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Moments

Focus! Focus!

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The story is told about two husbands conversing. The first one asked: “Honestly speaking, when you see a beautiful woman, what do you look at first, the face or the body?” The second one said: “Honestly speaking, when I see a woman, I look first at my wife, if she is looking at me.”

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 24, 35-48) the two disciples were so focused on the signs and wonders that accompanied the Resurrection of the Lord that they could not recognize the Lord of the Resurrection. The Lord had to tell them and assure them again with His words “Peace be with you.”  Wherever we are in life, whether in the valley of tears, or in the mountain of blessings, let us keep focused, not on our situation, but on the Lord who is with us in any situation.

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People come and go. Situations change. Only the Lord is constant, only the Lord remains, and only the love of God is permanent. The Lord teaches us that in our lowest moments, and even in our peak moments, we must focus on Him, and not so much on the problems or on the blessings.

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“It is not so much your work as your heart.” This was the Lord’s reminder for me last week as I ended a long day with still another sick call at the UST Hospital. It was late, I was tired, and still had to take a long walk from the parking area to the room of the patient. I happened to pass the hospital chapel. I went in, and as soon as I knelt down, tears just flowed from my eyes. I could not explain why, nor could I describe what made me cry, but I ended up feeling God’s embrace and assurance. It was as if the Lord had pulled me aside and into the dark chapel to tell me that He knows the work and the efforts I do for His flock. At the same time, He reminded me that He was with me, and that what He really wanted was not so much my work as my heart.

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The best prayers are those that are unsaid, or those that come with tears. When was the last time you cried with your God because of problems, pain, disappointments, or because of failures or sin? It is at such times of surrendering when we feel most God’s presence that is so refreshing and assuring.

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You, dear readers, who think you are working so hard, and are giving everything you have, perhaps all you need to do is to work less, and just love more.

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May we not find ourselves with a bagful of regrets that we focused more on functions and less on persons. The problem with those who try to become a somebody is that they forget to be a someone.

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Something is terribly wrong when we who claim to “work” for the Lord do not have time to be with Him, and do not radiate His love and His presence. Too focused on our “work” for the Lord, we often forget the Lord of our work.

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So hot these days!  But before we complain, and put forth our personal miseries, let us not forget that there are people who suffer more from the summer heat because of their work, their poverty, and because of their more difficult situations. If you think your life is hard, please remember that there are lots of people whose lives are harder than yours.

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Along with the hot summer weather, the political pot too is beginning to boil with the midterm elections in May 2013. Again the focus is on personalities, and the plight of our people remains pretty much the same. It is about time we let the people be at center stage and put the politicians in their proper place—backstage.

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The Lord opened the minds of the disciples and enabled them to really see and understand. That happened because they took time to really listen to Him. When they stopped focusing on the external signs and wonders, and when they stopped being burdened by doubts and questions, their eyes were opened. We must learn to bring everything and anything to God in prayer. As it were, prayer gives us a new sight that allows us to see  more deeply and clearly. If things are blurred or hazy, it’s time to put on that new set of eyeglasses called prayer.

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Think about this: “Who is blind? One who sees only himself. Who is poor? One who is troubled with so many desires. Who is rich? One who is contented with what he has. Who is happy? One who knows God and who knows that he is loved.”

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Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on “The Importance of Oral Hygiene” on April 28 at the Janssen Hall of Christ the King Seminary from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, with Dr. Roby Montellano as speaker. For inquiries, please call 3732262/9982548 or 09174167849.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to stay focused on You in any situation I go through. Amen.


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