Thursday, December 31, 2009

Celebrating those who serve with joy and dedication!

What a tremendous time it was – coming together and sharing a meal with the Novitiate supporting staff and their families. I simply say ‘Na tuma pam’ to all our cherished supporting staff for their dedicated and immeasurable service to this community!! I testify that these celebrated men and women are a source of encouragement and inspiration, and a challenge in many aspects, be it prayer, sincerity and their simple and sustaining life.

On December 30th many of us novices spent considerable time to prepare the workers hospitality meal. Overwhelmed by kitchen work, I imagined how novitiate life would have been without these workers presence. It was a huge sense of thankfulness that we celebrated the gift that they are to us along with their families. The children were delighted with the little presents they received for the New Year.

Bravo to the team, for recognizing the efforts of our dear workers. Without doubt this is to ‘Risk being different’ and living the life of love and service in the footsteps of Brothers Edmund and Jesus.

As I continue affirming greatly our efforts in becoming hope for the world, being brother to all and responding creatively to emerging needs of a changing world, I still hear the echoing invitation of one of our workers, “Look at us and respect us… We are God’s gift to our societies who are fortunate beneficiaries.” May we seek to always be Christ to others

In recent Justice and Peace meetings there was one statement which was echoing what I think need to be attended to especially by us, religious people. This is the issue of workers’ rights. Many people are crying for their rights as workers in their inner being, fearing to speak up. To make matters worse, the Church is seen by some people to be part of those who have jeopardized the church workers’ rights. I may ask: “are religious people innocent with regard to this?” The danger is to deny and claim that we are innocent. If we are, thanks to God, but still we should be aware and remind ourselves not to inflict pain on workers. Workers may not have voices because they fear to lose their jobs and become unemployed and then poverty will grip them.

What’s different in the way we treat our workers compared to other employers? The answer opens us to new possibilities.

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