‘God is at work even in our love stories’, bishop tells Asian youth

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MANILA, July 6, 2013—Like a master screenplay writer, God is at work – in our everyday struggles, our circumstances, even in our love stories, a bishop told a group of Asian youth this morning.

In a private mass for Institute of Formation, Fondacio Asia (IFFAsia) students, coming from the Philippines, Vietnam, and Laos, Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon described how God, in the first reading for today, was able to forge the uncanny match of Isaac and Rebekah, a woman he had met only once.

God’s perspective vs. human perspective

“It was hardly a love story at all. There were no text messages sent; no sweet nothings said over the phone… [But] this is what is clear in the whole story of Isaac: There is a hand behind all this,” Bishop Baylon explained.

Baylon said, from a human perspective, Isaac only got to marry Rebecca because his father, Abraham insisted that he marry someone from his own people, but it also shows how God will engineer certain conditions to bring about His greater plan.

“We feel there is a God who is making things new, who is bringing all things together to a conclusive, wonderful end and we all just have to trust Him,” Baylon, who also heads the Episcopal Commission on Youth, said.

He explained this behind-the-scenes work of God is something that often defies human understanding or logic, comparing it to looking at the back side of a work of cross-stitch.

‘Loose ends’

“When [the cross-stitch work] is not done yet, there are a lot of loose ends. It’s so ugly, until it is finished and you can see the beautiful work,” he explained, describing how people often see God’s plan unfold in their lives.

Baylon stressed, the confidence of knowing that God is in charge should galvanize believers to keep on serving, working, doing their best in life – even with the inevitable feelings of meaninglessness or hopelessness.

“In the end, we realize there was Someone doing the sewing, the cross-stitching — more than we ever anticipate it. This is the story of God written in the Scriptures,” he explained.

IFFAsia is a school, based in Quezon City, for formation in discipleship and mission, specifically for young people and lay workers. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]

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