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Moments

Please ‘lang’

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Did you know the origin of the term “promissory note”? Someone texted me that it comes from two words—“promise” and “sorry.” As often happens, someone makes a promise, and when unable to fulfill it, he/she just says “sorry.”

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Today is the Solemnity of the Lord’s Baptism. We who have been baptized in our Lord Jesus Christ are reminded today of our baptismal promises to reject Satan, and to live lives pleasing to the Father. Take a look at the life you are living now. Are you living a life that is pleasing to our loving God and Father?

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 3, 15-16. 21-22), after Jesus was baptized by John a voice came from heaven that said, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” A lot of people today carry the I-am-the-captain-of-my-soul stance, emphasizing heroic humanism without God. However, our stance is that of humility and obedience to someone greater than you and I, living a life anchored on God’s vision and mission.

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Take note that there is one other important character in today’s Gospel—John the Baptist. Take note further that he just sort of fades away into the background. That is one of the most important lessons John the Baptist teaches us—humility and obedience. “He must increase. I must decrease.”

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For whom, for what, are you waking up every day? The poor farmers or daily workers wake up every morning filled with gratitude and hope that they will earn enough to keep their family alive. The more complicated people wake up each morning to make more money to achieve their selfish agenda and to continue their comfortable lifestyles. Who do you think are living lives that are pleasing to God?

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Do you think a person involved in drugs or gambling is living a life pleasing to God? Or someone who steals money from the people, especially from the little ones? Do you think a public official who steals, cheats, and lies is a person pleasing to God? Anyone who hurts, uses, controls and manipulates others is definitely not pleasing to God.

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What sort of children are pleasing to the Father? First, contemptuous children are not pleasing to the Father. Those who disrespect or altogether despise Him with pride do not honor the Father. Remember that pride and arrogance have caused many to wander and fall.

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Second, complaining children are not pleasing to the Father, or to parents, for that matter. There are children who have forgotten to be grateful, and who always see what is missing and forget to give thanks for their blessings. How sweet it is to hear “Thank you” from a truly grateful child! May we live grateful lives. Gratitude, indeed, is the best attitude.

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Third, children who keep comparing themselves and their fate to others betray their lack of trust in God’s providence and love. How painful for parents to be accused of favoritism and lack of love. Remember, as the Desiderata says:  “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always, there will be greater or lesser persons than yourself.”

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Fourth, children who control and subsequently do harm to or hurt others are not pleasing to God. Those who get going at the expense of others make God unhappy, angry, sad. Parents, for that matter, experience so much joy when they see their children united in peace and in love.

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Speaking of parents, the parents of my Mama lived long and blessed lives. Her father, Tomas Muñoz, died at the age of 89, and her mother, Laurentina Galicia, died at the age of 98. Mama, by her words and example, have shown us how obedient and loving she was to her parents. May we all do likewise to our parents, to our very God!

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Last Jan. 6 at UST church, as I was about to go down the altar steps to distribute communion, I was met by a smiling toddler who sat down on the steps all throughout the communion, waving and smiling at everyone. It was such a heartwarming sight, reminding me that the Baby Jesus is He whom we receive in communion, and who invites everyone to come and receive Him. The child was happy as people kept coming, but there was a certain sadness in her face when the communion line stopped, and there were many in the church who did not come forward.

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Think about it: “Courage is to dare to be yourself in the face of adversity, choosing right over wrong, ethics over convenience, truth over popularity. Travel the path of integrity without looking back, for there is never a wrong time to do what is right.”

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Inviting you to join a pilgrimage to the Holy Land on April 2 to 14. We will also lead a pilgrimage to Marian Shrines in France and Spain on May 15 to 27, going to Paris, Lourdes, La Salette, Montserrat. For inquiries, please call 523-8581 to 88, 521-4156, or 7217457.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to live a life that is pleasing to nobody, nobody but You. Amen.


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