Light and right


The story is told about a son who asked his father’s advice and blessing for his candidacy for public office. The father’s simple advice was: “RA 9003, of 2003.” When asked by the son what it was, the father said: “That’s the Solid Waste Management Act of 2003. May people separate you from the rest who are plastic, and may you become nonbiodegradable (hindi nabubulok).”

* * *

In today’s gospel (Mk. 10, 17-30), Jesus instructs His disciples and would-be disciples not to be corrupted by money and worldly possessions. The lure of worldly pleasures, wealth and power is the single biggest block to true service and discipleship. The evil one knows this, and he knows how to use it very effectively.

* * *

This world tells us: Go, get it! In contrast, Jesus tells us today: Let go, leave it. What Jesus asks is not easy. It involves sacrifice and humility. “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” Only by God’s grace can we really understand and live out this challenge. We take courage in Jesus’ words that all things are possible for God.

* * *

Today is Indigenous Peoples’ Sunday. Fr. Ewald Dinter, SVD, who has spent most of his priestly life and ministry with the Mangyan of Mindoro, tells us that there are about 14 million indigenous people in the Philippines, and 400 million others all over the world. He reminds us of the Church’s mission to overcome and eradicate every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on gender, race, color, social condition, language or religion (Church in the Modern World #29).

* * *

All of us have failings toward those not of our kin or kind, consciously or unconsciously.  Let us ask for forgiveness and make a very firm resolve in line with the gospel values of love and respect, to be very sensitive of other people’s feelings and needs.

* * *

Father Dinter points out further that on March 12, 2000, Blessed Pope John Paul II celebrated the “Day of Pardon Mass” at St. Peter’s Basilica, calling on all Catholics to ask for forgiveness from God for the sins committed by Christians through the centuries. One of the points mentioned was “confession of sins committed in actions against love, peace, the right of peoples, and respect for culture and religions.” Mea culpa. Amen!

* * *

Recently, Pope Benedict XVI urged Catholics to rediscover their faith. The Pope acknowledged that there are “bad fish” in the Church. There have been, there are, and there will be failures as long as the Church is made up of people who are attached to worldly power, wealth and pleasures. But again and again, the Lord raises up people in our midst like St. Francis of Assisi, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and St. Padre Pio who remind us of the original vision and mission of our Lord.

* * *

Yesterday was the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. Again and again, the Blessed Mother reminds us to go back to the heart of her Son. In Lipa, Our Lady, the Mediatrix of all Grace, told the visionary that of all the virtues, she likes most humility and simplicity. On this road, the Church will not only survive but also grow, and become relevant.

* * *

“Let go, and let God.” That was all I kept telling a young man who turned to drugs because he was deeply hurt by the woman he loved for six long years. By God’s grace, he saw the futility of holding on to someone who had hurt him so much, and the stupidity of hurting himself and his loved ones as a result. As we prayed, he earnestly handed over to the Lord his drug dependence, his forgiveness, and his resolve to live a life “that is light, and bright.”

* * *

Travel light. This is what the Lord asks of us today. People who are loaded with material things will have difficulty finding peace. The Lord asks all of us today to surrender our worldly treasures and concerns, and follow Him. Yes, travel light, and travel right!

* * *

Payback time. Again and again, we keep reminding ourselves to “live the rest of our lives, the best of our lives!” Life is short. Let us not waste our lives holding on to things and relationships that are passing, but rather, hold on to the Lord, and to life-giving relationships that will bring us to eternity.

* * *

Sharing with you this text message I received about the Dalai Lama who was asked what surprised him most about humanity. His response: Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present, the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to live a life that is light and right. Amen.

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Tags: Catholic Church , Fr. Jerry M. Orbos , Gospel , Jesus , Moments , opinion , Religion , SVD

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