The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Carlos Lariosa SVD – Quinlongan, Quezon, Palawan
Wednesday 7th Week of Easter
Once I bumped into a group/movement that called themselves OECUMEN, and I was wondering who they were. Then I discovered that the word means UNITY. Their purpose is based on the prayer of Jesus, ut omnes unum sint—that all may be one.
Every time I bless a car, motorcycle, or any transport vehicle, that prayer becomes real again, thanking the Lord for allowing us humans to develop vehicles that could keep us close together, or bringing far-off places closer, and thus making real the possibility of unity among us.
The Filipino concept of Bayanihan, illustrated by a group of people that lifts together and carries a whole bahay kubo, our well-known nipa hut, could be an apt portrayal of this. Its root word, bayani (hero), gives us an insight into what is involved in a Bayanihan. It entails self-forgetfulness (the virtue of heroes) to unite with others and be strengthened to serve together for a common purpose.
It is very inspiring when we work together in unity. Difficult times like the COVID 19 pandemic bring out the best in us, happily extending our hands especially to those affected.
When the spirit of the Lord’s prayer for unity takes over us, the result is even more wonderful that even the onlookers are drawn to give a hand in unity. As the song goes, “For united we stand, divided we fall!”