An earthquake with a 6.5 magnitude struck the island of Leyte last July 7, 2017. Many houses in Ormoc City and Kananga town were badly damaged by the tremors, and of the succeeding aftershocks. The Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno thru the Commission on Social and Ecological Concerns - Recoletos organized an immediate relief response to the affected families; the commission started to adapt the name ARCORES (Augustinian Recollect Solidarity network - Philippines) to allign the Order's call for a unified identity in our social outreach efforts globally.
For this effort on earthquake relief drive called "Eco-Tabang" the Province released the amount of Php 150,000.00 from the heartanonymous fund. Eco-Tabang ('eco-help' or 'eco-outreach) is an eco-sustainable outreach of ARCORES (Augustinian Recollect Solidarity network - Philippines) HEARTanonymous & USJ-R Infecop in partnership with Sustainable Energy and Enterprise Development for Communities, Greenpeace Philippines & The Climate Reality Project Philippines.
On July 12, 2017, the ARCORES team visited the ground zero of the earthquake in Barangay Lake Danao, Ormoc City on whose chapel is dedicated to St. Ezekiel Moreno, distributing 120 solar lamps, banig (sleeping mats) and recycled tarpaulins to the 87 affected families.
Reading 1 — Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm — Psalm 65:10-15
Reading 2 — Romans 8:-18-23
Gospel — Matthew 13:1-23
Reflection: The Lord through the Prophet Isaiah says, "...my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it."
These words of the Lord summarizes the message of our readings this Sunday. God's word always bears fruit, renewal, and conversion to all who listens to it. But like a seed, the Word of God can bear fruit only when we become soils that are receptive and fertile. But to be receptive and fertile soil takes a lot of tilling and cultivation, as with our life, we have to undergo many trials and suffering to become the fertile soil in which the Word of God can be planted and it can bear fruit.
This is what St. Paul reminds us in our 2nd Reading, we are groaning within us as we await for our adoption, the redemption of our bodies. It should, then, be clear for us that suffering and trials are there for us to become rich fields for the Word of God, we should not reject them outright, rather, we embrace them with so much joy because we have been found worthy vessels of God's Word.