Where does the Eucharist came from? How did it start? The strategy of discussion throughout the retreat is that the Eucharist will be laid out and analyzed and we will assess and reflect on its effect to ourselves and to our family.
The Multiplication of the Loaves
The multiplication of the loaves is a very significant event in the early Christian Community. The four evangelists, St. John, St. Mark, St. Matthew and St. Luke shares stories together. The wedding at Cana event however, is unique only with St. John the evangelist. One of the seven last word which states “Woman this is your son, Son this is your mother” is also part of the Gospel of St. John but not with the three evangelist. Moreover, the scene when St. Peter walks on the water is part of the three evangelist but not with St. John.
Despite of their different characteristics, the multiplication of the loaves is shared by the four evangelist.
When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.”
Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”
“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.
“Bring them here to me,” he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children.
This is the version of the multiplication of the loaves in Filipino language .
Nang marinig ito ni Jesus siya’y sumakay sa isang bangka at nag-iisang pumunta sa isang ilang na lugar. Nang mabalitaan nman iyon ng mga tao, sila’y lumabas ng bayan at lakad na sumunod sa kanya. Paglunsad ni Jesus sa dalampasigan, nakita niya ang napakaraming taong yaon. Nahabag siya sa kanila at pinagaling niya ang mga may sakit na dala.
Nang dapit-hapon na’y lumapit sa kanya ang mga alagad. Sinabi nila “Ilang ang pook na ito at malapit nang lumubog ang araw. Papuntahin na po ninyo sa mga nayon ang mga tao upang makabili ng kanilang makakain.”
Hindi na sila kailangang umalis pa.” sabi ni Jesus. “Kayo ang magbigay sa kanilang makakain.”
Sumagot sila “Lima lang po ang tinapay at dadalawa ang isda natin.”
“Dalhin ninyo rito” sabi niya. Pinaupo niya sa damuhan ang mga tao, kinuha ang limang tinapay at dalawang isda; tumingala sa langit at nagpasalamat sa Diyos. Pinagpira-piraso ang mga tinapay at iniutos sa mga alagad na ipamigay iyon sa mga tao. Kumain silang lahat at nabusog. Tinipon ng mga alagad ang lumabis, at sila’y nakapuno ng labindalawang bakol ng pira-pirasong tinapay. May limang libong lalaki ang kumain, bukod pa sa mga babae at mga bata.
The Gospel depicts that Jesus fed the five thousand men excluding children and women.
Nahabag siya sa kanila at pinagaling niya ang mga may sakit na dala.
The two ministry of Jesus is the Ministry of Preaching and Ministry of Healing of Jesus.
Nang dapit-hapon na’y lumapit sa kanya ang mga alagad. Sinabi nila “Ilang ang pook na ito at malapit nang lumubog ang araw.
And during Jesus time, end of the day is 6pm. After this time, it is considered the next day. That is why on Saturday at 6 pm, anticipated mass for Sunday can be performed because before, it is already considered next day. The disciples said that they are in the outskirts with five thousand men plus maybe seven thousand women and three thousand children, total of fifteen thousand people. Fr. Arlo compared this volume of people to the seating capacity Araneta Coliseum in Manila which is also fifteen thousand.
Jesus’ Signature Move
“Dalhin ninyo rito” sabi niya. Pinaupo niya sa damuhan ang mga tao, kinuha ang limang tinapay at dalawang isda; tumingala sa langit at nagpasalamat sa Diyos. Pinagpira-piraso ang mga tinapay at iniutos sa mga alagad na ipamigay iyon sa mga tao. Kumain silang lahat at nabusog.
Why do the loaves multiplied? Some say that miracle of sharing happened. But personally, Fr. Arlo does not want to believe that sharing happened. Most likely the Jews have not expected that they will be outside until dusk that is why they do not have any food with them.
Where did Jesus perform similar event? It was conducted by Jesus during the Last Supper. This means that the people were given a preview of what will happen in the coming days.
Likewise, after the Last Supper, the scenario on the road to Emmaus is similar to this. Jerusalem is 11 kilometers far from Emmaus. At present times, as compared in the Philippines, Luneta to Cubao is 11 kilometers away.
The two disciples were discussing about what happen to Jesus until Jesus walked with them and opened the Scriptures. As they approached the village, the two disciples told Jesus not to push through because it’s already night-time and it is not safe to go farther. When they are on the table eating, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. The two disciples then recognized Jesus because of this.
