Moments

‘Ad Patrem’

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The story is told of an elderly Jew who had been going to the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem every single day, for 40 years, to pray. When a reporter asked him what he was praying for at the Wall, he replied: “For peace.” When the reporter asked him how he felt after doing this for 40 years, he replied: “I feel like I’m talking to a wall!”

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In today’s Gospel (Jn. 14, 23-29), Jesus said to His disciples: “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you.” It seems that the world has not accepted, or totally snubbed, Jesus’ gift of peace after all these years. Though peace is so fragile and fleeting, we must not stop praying and working for peace. Pray on. Work on.

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“Do not let your hearts be troubled and afraid.” How consoling to hear these words in a world so full of stress and uncertainties. Herein lies the secret of peace—a heart that is focused on God, a life that is on an “ad  Patrem” (to the Father) stance. Our earthly journey can be peaceful and joyful in this “valley of tears” if we hold on to God’s words in our hearts, and follow God’s command to love.

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“Ad Patrem.” To the Father! Let us be reminded that we came from God, and to God we will return. We are all on a journey. We travel not alone. The journey may be long or lonely, but if there is a common destination, then it is meaningful, and even pleasant and enjoyable. Happy trip!

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“I am with you.” The Lord is with us in our journey. When we forget or totally ignore the Lord’s presence in our lives, in our work, in our relationships, in our very country, that’s when trouble begins, and peace disappears.

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The GPS (Global Positioning System) is an amazing gadget that provides the traveler the right directions to get to one’s destination. It even recalculates when one takes a wrong turn. But the GPS will not work if the traveler does not input first where he/she wants to go. In other words, one must first decide where he/she is going. Do you know where you’re going to? Quo  vadis?

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“When you really decide and not just wish, when you really commit and not just try, when you really take responsibility and not just hope, that’s when miracles happen.” And that’s when discipleship happens! Decision, commitment, and responsibility are the keys that open for us the doors that lead to true and lasting peace, a peace which the world cannot give or take away.

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May 13 is the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima. It is also the day of our elections. The message of Our Lady of Fatima is peace. May we have peaceful elections. May we have peaceful leaders—men and women who will become instruments of peace and service. In choosing our candidates, perhaps we can be guided by GPS: Vote for Godly, Peaceful, Sincere candidates.

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It is interesting to note that May 14, the day after our elections, is the Feast of Our Lady of the Apostles. Hopefully, we will have by then a bountiful harvest of apostles in our country who will serve us well. Public service is discipleship and apostleship. A public servant who has no master, and a public servant who does not serve, is no public servant at all.

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As we journey on, we meet all sorts of people along the way. One good prayer to remember is Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation. I will fear no one. The Lord protects me from danger. I will never be afraid.” There is no power greater than God’s power. Worldly wealth, power, resources, tricks, manipulations, and deceit are nothing compared to God’s power.

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The month of May is the month of Mary. She is often misunderstood, derided, and hated by some people who claim to be followers of her Son. I really don’t understand what it is that she has done to be treated as trash by some. Be that as it may, the Blessed Mother never stops loving those who hate her. She teaches us that gentleness and humility are the source of tremendous power. When gentleness and humility are gone, peace, too, is gone.

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Never mind if the journey is long. Never mind if it is difficult, at times boring or slow. Never mind if predators and troublemakers come by. As long as we are going to the Father, as long as we are heading toward our final destination, then it is all worth the while.

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You are invited to join a pilgrimage to Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and Hungary), with a side trip to Switzerland. Included also is a visit to the Shrine of the Divine Mercy of Saint Faustina, and the birthplace of the late Pope John Paul II. Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD, will serve as chaplain. For inquiries, visit Broadway Travel Inc. at 465 UN Avenue, Manila, call 5211608, or

e-mail mailbox@broadwaytravelph.com.

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Just to make sure that we don’t forget, May 12 is Mother’s Day! Let’s prepare and take time to honor our own mothers, our Blessed Mother, our motherland (on the eve of the elections!), and our Mother Earth.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, be with us in our journey, and help us make it to our final destination. Amen.

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