LEARNING FROM “MY NEIGHBORS”
Who is my neighbor? The gospel of Mark 12:31 emphasizes the two New Commandments of Jesus: love God and love your neighbors as yourself. As a community of believers, we are bound to love our neighbors, learn from, care, and respect them.
I consider the Novitiate as the first community life I have experienced. I am grateful to God and to my sisters in this community, for they have shown me the path in following the footsteps of the Lord. Just as St. Dominic´s teaching and is esteemed to this day: “community life”, core of being in mission of every Dominicans. This added weight to value more my vocations and the vows I committed. Also, through the first experience of living in community, I have been provided with opportunities to learn things from my “mission neighbors” and deepen more my faith as a newly professed sister.
The Sisters always share about the past mission, its challenges, joy in their experiences. How they commit themselves to the call of God through an apostolate they were assigned to. “Love your neighbor” indeed, manifest the virtue of charity, God’s gift. St. Paul says, the Holy Spirit, poured out into our hearts, has been given to us and, for this gift to be operative in our lives, we need to correspond human capacity to love, “in a relationship” (as we often see in facebook, often reveals when one is in love). This friendship with the Lord is indeed a mature love for the sake of others. Thus, “my neighbor” has a great part in my life or in my vocation.
For me, it was a wonderful experience to be assigned here in Reina de la Paz community because I have learned a lot from the Sisters, how to be humble, accepting fraternal corrections and most of all to be always available especially to the elderly. I saw from them the joy in their face as they come back from their apostolate. I was overwhelmed by their accompaniment, joys, laughter and being simple to live in the community as family. What admired me the most is the importance of community and personal prayer such that, even tired from work, they have time for the Lord. These very examples will always be an inspiration for me in my life of consecration.
There are times I also encounter difficulties. Yet, there is a sister who always lends her ears, listens to my problem and guides. My sisters are always “my neighbors”, a family, my friends, and consolers. A blessing which I cannot ignore, as they manifest the goodness of the Lord.
This community has been a great inspiration and support to me during my first year of juniorate. Though I am fully aware that there are many more “yet to learn” in life. My prayers and hope remain that my presence, would likewise, enhance life in this community. I do believe that like a jigsaw puzzle: each one possesses a unique and a special piece of the puzzle, and that, it is bonded in love and unity.
Sr. Edelita Sotero Sibongga