The three events stated above are Jesus’ style or you can say His fashion statement or signature moves. He took the bread, he gave thanks, he broke the bread, he gave it to his disciples; this is the method where Jesus is recognized.
He took the bread
If we say he took the bread, it is very personal to Fr. Arlo. When Jesus took one bread among the five loaves, of all the bread why did he get from there? There are breads in bakeri (pronounced as ba-ke-ri) / bakery, there are also pudding out there, or “biscocho” (hard bread) in IloIlo or piyaya (also a kind of bread). But still, why Jesus took one bread there?
Fr. Arlo reflected this question which is very personal to him on his experiences to priesthood. He entered the seminary at the age of 12. Out of the seven siblings in the family, four of them went to the seminary in Christ the King Mission Seminary in E. Rodriguez, Quezon City. The eldest and the only girl among them is already in Canada. Out of four siblings, the most talkative and naughtiest became priest and that is Fr. Arlo. That time Fr. Arlo never plan to be a priest and more even so a nun. =)
And there were times that he wanted to go out of the seminary. There are two reasons. First, he want to experience to have a girlfriend. There was once a girl name Ehem (Fr. Arlo does not want to mention the real name) who made his heart beat fast because of love. During high school, they already with mutual understanding or M.U. (In Filipino, mag-un) =) But he finally decided to continue in the seminary. That was Fr. Arlo’s one of the earliest decision that is painful and it went on for four years.
Until one time, their pathways crossed and he bumped into Ehem again. His heart beat fast again. Ehem is now working with Philippine Airlines in MIA (Manila International Airport). She asked Fr. Arlo to go out with her, just to prove that she has a work now and she can afford to treat him. They set the date on December 24, but postponed. They agreed December 31, but still postponed. Until January 5 came and they finally have the much awaited date.
They went to Harrison Plaza. While eating Ehem fondly asked, “Arlo, do you have any crush even a seminarian?” Fr. Arlo timidly answered, “They are plenty of them but you do not any know them.” She ask who was the lucky girl, but he hesitated to tell her. Until Ehem finally convinced her and Fr. Arlo confessed that she is his crush. (Note: while telling this story, Fr. Arlo lying on the stage, kicking his feet on the air because of excitement. I can’t wait to see the video) =) But Fr. Arlo is already decided that time to be a priest so he let Ehem go.
When he was in his first year as a priest, he met the mother of Ehem in a gathering. The mother told him that Ehem thought that they will be married eventually. He asked how Ehem is doing now and the mother told him that she is in Saudi Arabia, working with Duty Free. She was once a cover girl of a magazine. Fr. Arlo has really good taste, because he knows that he is also handsome. (Ariel Rivera during night-time when the light is dark and Roderick Paulate during day time when the sun is high.) =)
The second reason why he wants to go out of the seminary because he wants to work for a different job. Fr. Arlo discovered that he has a gift of preaching at the age of 18. During that time, he already handles retreats and recollection. Because of this, he knew that he will be a good sales man. Moreover, he can also be a mechanic because he is already fixing electric fans and cars at an early age. He can change parts of a car and electronic equipments. He also designs his own set up of his amplifiers. He dreamed to be a mechanical engineer before.
The talent the Lord gave to Fr. Arlo is broad and far-reaching and having a family might be overkill. If he pursue to become a priest even the whole church might be given to him to handle. If for example he can manage 500 people, it is too much for him to have family of 8 people.
Of all the things, why you?
Until one instance in the seminary in Baguio, the priest tell them, “Of all the plants, why are these plants here?” (“Sa dinami dami ng halaman, bakit ang mga halaman na iyan ang nandito?”) and “Of all the people, why are you here?” (“Sa dinami dami ng tao, bakit kayo ang nandito?”)
Another instance was when he was walking in a garden. He saw a flower, there is even a bee flying around it. Unfortunately, after one day the flower died. He cried and said to the Lord, “I have only one life to live and I will live it to the fullest”. And he decided to stay and become a priest.
