The monthly lay formation yesterday was attended by members of different organizations and ministries of our parish. Our lay brothers and sisters, many coming from their workplace or school, though already tired, managed to come, listen and be open to the message that our speaker had to share. The theme for the lay formation was "God the Father" with none other than our parish priest, Rev. Fr. William Bustamante, OFM Cap., as speaker.
The night began with a presentation by the Catholic Women's League (CWL), the featured organization for the month. CWL members and their family members were part of the presentation which had Fr. Albert Poblete, OFM Cap., playing Father God and several youth holding up the different symbols of God's creation. The story unfolded telling of man's first fall to temptation and showing the endless mercy and forgiveness of God, culminating in Jesus carrying His cross up the aisle with Mother Mary along His side toward Father God as they all face the altar to the hymn of "For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever. Amen." Fr. William approached the front of the altar to thank all the presenters, the CWL members, with special thanks given to his brother Capuchin priest, Fr. Albert.
After the opening prayer, Fr. William began his talk, saying that the words he would be using would be theological in nature, where the terminology might not be familiar to most people (The text of Fr. William's presentation will be posted here for the readers' reference and review). Many lay brothers and sisters are still not familiar or do not have full understanding of the basic doctrine of the Catholic faith and it is the hope of the parish through these formations to enlighten the lay on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The different attributes/characters/titles of God the Father were described and discussed in detail, beginning with God as a Person but, unlike other persons, is not a Human Being. Fr. William spoke of God's Infiniteness, of God as our Creator, of God's perfection, giving light to the misconceptions of this First Person in the Holy Trinity. Further on in the formation talk, Fr. William expounded on the other attributes of God: of God as being omnipresent (God being present everywhere), omnipotent (God being infinitely powerful) and omniscient (God being aware of all knowledge of all things). He talked of God the Father, Who, despite being all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever-present is a God who loves us and cares for all His creations.
Understanding fully all these concepts of our God with all His characteristics, nature and attributes is not easy and would take a lifetime. One talk of less than two hours is never enough. Fr. William ended with the verse from John 14:16-17 to reassure us that God will give us the Spirit of Truth to reveal these mysteries to His children.
Written by: Eileen Apostol