ever, we need to look up! The communities around us, the country we’re part of, and the world that we reside in need us most right now. Our tumultuous situation calls for a response. The very first step is to look up. It is to stare right at the raucous reality of our times with the knowledge that there is plenty to be done, and plenty we can do. Is it prayer, checking up on friends, strengthening the bonds among our family, or reaching out to people we know may need assistance? Whether it’s one or two or all of the above, Mama Mary calls us to see the little beauties of everyday life and to magnify them through these acts. The second step is to keep our gaze fixed on Jesus as we do this. Mama Mary trusted her Son with all her heart and soul that everything would be okay. As we navigate through the rubble, we’re called to do the same. Though it may be easier said than done, isn’t that the point of faith? Yes, it is a leap in one direction — on a road that leads us closer to Home — closer to Jesus.
As we continue to maneuver our way through these times — may Mama Mary be our constant reminder — that in the wake of it all, the best we can do is to simply look up!
Please read through the information provided in our Parish Services page before sending your inquiries to the following individuals:
WEDDING: Fe Fernandez – firstname.lastname@example.org
CRYPT c/o Ma. Belen R. Salano: email@example.com
FUNERAL CHAPEL & PARISH CENTER: Alice Loto – firstname.lastname@example.org
BAPTISM services & MASS CARDS: Edna Limpiada – email@example.com
Parish Bulletin Ads: Rachelle Wenger – firstname.lastname@example.org
Or call us at:
SSAP Foundation Office: (02)8240-1546