Priest to laity: ‘Let the Lord court you’

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MANILA, Feb. 17, 2014—Romantic love, as they say, is a thing between couples. But how would you respond if it is the Lord who will court you for you to heed His call?

Fr. Xavier “Javy” Alpasa on Saturday called on the Filipino faithful to open their hearts to Christ and accept His love, noting that His is a relentless call as manifested by the love He has for His flock.

“With all of our sins and shortcomings to Him, did He ever fail us? No, because He never gives up on us,” Alpasa said in his talk during the Katolikong Pinoy recollection held at the San Carlos Seminary on Feb. 15.

“This God is so foolishly obsessed with love for us, and when humans begin to realize this, it could cause a powerful change that would urge them to gratefully share all of the blessings they have,” he said.

“Our God is different. He is with you wherever you go…He finds a way to get closer to us,” he added. 

‘Let Him court you’

Alpasa urged the faithful to let themselves be courted and pursued by the Lord as it would lead them to happiness and contentment.

“Just let Him court you. Open your heart, let your guard down, and let Him in,” he said.

The priest then noted that after letting the Lord enter their hearts, it is important for them to let Him lead their way, not minding if they get lost in process.

“Be lost in His presence…because when you are with Him, it will no longer matter where He will lead you,” he said.

“He then becomes the salt of your life. He gives taste not only to your everyday living, but also to the people around you,” Alpasa added, noting that what matters most is not the direction but the companionship one has in his journey.

Alpasa, who shared that he was courted by God so he may heed His call to the priestly ministry, told the faithful that miracles do come true and they shouldn’t just believe but rely on them.

“I was courted by God, and that was when I realized how relentless He is. He never stops in pursuing us,” he said.

The church, for instance, has struggled through countless controversies but it was able to surpass all of them with the help of miracles, Alpasa noted.

“I don’t believe in miracles. I rely on them,” he added.

“It is grace that keeps this church alive and not the greatness of the people or the skill of priests to give good homilies. It all roots from grace,” he said. 

Through brokenness

Alpasa further noted that humans encounter hardships in life not to weaken their faith, but to strengthen themselves and establish a better connection with the Lord.

“There are certain instances in our lives that when challenges dampen our spirits, we think that there is no more hope left for us,” he said in Filipino.

“But come to think of it, does that problem manifest the entirety of our lives? Does it spell the end? Of course not…the problem is that we limit our perception and ourselves to the present situation.  We always have to remember that there is still tomorrow and that hope is always in us,” he said.

He added that it is through the “brokenness” of the people that they are able to lead better lives.

“Notice that in the Gospel, before the bread was shared, it was broken. It is in our brokenness that we could actually connect with other people,” Alpasa said.

“The Lord does everything for a reason. Nothing goes to waste. He uses everything—even our weaknesses and frailties as a human being. What we should just do is offer them to Him so He may bless them,” he said.

“Even our wounds can become sacred,” Alpasa noted. (Jennifer Orillaza)

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