BACOLOD City, Nov. 23, 2011?Bishop Vicente M. Navarra has challenged delegates to the Visayas Social Action General Assembly to “personally commit themselves in social ministry that will eventually lead to social transformation that is faith-based and love-driven.”
In his homily at San Sebastian Cathedral for the opening of the assembly on November 14 for the three-day conference, Bishop Navarra encouraged delegates to reflect more profoundly on what “commitment” demands from those working in social ministry.
“[The word] commitment is known well and has been discussed ad infinitum yet I believe that it will help all of us all in our gathering to reflect a little bit more about this word and what it means to Social Action Directors who work specifically for Christ in the realm of material needs of His people and addressing the temporal order that is desired to exist in our society,” he said.
Citing an unnamed writer he recently read, the Bishop said that “commitment to be real and genuine means to bring together, to connect, to unite.”
Giving one’s time, money or talent to extend help to someone in need cannot be a genuine commitment if does not lead to self-donation.
“Commitment,” he said “leads to self-donation; self-donation leads to indwelling and fulfillment. It leads to wholeness and happiness.”
He said that “the other half, beyond the self that we bring together in a commitment is obviously the object of commitment” and the “richest of all commitments are what we call personal commitment – when I reach out to another person to bring that person together with me into one whole. It is only in personal commitments that self-donation and indwelling become more meaningful.”
He then called on the VISAGA delegates to “heed and to practice a love driven and faith- based commitment to social transformation.”
About 36 delegates from the fifteen arch/dioceses of the Visayan Region attended the general assembly. (Modesto Sa-onoy)