Wednesday, September 26, 2018
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No to truth decay

The story is told about a man who ordered soup in a fancy restaurant. The waiter asked: “What soup do you want, sir? Clear soup? Onion soup? Asparagus soup?” Feeling trapped, and not knowing what to order, he said: “Ah, never mind soup, soft drinks na lang!”

In today’s Gospel (Mt. 22, 15-21), the Pharisees plotted to entrap Jesus in His speech by seeking His opinion regarding taxation. Jesus was neither a lawyer nor a philosopher, but he was not trapped and simply said the truth: “Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” Truth is simple and clear, and need not be complicated.


“Speak your truth quietly and clearly” (Desiderata). Truth need not be shouted, or accompanied with invectives and threats. We don’t need demagogues, crowd-rousers, or eloquent preachers to move or incite us. Truth, if it is truth, need not be managed or packaged. Truth, if it is truth, needs only to be told.

“Balanced news and fearless views.” This is the battle cry of this newspaper, the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Its former editor in chief, the late Letty Jimenez Magsanoc, and her contemporaries fought hard to make it so. May we continue to emulate their courage and commitment to truth.

Today is World Mission Sunday. We have a mandate to preach and share the Gospel truth with all creation. We all are missionaries wherever we are, wherever we go, whatever we do. What have you done, what are you doing the rest of your life, to live and share your faith?

Let us pray for all missionaries “out there” who have left home, country and family, braving poverty, pain, and even persecution for the sake of the Gospel. May the Lord bless their mission endeavors. And we who are “in here,” let us support them, and let us also do our part and carry out our mission.

Mary Ann and Edwin Cua waited for 10 years to have a child, and in 2000, Jahred Theodore was born. But he had cerebral palsy. They established Quality Life Discoveries to give him the therapies that he needed for his rehabilitation. Jahred died at the age of 14, but their mission did not end with the death of their son. In Mary Ann’s words, “Jahred was sent to us so that we will continue to help other people, especially the indigents who are in the same situation.” For inquiries, call 9127433 or e-mail

In a recent pilgrimage to Medjugorje, we boarded a small ship going to different islands along the Adriatic Sea, and visiting different churches and monasteries. We started our journey by saying to one another: “No to hilo, yes to halo” (or “no to dizziness, yes to saintliness”). Some people have become so crazy and dizzy with power, money, popularity, and pleasures that they have lost their innocence, sanctity and holiness.

Many seminaries in Europe and America that used to produce hundreds of missionaries who were then sent all over the world are now empty or shuttered. We gratefully acknowledge their precious contribution to the world mission. Now it is the turn of the Philippines and other Asian countries to “export” missionaries. Let us do our part to pray for and support our Filipino missionaries. You may contact Fr. Roderick Salazar, SVD, mission director, at telephone number 7217457.

Walking behind a septuagenarian couple, Tong and Daisy Payumo, I said I was edified that they are still sweet to each other after 46 years of marriage. Whereupon Tong quipped with his signature wit and humor: “Out of necessity, Father!” May we not forget that joy is a very important aspect of our Christian vision and mission. Spreading joy, hope, and sunshine is something that all of us can and should do. Pope Francis reminds us to be agents of Gospel joy (Evangelii Gaudium).

Think about this: If we can make even one person happy or give hope to people that come our way, then we are doing our mission. Let us do whatever we can, in any way we can, whenever and wherever we can, to carry out our mission for God, and our fellow men and women. One day at a time is all that God asks of us.


A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help us to live lives that are free from truth decay. Amen.

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