Pilgrims of Faith
It is great to be gathered again as a community of educators in person. Now that the protocols on the pandemic have loosened up, the public school administrators and principals in the Archdiocese of Manila once again gathered for the annual Easter Recollection last April 21, 2023, held at Mary Mother of Hope Chapel (Landmark Chapel). This spiritual exercise was facilitated by Rev. Fr. Reginald Malicdem, the second Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Manila and the mission station priest of Landmark and SM Chapels in Makati. The Easter Recollection was entitled “Becoming Pilgrims of Faith."
Fr. Regie grounded his sharing on the story of Jesus and his two disciples on the way to Emmaus. This story narrated in the Gospel of St. Luke teaches us the meaning of pilgrimage and how to become pilgrims and co-pilgrims to others, especially with our young students. He reminded everyone that by being educators we are co-pilgrims in the life of our students.
Five important points on becoming pilgrims of faith were given based on this biblical story, they are; walking together, listening, teaching, fellowship, and mission.
From the story, Jesus drew near and walked with the two disciples. He took the initiative of walking with them showing us the image of a God who walks with his people on this pilgrimage of life.
When Jesus walked with His disciples, He teaches us the importance of going through the process which according to Fr. Regie is oftentimes more important than the result or the destination.
Jesus listened to the two disciples as He journeyed with them. He took time to listen to what is happening in their hearts.
Journeying takes a lot of listening, "we must make a special effort to listen to those we may be tempted to see as unimportant and those who force us to consider new points of view that may change our way of thinking,” reminded Fr. Regie.
After listening, Jesus taught the disciples. He interpreted to them the scripture narratives that referred to Him in the Old Testament writings.
In the field of education, teachers, principals, school administrators, and even catechists are familiar with the principles of teaching but questions like, “How do we teach?” How should we teach?” must be also given attention.
An Anglican Archbishop once said, “Do not raise your voice, improve your argument.” According to Fr. Regie, it is so easy to raise our voices but it takes a lot of effort to improve our arguments. Education happens when we improve our arguments.
As co-pilgrims of our students, we should also teach them the right way as Jesus did with the disciples, Fr. Regie added.
Jesus went in to stay with the disciples and shared a meal with them. He invited them to communion and participation.
After the breaking of the bread, Jesus vanished from the sight of the disciples.
Fr. Regie reminded the principals and school administrators to allow God’s work to continue through the young people that they formed and served. “We must vanish to leave the young people hungry for God.”
He ended by saying that we are pilgrims and co-pilgrims with each other where God is walking with us. He is our co-pilgrim in this journey of life.
The recollection was concluded by the examination of conscience and celebration of the sacrament of confession.
They also received an “Easter Egg” with some candies and medicinal oil inside that also served as one of the souvenirs. The egg also contains a prayer intention from their prayer partner that they will pray for.
A light snack was served, photos from the photo booth, and certificates of attendance were also given.
It was indeed a grace-filled Easter recollection.