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Moments

Just keep on loving

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The story is told about two old friends who had a big quarrel and who had not talked with each other for years. As one of them was about to die, the priest asked the other one to come, and they were reconciled. But as his friend was leaving the room, the dying man shouted: “Remember, this counts only if I die!”

* * *

In today’s gospel (Jn. 15, 9-17), Jesus expresses his last wish and command: “Love one another as I love you.” We as a human family, as a nation, as a community, as individuals, need to go back and really listen to this reminder again and again. The key to our problems is love, and loving more.

* * *

Today is Mother’s Day. We remember and pay tribute to mothers who love, and who continuously show us the path of love. As it were, mothers are living reminders of peace, unity, and love. We salute them, peace makers as they are, for not giving up, and for continuing to be agents of peace and reconciliation.

* * *

Do you want to be really happy? Jesus tells us today the secret for true joy and happiness: to remain in his love, and to love others. If there is unhappiness in your life, check your love battery.  Maybe you are “low bat” in your love for God and/or in your love for others.

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Take note: Jesus’ last wish and command is not to love ourselves! Along with this is the command to bear fruit. We are not here to live useless, selfish, vain and empty lives. We have been chosen to live fruitful and meaningful lives.

* * *

Fr. Victor Bunanig, SVD, from Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, was one person who lived a fruitful and meaningful life. He died at the age of 78, 50 years of which were spent as a missionary in Indonesia. Here was a person who remained in God’s love, and who remained in his God-given assignment. He was one of 10 Filipino missionaries assigned to Indonesia; the assignment started in 1953, and his passing also ended, according to Fr. John O’ Mahony, SVD, “a great chapter of Filipino SVD mission work in Indonesia.” We can’t help but be inspired and be edified by the simplicity, hard work, humility, and zeal of our veteran missionaries.

* * *

We lost a gentle soul in our midst in the person of Fr. Orlando de Guzman, SVD, who died last May 10 at the age of 77. This soft-spoken unassuming gentleman also from Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya, did his work with humility and joy. He never complained, nor did I ever hear him say anything negative. He was a man of few words, and many smiles.

* * *

Another gentle soul, Eli Segundo, an ex-SVD seminarian (XVD), has gone home to the Creator at the age of 68. He was our regent in my first year in high school at Christ the King Seminary. I went to pray over him last May 6. Before I left his room at the UST Hospital, I asked him to sing with me the “Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen),” a song he himself taught us in 1966. He was a very Marian person. He was co-founder of the Perpetual Rosary Movement. He remained an SVD all the way, being the president of the Lay Society of Saint Arnold Janssen. God bless you, Eli. Mama Mary loves you!

* * *

“If I could only see my child, even just once, even just for a moment…” This was what

Manang Mitsi told me in tears as she related how she had to give up her child born out of wedlock for adoption as soon as she was born. Now 72 years old, she has moved on and has raised her own family, but in her heart, she still wonders where her child is, and what has become of her, and she hopes against all hope to be able to embrace and tell her how much she loves her. Only God knows the depth of a mother’s love!

* * *

We celebrate today the Feast of our Lady of Fatima, to remind us that we have a Heavenly Mother who will always abide by us and protect us. She promised at Fatima to banish war and fears. Let us pray for her motherly protection and intercession, especially during these uncertain times with our neighbor China.

* * *

Let us also pray for our Motherland, ravaged by selfish government leaders and politicians. We ask Mother Mary to lead us out of darkness and into the light, and to give us good and able leaders and a new way of doing politics in our land.

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Let us pray also for Mother Nature, and for the preservation and healing of Mother Earth. May we leave behind a better place for the future generation.

* * *

I praise and thank God for blessing Mama with 90 years of life. Aside from periodic bouts with arthritis, she is healthy, alert, and ambulatory. I thank God for beautiful and meaningful moments spent with her when we go together down memory lane and listen to her stories, lessons, hopes, and dreams. I like it most when she would spontaneously burst into a smile or laughter over something or someone good or bad, happy or sad, that she remembers. What makes her able to do that is her deep faith and trust in God, and her deep love for others. God bless and reward our mothers!

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help us to love, and to just keep on loving. Amen.


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