July 30, 2014
Gospel of the Day: Mt. 13: 44-46
There Is Always a Desire in Every Man’s Heart
that can only be Satisfied by Divine Supplications
(On the anticipation of the Feast Day of St. Igmatius)
In this sharing, I beg for the graces of patience, humility, and perseverance in our desire in the search of the great treasures of our lives.
There is always a desire in every man’s heart that can only be satisfied, not by earthly and material things and possessions, but divine supplications. And when it is found, material value will never be the same again. Definitely, transformation is happening in the heart.
I will highlight my teaching experience in my reflection. It was exactly 12 years ago when I applied as a teacher. I needed a job at that moment. I applied in some establishments and corporate institutions but I got tired of waiting for a response. Then, I tried applying in academe, not as a teacher, but as an office staff. And I only applied here in Ateneo. When I was called up for an interview, I was accepted. I was quite desperate because I was given the job not with what I applied for. I did not apply really as a teacher, but a campus minister. But it happened the other way around. But since, I was in need of a job, so I took it with some reservations, and keeping them in me.
So being a teacher, honestly, was quite a challenge for me. In the first place, I was not an education graduate. So I had to learn a lot like classroom management, classroom strategies, and the like. The only confidence I had was that at least I know what to deliver - the contents of the lesson. Then, I was able to adjust. But even though, I was somehow dragging my feet to go to classes. My work became so technical. I went to work, because that was what I was told to do. I had to prepare because it is part of my job. One of the sources of my joys was payday. Though with a minimal value, still I enjoyed it. The consolation I had was that at least, I was not one of the jobless people. Another source of my joys was playing basketball, the only sport that I love. And I was able to manage to buy things for my own, and to enjoy some things for my own.
Everything was technical. Everything was about material things. Until such time that I came to realize that all the work was not entirely for my own. All those work, the preparation of the lessons, the planning of strategies, managing the class, and the like were not all for my own credits. The real score lies in the learning of my students. I have heard a lot of times that teaching is a vocation. However, it was only then that I came to know and understand its real meaning in my chosen profession. That time in my profession, there I could say that there was a transformation in my perspectives and views.
With my present task, I even more understand that there is really a greater need that I have to attend to for the good of the department, and for the good of the school. It is not me anymore who works, but the assigned task with its underlying functions. Every time I spent extra hours of doing things even at home, all I could think of is that this is for a greater cause. It’s not me anymore, but the need of the greater call. And most of the time, I have sacrificed something that I should have enjoyed instead of doing some personal things for my own personal satisfaction. My salary is important, I couldn’t deny that. Playing basketball with my colleagues is also important for me. However, my point is that there was a transformation in my part. I do not drag my feet anymore in coming to work. My salary, which is not that high, is now a consolation of my day’s hard work and dedication, and definitely now my priority. If it is so, then I could have chosen a different career rather than staying. My basketball life is now a health necessity for me unlike before. Indeed, I was in search for a job, but I found what I was looking for.
Like the man in the gospel, when finding a great treasure, he sacrificed some of his material things for the sake of a greater cause. It is an act of surrendering for the sake of a greater cause. There is indeed a value on this great treasure that no other value of material things in this world can surpassed with.
Lastly, I would like to end up with St. Augustine’s confession: “My soul is restless, until it rests in You.”
Thank you for granting me the graces of patience, humility, and perseverance in our desire in the search of the meaning of our lives.