The biggest moment happened a year before his priestly ordination. He was about to sign up for his application for perpetual vows in religious life. That night with the document for his signature in front of him, he reviewed his life in the seminary. Then he asked the Lord the two most important personal questions in his life. The first was “Lord, will I be happy as a priest forever?” The Lord seemed to tell him “Arlo, if you had been happy as a seminarian for 13 years, you will be happy as a priest forever!” The second was “Lord, how about my limitations and weaknesses?” The Lord seemed to reply “Arlo, if I had chosen you, I have already considered your limitations and weaknesses.” He cried and with tears in his eyes he said “Yes Lord!” He signed the document with peace in him overflowing like a river.
Fr. Arlo continued, “Of all the people last night, why are you here today?” (“Sa dinami dami ng tao kagabi, bakit kayo nandito ngayon?”) “Of all the bread out there, why did He pick you” (Sa dinami dami ng mga tinapay, bakit kayo ang pinili ng Diyos?”)
Nothing Comes by Accident
Nothing comes by accident. God has a purpose in life. You might have problems like your visa has expired. You lost your job. Your marriage is not working out smoothly. You might ask is God really that cruel?
You might complain why you are stuck with your bad husband? Why you have cancer? God has a purpose why he is giving us these trials. Nothing comes by accident.
God has Considered our Limitations and Weaknesses
Our limitations and weaknesses were already considered by God before he even pick us. All of us are not worthy of our calling but the Lord take these into account. If you are chosen to lead, do not say no. Just say yes to Him and he will guide you along the way.
When Jesus Took One of the Loaves, He Took Also the Other Four
When Jesus took you, He also took the other four. He took your husband/wife with you. He also took your children and other members of the family.
“Of all the children, why is He give you your children?” If you were given a chance to choose your children, will you choose a different one? If the children will choose their parents, will they choose a different one as well?
Jesus have taken our family, our colleagues and friends as well when he took us.
“Tapat, Tapat Lang“
Tapat, tapat lang or let me say Weather, weather lang. =)
“Of all the priests, why are you with Fr. Arlo?” Answer: Tapat, tapat lang. Why Fr. Motu or Fr. Troy? Answer: Tapat, tapat lang.
This happens because a certain person answers a certain need at a certain time.
Example is about Baby Gaviola from Occidental Mindoro. She really wants to become a nun. But when she encountered a strict and cruel nun, she went to be born again. Answer: Tapat, tapat lang.
After Fr. Arlo left the seminary after a year, the seminarians who are close to them is complaining because they were not included in the campus ministry because other seminarians are close to the other group. Answer: Tapat, tapat lang.
Two Kinds of People that we will Encounter
They are two kinds people who you will encounter. One is the people who will make your life difficult and the other one is the people who will help you and lift you up.
There are people who serves as your angel. You might meet people who will be with you through thick and thin. Cherish and thank those people.
Fr. Troy is very fatherly and we are fortunate. Peksman, Batman, Superman, Ironman 2, Captain America. =) If you want to get married in the church, you can approach Fr. Troy in order to be married.
You might encounter a boss who is very cruel to you. You might encounter a person that will trick you and take advantage of you. If you encounter a bad person just imagine that you met an accident. Still cherish them and be thankful.
We should be thankful for the people we encounter good or bad.
During the distribution of the bible verses, Fr. Arlo told to reflect on our weaknesses and all our problems. Think that God has a reason why all these are happening to you. Maybe the answer is in the bible verse, maybe this is what God wants to happen.
We will encounter different types of people. We will meet both good and bad. For me, whenever I encounter a self-centered boss or unreasonable friends or colleagues or simply people who will make my life difficult, I always pray “Lord, show me what lesson and positive things I can get from this.” I am sure the Lord will be happy for us if we take all difficulties, problems and trials in our life positively. We should always think of the good and positive side of any problem. If somebody harmed you and make you feel bad, I think the Lord is telling us “Child, when you are in their position, do not be like them because you know how bad it feels.” Always remember, that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and a rainbow after a heavy rain.
As I wrote this article, my boss sent an email blast that our presentation and training with the client and our site management is rescheduled after the Eid ul Adha Holidays. I feel relieved because I will be the one who will prepare the presentation and training for him. As Fr. Arlo says it “Tapat, tapat lang. “Now, I will have more time to write and complete all the articles for the talk of Fr. Arlo in this Misyong Pilipino. Indeed, God really find ways and direct our paths as long as we acknowledge him in everything we do. =)
How will you deal with the kinds of people you encounter daily? Share your thoughts and meet us in the comments.
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