Moments

With open eyes and hearts

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The story is told about a man who walked out while the priest was delivering his homily. So as not to offend the priest, the wife approached him after the Mass and apologized for her husband’s behavior: “Sorry, Father. Please forgive my husband.” Just as the priest was about to say, “It’s all right,” she went on to add:  “You see, Father, my husband has this habit of walking in his sleep.”

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In today’s Gospel (Mk. 10, 46-52), Bartimeus pleads to Jesus that he may see. What a contrast to many of us who spend our whole lifetime refusing to see, and make excuses for our blindness! May we have the humility to accept our need for Jesus and His light, and may we have the courage to face the light and leave the darkness behind. Indeed, there is no one so blind as the one who refuses to see, who pretends not to see, and who makes all excuses to walk away from the light.

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It is significant that Jesus left a sizable crowd to stop for a blind man by the roadside. He took time, and gave importance to one insignificant person. It is very consoling to know that our God is very personal, for whom every person is worth stopping for. Yes, He is a God who cares for those who are unknown and are just on the side.

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“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.” We all fall. We all go through dark and troubled times and often, we are tempted to give up and just let the world pass us by. Do you know of anyone who has lost his/her taste for life or for love? Stop, look around you, and listen. Remember, our life journey is not only about going far and fast but also about stopping for, staying, and “wasting time” with the low, the timid, and those who have fallen by the roadside.

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With great joy, we welcome the good news about the elevation of our dear Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle as Cardinal. Yes, we have a young, vibrant, open, joyful and humble Prince of the Church. We need Church leaders who have eyes, ears, and, most of all, hearts that are truly open, attentive, and sensitive to the needs and concerns of our people during these days and times.

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As we commemorate All Souls Day, may our eyes be open to the reality of our mortality. Life is short, death is certain. Nothing lasts, except the love that we have shared in our lifetime. Why do we cling to earthly life and pleasures which we know we cannot perpetuate, and neglect eternity which we cannot escape from? Indeed, what good is life if we don’t live it right?

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Like Bartimeus, let us pray in earnest and even in desperation: “Master, I want to see.”  There are many blind spots in each one of us. The worst thing that can imprison a person is the belief that he/she is all-knowing and is self-sufficient. When a person can say, “I don’t know,” and when a person can say, “I need you,” then that person’s journey toward authenticity has really begun.

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Let us pray for our government officials and our so-called public servants not to be blinded by the glitter of power and money.  May they be guided by the light, may all their dealings be transparent and upright.

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As we have already started the process of electing our political leaders, we hope and pray that our people will not be blinded by the lure of easy money and big promises from unscrupulous politicians who will use anything or anyone to get their votes. May our people be truly vigilant, and consequently resist wolves who are in sheep clothing.

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Today is Prison Awareness Week.  Let us remember those in prison, pray for them, and do whatever we can to help and support them. Let us also become aware and see that there is no greater prison than that which is within.

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Take note that after his call and healing, Bartimeus went on to follow Jesus on the way. Payback time! If you have received blessings or healing of any sort, remember you are not supposed to go back to the roadside and be comfortable or miserable once again. To whom much is given, much is also required. Yes, it is time to follow Him and do your mission in life.

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Every person is worth stopping for. It would be good for us today to examine ourselves if there are people in our lives we need to stop for. Are there people we take for granted? Are there people we just pass by because they are difficult or insignificant, or because they disturb our comfort zones? If you treat them so, most likely when you are in your grave, people, too, will not stop by for you.

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Think about this:  “Life is like a camera, so focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot.”

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One with you in remembering and praying for our departed loved ones:  May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. And may we the living live in peace! Amen.

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