Kargador at Dawn

Kargador at Dawn
Work in the Vineyard

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dhikr for the 2nd Sunday in Ordianry Time (A)

Text: “Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God." (John 1: 34)

Meditation: A recently martyred Oblate priest, Fr. Rey Roda of the Philippines, like John testified with his blood that Jesus is the Son of God… His life and work and now his brutal murder in that God forsaken island of Tabawan in Tawi Tawi (Philippines) point to Jesus who taught us… greater love than this no one has than to lay down one’s life for friends… Jesus is our FRIEND… and we are invited to be a friend to one another.


1st step: Write the text or Dhikr (the Arabic word for REMEMBRANCE) in your heart.
2nd step: Let the text remain always in on your lips and mind - RECITING the text silently as often as possible...
3rd step: Be attentive to the disclosure of the meaning/s of the text in your life.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fr. Jesus Reynaldo Roda, OMI - Martyr

I am writing this short note while participating in the UN High Level Session on the Alliance of Civilizations in Madrid, Spain..

One of us, again, fell victim to that senseless cycle of violence... Rey is the 3rd fallen.... in the vicariate joining the group of the slains - Ben de Jesus and Benjie Innocencio.

I am writing this note with a heavy heart... with tears in my eyes... and a hard question in my mind about the rationale of our presence in those places. Yet, I know that there are no answers to that question... no understanding would come either by way of theology or any other way...

Few days before leaving for Madrid... at the dining table, with Frs. Mon, Phil, Franz, Jun J, Bishop Lito and others present, I jokingly posed the question of the rationale of our presence in those places... since in the economy of God's salvation, I believe that all are saved by God's mercy and compassion.. .! Yet what the mind cannot fathom... the heart can understand.. . Only in faith, hope and great love, can we begin to understand such a presence, such heroism and such senseless deaths.... Rey, Ben, Benjie and the rest of our colleagues in the same mission have that faith, hope and great love...!

In the meeting of the late mid-lifers last July 2007, I cornered Rey, Raul and Pol... not to ask that hard question of our seeming senseless presence in those God forsaken islands... but to express my deep admiration and appreciation for their heroic presence in those places... Rey with more than ten years in Tabawan, Raul - more than ten years in Sibutu, and Pol - almost his entire priestly life, except for few years in Dulawan, was spent in the Vicariate - Sibutu,
Tabawan, Siasi and now Cagayan de Tawi Tawi.

Such presence and the ministry elude understanding. ... when approached through the mind... In fact they are senseless!

That kind of life and ministry can only be approached through the heart. Akin to a mystery, it can only be understood in faith hope and love!

Rey was a friend...and a comrade in the struggle during the Marcos years. Yet, deep beneath... was the real Rey formed by the faith of his mother and father - a simple and trusting faith that gave meaning not only to his priesthood and religious life... but also to his presence and work in Tabawan.

Though painful and sorrowful... we take pride in belonging to the OMI Philippine Province because in our midst emerged Ben de Jesus, Benjie Innocencio and now Rey Roda who paid the ultimate price for the values and beliefs close to their hearts...

There rises from deep beneath my heart a shout of anger for this madness... yet it is an anger that is easily consumed by the fire of love... that urges each OMI to hold his head high... BELIEVE and continue that kind of presence and ministry even without understanding yet hoping in our hearts that they have NOT died in vain... and that their lives do MAKE sense!!!

Rey, I bid you farewell... with tears in my eyes, yet full of hope in my heart that one day we shall see be re-united with the whole community of Tabawan... nay the whole Vicariate of Jolo in God's kingdom... where we shall see the sense of all this tragedy in the midst of God's great love as paralleled by the great generousity of spirit of the slain.

Paz y Bien!
Bapa Jun