Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Teachers, Government Employees, and Young Professionals: Choose to be Brave

by Krystel Nicole Segovia

During this Year of the Laity, Filipino Catholics are challenged to “choose to be brave” as they are “called to be saints and are sent forth as heroes.” Even right in our own neighbourhood each of us is called to do what it takes to reach out to others and lead one an-other to God.

The Year of the Laity focuses on twelve sectors or groups of people with and for whom we can work to bring God’s saving love. We may actually be part of one sector or another. The last issue of this newsletter dwelt on the following sectors: broken families, homebound and prisoners, troubled friends, as well as the homeless and jobless. Here I focus on the other sectors.

Non-Practicing Catholics - Nowadays, many of us are just Catholics in name. Many of us merely perform the routines of being a Catholic but do not really live a genuine Christian life. As part of the laity, we are encouraged to bring these “lost Catholics” back to the loving embrace of the Lord. Our brothers and sisters who have strayed away from Christ must be able to meet and get to know Him again, as a first step to welcoming Him back into their lives.

Public School Teachers- The Advocating Change Through Schools (ACTS) program was formed in order to get members of the public school system evangelized. Using this approach, the laity aims to revive the Catholic values that have been missing among the teachers, parents, and students for quite some time.

As educators and second parents, teachers have a responsibility to instill among their students not only knowledge of facts and technical skills but also, and more importantly, the virtues and proper values that every Filipino Catholic should practice in order to mature as God-fearing individuals.

Parents, as the first teachers and persons their children will look up to, must primarily set a good example in their homes. Students for their part need to put into action what they learn from their parents and teachers because that is the whole sense of their learning experience.

Government Employees - The laity seeks to inspire government employees to perform their duties to the best of their abilities with honesty and integrity. In line with this, a different kind of approach will be used—government employees are to be thanked, celebrated, and honoured for their services. Rather than giving them usual reminders on how to work with dignity, they will be asked to share stories of their honest deeds as public servants. The laity are urged to thank them sincerely for their daily service to the people and treat them as one of our modern-day heroes.

Young Professionals - The laity aims to gather young people of different professions and make them active members of the Church. As a source of various potential skills, young professionals are highly encouraged to bring God into their fields of expertise. These people are urged to share the Lord’s goodness and put Him on top of their priorities, to live meaningful lives despite their hectic schedules due to their careers.

Lay Saints and Filipino Catholic Heroes - As part of the laity, we are enjoined to look up to our lay saints and Filipino Catholic Heroes as models of faithfulness to the Lord. These are the people who had led holy lives. The stories of their lives must inspire us to live according to God’s will not just this year, but for as long as we live.

Truly, it is important that we become aware of our roles as part of the laity. Our sincere cooperation is highly needed to make this year a success. As Filipino Catholics, we should do our part in bringing our brothers and sisters closer to the Lord not only out of a sense of duty to do so, but also out of our love for them. As Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in his message to us Catholics, “Temptation is everywhere. But perhaps the greatest temptation of all is to do nothing in the face of all these tests of faith.”

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