Of Contractual Relations and Giving Without Counting the Cost

law grad homily copy

[President’s Remarks: ADDU Service Awards, 2017]

It is my privilege to add my personal word of congratulations to all the service awardees celebrating 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and even 35 years of service at the ADDU in the Grade School, Junior High School, and from the various schools in higher education. We congratulate all those who have received special rewards – our retirees. This day we recognize your loyalty over the years, and express our gratitude for your loyal service, that in some cases have virtually defined your lifetime.

_MG_1769As we express our gratitude for your loyalty, we also express our gratitude to the Lord for the Ateneo de Davao, that we all work hard to keep alive in the service of our youth, our society and our Church. The ADDU is the context of your service, your long-term employment, and the benefits that you receive over many years as employees of ADDU. At ADDU, as elsewhere, the employer-employee relationship is defined by a contracts freely entered into with their determinations of legal obligations on both the side of the employer and the side of the employees. We are grateful that these contracts exist. We are grateful they can exist.

_MG_1728But we are also grateful that an essential dimension of your service here at Ateneo cannot be adequately expressed in an employer-employee relationship, because this dimension has to do with the institution’s relationship with the Church, and the institution’s relationship with its God, and the institution’s relationship with its stakeholders.

It also has to do with your individual relationship to the Church, and to God, and to the stakeholders of this university, i.e., your own personal appropriation of the mission of the school in living out your contracted service. In your service here at the ADDU you are dealing not only with an employer and an employing institution. You are yourself responding to your God, your Church, your community.

_MG_1713It is therefore also in this trans-contractual dimension, that your service is rendered.

Therefore, even as we are today grateful for your loyalty in contractual fidelity over the years, we are also grateful today for your generosity.

This is something we cannot contract.

It is something we learn.

It is something we pray for.

Generosity: St. Ignatius taught us to pray for generosity.

  • Lord teach us to be generous
  • Teach us to serve you as you deserve
  • To give and not to count the cost
  • To fight and not to heed the wounds
  • To toil and not to seek for rest
  • To labor and ask not for reward
  • Save that of knowing that we do your most holy will.

In the service awards for this day, we recognize your loyalty gratefully. And proudly honor you. But we also recognize your generosity. And humbly praise God.




About Joel Tabora, S.J.

Jesuit. Educator
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