Neophyte \ˈnē-ə-ˌfīt\ noun: a beginner, new comer, learner or a novice.
That’s how merriam-webster defines the word “Neophytes” and that is how we call our group when we started as servants at the Feast Bay Area.
The name has its own variety: “neos” when we’re a bit lazy to say the whole thing, or “neos unite” when we gather with full or almost full attendance after a long hiatus. Haha!
Last Saturday, we got the opportunity to gather again, but this time with none other than Fr. Bob McConaghy at SM Aura.
It was our first time to spend time with Fr. Bob as a group (and as intimate as that).
On a personal note, I never thought that I would have this chance to speak with one of the priests whom I look up to at the Feast.
I came to know Fr. Bob in one of the masses at the Light of Jesus community. The first time that I heard him deliver his homily, I told myself, “Ah! This priest is going to be one of my faves! Haha”. Why? It’s because whenever I listen to Him, I always feel like he is Jesus.
Our dinner date (slash confession haha) with Fr. Bob was so special because of the overflowing wisdom and sharing of stories, darkest secrets, past, hurts, challenges and joy in the Lord.
He listened to our every story like a real father.
His eyes and ears were glued to ours and our stories.
Ah! We’re just so blessed that a man of God was sent to minister to us with grace and compassion.
I may not be able to share my friends’ stories here because theirs is not my story to tell but I can share with you some of Fr. Bob’s words of wisdom. (Not in toto).
I hope that you will be blessed by these words:
• In times of difficulties, you can ask God “why”. The next question you can ask him is where He wants to take you.
• Focus on your positive virtues more than your shortcomings and sins.
• You may not be the one who will bring Jesus in another person’s life. You can just simply pray for them.
• One day you’ll be able to use your scar in blessing others because you yourself understand how it feels like to be in that situation.
• If you’re hurt, let that person know that you were deeply hurt.
• You are loved and worthy of His love.
• Live in peace.
Well, these are only few of the beautiful messages we received from Fr. Bob… beautiful messages that really left a mark in our hearts.
I also realized that yes, there is growth and we are all work in progress. But Neos will always be Neos — beginners / novice / learners because every day is always a first time!
Father God, thank you for speaking to us through you servant. Thank you for using him to remind us that we are loved by you… that we are worthy of your love… that in your eyes, we are worth more than gold.
We pray that you bless him with the best of health. Bless and keep him, in Jesus’ name. Amen.