Updated: Jul 28, 2020
A friend messaged me right after the online recollection of Fr. Danny Huang, SJ last July 18, 2020. She wrote, “It was so consoling to know that God does not require me to do many things for Him in my ministry. But I will continue to give my all and best because I believe that I am given by God my all and my best as well.” Her words captured what Fr. Danny told us in one of his descriptions on MAGIS. According to him, MAGIS is a response to a generous God and it is a response out of gratitude and love. We received first and then, we were moved to give.
Last Saturday was the second recollection in our anniversary series and there were more or less 140 attendees. Reflections of those who joined the recollection have reached us. The following were some of those.
I hear God telling me, be the companion.
In response to His call, there were nights that I cried to sleep because I am overjoyed. I personally experienced God’s generous love and mercy – and it has been my desire to become “God’s Pusher” that others may be brought near to God and experience Him, too.
The situation became my opportunity. In my simple way, I became an instrument of His love to these little ones. I never expected that while giving them more of me – my person, time, love, concern, understanding and empathy through psychosocial support and training leaders – I would meet God. Seeing them is (like) experiencing God’s presence. “'Yon pala, ’yong Magis, from the little seedlings of sharing that you give out of a pure intention grow the fruit-bearing tree of love and joy."
It is so true that when we recognize our smallness in the presence of God, we are opening the door of abundance – and see what the world doesn’t. I realized it is not the size that matters. It is the intention of being God’s face and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s guiding. With God, there is nothing that we can’t do or surpass and there is always something to offer (and we don’t run out of something to offer.)
It is not really something … but Someone! And His name is Jesus.
It was great attending the recollection and having a recharge on what it means to show, live out or give MAGIS. Though I have studied in a Jesuit school for 13 years, I only scraped the basic understanding of MAGIS… which is to do more – but given where we are in this pandemic, being a young adult dealing with many complex situations I am confronted anew by that simple question: “What does it mean to live out MAGIS nowadays?”
In this recollection, I got to meet wonderful people - strangers who share with me what they do, give me pieces of advice as well on how I grow with God and live out the spirit of MAGIS.
This recollection also helped me reflect on my core as a person… as a Catholic Christians, that is. What does more look like in what I have to do or should do?
Fr. Danny Huang’s recollection and definition was a whiff of fresh air for me to live out the spirit of MAGIS in a new light - and for that, I am grateful for this recollection - to him, and God for giving such a wonderful opportunity for enlightenment.
The recollection series to mark the 26th founding anniversary of PJPS is a great opportunity to grow in our faith in God and in one another. It is indeed an experience of being one in faith, united in love, and praising God.
The three images (pilgrim, companion of Jesus, servants) in Part 3 of Fr. Danny Huang’s presentation of MAGIS continue to guide me in my prayer and in my daily decisions – big or small.
The reflection questions are very helpful. In the context of the current pandemic, I ask the Lord: (As a pilgrim), What are you teaching me in this situation? (As a companion), Which beatitude are you leading me to focus on so I can follow you more closely, love you more dearly, and follow you more nearly day by day? ( As a servant), How can I bring hope to those most in need?
I know I will not be able to do great things, but in my own small way, I hope to make a difference in someone’s life especially during this moment of crisis.
A Mass presided by Fr. Henry Ponce, SJ capped the recollection. His homily was like Fr. Danny’s words in continuation. He emphasized that in us, there are weeds and wheats planted. We need patience to wait until the harvest time comes, and then, in due time, we could pluck the weeds out in our hearts. The waiting time when letting the weeds stay alongside the wheats in our hearts for the meantime could be a form of MAGIS - an act of doing nothing, just patiently waiting until the wheats in us bear their grains. This lack of action may mean the very act of preserving the good for God’s greater glory.
Personally, what struck me the most during the recollection was Fr. Danny’s words, “St. Ignatius brought out the best in his companions.” These words hit me because in everything that I do now, I am always being surprised when I saw myself so passionate in my ministry here in the prisons. In my prayer that time, there were so many flashes of moments that I saw St. Ignatius’ presence in my two-year ministry as a priest. In my 14 years as a Jesuit, this was the first time that I felt so close to our founder.