EVERYTHING IS YOURS, O LORD by Isabel A. Abella

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In the Franciscan poverty of St. Anthony, I, a member of the order of the Secular Franciscan, give everything to the Lord for nothing is my own, but the Lord’s.

God created us to love, to serve him and one another and all creations. Serving our parish the past four decades was indeed a privilege, a fulfillment and a blessing. It started when I joined Coro in 1974 and CWL in 1980, which I look back to with gratitude for it prepared and sustained me spiritually for my widowhood. I served for 3 terms as president in the Parish. Eventually I got into the Archdiocese and National Board. As president, I invited my vice-presidents to share with me in presiding the meetings thus training them to take over. Through CWL, I was called to serve in the different ministries: Temporalities (now Finance), Social Services, Education and Worship. I was heading all these while parenting as a widow to my six teenaged children and attending to the family business here and abroad. Recognizing that I am just a servant of God and that my church co-workers are also gifted with their particular talents, I trained and delegated responsibilities to them. I opted to stay at the background as consultant and adviser when needed in humble admission that I own nothing. Everything is the Lord’s.

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At one breakfast after mass, I noticed that most of us in the table were my former co-church workers. To my question why they were not involved anymore and only I am there, they replied that they are not needed anymore. The whole day after that I discerned of my role in the church, if I were still to continue, even kneeling in my private chapel at home. The next day was Sunday and I asked the Lord to give me a sign with respect to my discernment. The readings were about the talents. After mass, while waiting for my car at the front exit driveway of the church, the vehicle before my car stopped and a lady came out hurriedly towards me asking me to sign a copy of the Parish Bulletin because her brother liked my singing and wanted my autograph. I was stunned and could not move. An older lady nearby saw what just transpired and asked what happened. I told her about my discernment. She said, “I am much older than you but I do what I can to serve the Lord because there is no ending in serving Him in any capacity as long as we are alive and able.”

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Yes, God created us to love, serve Him and one another and all creatures, through the talents and gifts He gave us for those are not ours to own but the Lord’s.

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