In today’s gospel we are again reminded how much God loves us, and how we should love Him and our neighbors wholeheartedly.
For over 23 years the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Concepcion has an apostolate among the indigenous Mangyan people of Occidental Mindoro. In living with them, the Sisters realized that even though they are not Catholics, they love God and their neighbors. They say, Mamang sa Ugbos, which means “God our Father in Heaven is so passionately caring for us; He protects us from harm and provides us everything we need.” They believe that He is always present, everywhere, every moment, and in every event in their lives. Nothing happens without His knowledge and permission. His will is manifested through their rituals and in their dreams. He keeps the community united through their simple obedience and trust of their elders. They practice much sharing that no one is in need. In the evenings they gather to discuss what is best for the whole community. They care for each other as brothers and sisters and as one family. If they commit sins against God and their brothers, they ask the intercession of their ancestors. Isn’t this similar to the practices of the first Christians?
In a world of materialism and consumerism, the Mangyans prove that it is possible to live as one community, sharing and loving one another. They may not enjoy the comforts and luxuries of those living in big cities, but they possess the hearts of God’s children, the ones whom the Lord says “inherit the Kingdom prepared for you.”