The story is told about a woman who was beyond consolation at the death of her husband. She grieved long and hard. Finally a streak of light came to her dark world when her daughter told her: “Mommy, look at it this way. Now, at least you know for sure where Daddy is, 24 hours a day!”

* * *

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 7, 11-17), Jesus gave new life and light to a woman who lost not only her husband but her only son as well. Jesus was moved by pity, and brought the widow’s son back to life. The power of God, the power of God’s love, is tremendous and conquers all, even death itself. What a mighty, powerful, and loving God we have. A God of surprises, a God of love!

* * *

Take note that there was a large crowd that accompanied the widow on her way to bury her child. But only Jesus was able to help her truly. We need people to accompany us, especially in the most difficult moments of our journey. But in the end, it is a personal encounter with our Lord that will really set us free from our darkness and prisons. People can be there for us, and for this we are grateful, but a lot of things fall into place when we listen to our God face to face, and heart to heart. People in our lives can only do so much.  In the end, it is really between us and our God.

* * *

No words can describe the pain of losing a loved one, and often, no words will suffice to console someone in grief. At times, it is only our presence and prayers that can really “help.” Death is a great mystery and before a great mystery we can only listen, and pray.

* * *

Speaking of mystery, we laid to rest Fr. Liberato Fernandez, SVD, last May 29. Father “Tito” spent the last nine years of his life in a coma, in deep slumber. In the meantime some other confreres overtook him to eternity. He who was already at the doorstep of eternity was made to wait and sleep peacefully. Indeed, there is no way for us to know or predict how, when, or where we will die. Only God holds the key to life and to eternal life.

* * *

Now, more than ever, I realize the wisdom of Christ’s words that we live one day at a time. Let us look at every single day given to us as a gift. The truth is we only have today.  Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow may never come. Let us not keep on rewinding, or keep on forwarding. Let today just play. Yes, let us just do our very best today.

* * *

“Today can be my last day.” I have found so much peace in this scary and morbid thought.  It is a reality that we can go any time. So, for me, if today is my last day, I will not spend it in sadness, in worries, in anger, in not forgiving, and in pride. What a waste, indeed, to spend my last day on earth with negative thoughts and feelings. And if I still wake up tomorrow morning, I will be so grateful to God for giving me another day to live and to love.

* * *

Do you believe in angels? I do. At difficult times of my life, I concretely experienced the presence and help of angels sent to me by God. Recently after my Mass with Filipino pilgrims at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Salette in France, a woman in her twenties approached me and asked for my blessing. Her name was Margaruite, from Belgium. After I blessed her, she told me that during the Mass she saw bright light exuding so much peace around me at the altar. The next thing she said really hit me in my heart.

* * *

“God loves you so much. Do not be afraid. God’s power is greater than all worldly powers. Be strong. All will be well. Just believe and trust.” Words I needed so much to hear! Wow! It was such a powerful, grace-filled moment. Yes, God uses people to reach out to us, especially when we need them most. After some moments in prayer, we parted with much peace and assurance. But that was not the end.

* * *

The next day, as my fellow pilgrims and I were all in the bus set to depart at 7:30 a.m. from our hotel, a car came to the parking space and Margaruite alighted from it. I went down to greet her, and her simple message was: “I came to say thank you and to say goodbye. The Lord wants me to tell you that everything will be all right.” Wow! How did she know what hotel we were in, and what time we were leaving? These were the thoughts that were in my mind as I thanked her and said goodbye in turn. As we were leaving, I looked from the bus to the parking lot. There was no car, and Margaruite was gone. Just like that.

* * *

“Never say die.” As long as we live, there is hope. And please, don’t forget that our God is a God of surprises. Yes, we must not give up, or lose hope. God does not give up on us. Neither should we give up on ourselves and on one another.

* * *

One with you in thanksgiving and hope as we celebrate our Independence Day on June 12. Someday soon, let us work and pray that we as a nation will not only progress but will also continue to hold on to our core values that will make us a rich, progressive, and holy nation.

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me not to give up because you are a God of surprises, a God of love! Amen.

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

  • Bladehind

    I believe in Father Orbos. Once I went to him for counseling and I can feel his genuine sympathy, respect, and unbelievable humility. Somehow he gave me strength and hope in just one hour that none of my former Psychiatrists ever provided. He is truly a man of God and a very very good person.

  • virgoyap

    Margaruite was more of a surprise to me than the Gospel message. Was she the angel that Fr. Orbos was talking about?

  • virgoyap

    Margaruite was more a surprise to me than the Gospel reading today. Was she really the angel?

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