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Moments

Seeing things His way

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The story is told of a woman who returned the eyeglasses she had bought for her husband.  When the doctor asked her what the problem was, she replied: “He still does not see things my way.”

* * *

In today’s Gospel (Mt. 16, 13-19), Jesus rebuked His disciples for wanting to call down fire from heaven to consume the Samaritans for not welcoming them in their village. Jesus must have been disappointed with their vindictive attitude. After all the time He had spent with them, after all the lessons he had given them and the miracles He had shown them, they still saw things their way, and not His way.

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How often do we think or feel that we love God and our neighbor, only to find out that we still have a long way to go on the road to conversion? It is very important to actually listen to what the Lord says about us, and not to what others say, or to what we say about ourselves.

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As our recently elected public officials begin their term, may they view their privileged position His way. May they be reminded today to use their power to serve, and may they be true servants of the people. Indeed, to whom much is given, much is also required. As Spiderman put it, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

* * *

Take note that Jesus was able to hold back and control His disciples. A good leader must not be derailed in his/her mission by his/her own people, relatives, or friends. A lot of these can become stumbling blocks instead of stepping stones. Yes, many of them can be manipulative, opportunistic and uncaring because they see things their way.

* * *

For those who think they are generous and unselfish, Fr. Robert Ibay, SVD, has this to say in his article in the “Word in Other Words”: “Loving is authentic when you give beyond what you have. Giving extras is superficial generosity.” How important it is for us to really listen, and keep on seeing things His way.

* * *

The road of discipleship is not an easy road. It is a difficult and lonely road. It is also a dangerous road where the evil one and his agents have set up traps and ambushes. The only consolation and security are that the Lord travels the road with His followers.

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In this year of faith, Fr. James H. Kroeger, MM, reminds us that the opposite of faith is not unbelief, but fear. When in fear, we doubt the loving presence, protection and provision of God. May we learn to be more trusting, more joyful, and more hopeful as we journey on the road of discipleship.

* * *

It was a refreshing and renewing experience to go back to Occidental Mindoro where I first set foot in 1974 as a young seminarian. Traveling from San Jose to Calintaan, Sta. Cruz and Mamburao, I felt many memories coming back. I thank God for having called me to follow Him at a young age, and especially for being with me all the way, through good and bad times, through happy and sad times.

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We acknowledge the hard work of missionaries from abroad who have and who continue to plant and nurture the seeds of faith in our land. We thank them for their sacrifices and for being generous with their time, talents and treasure.

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Please remember that we Christians are all disciples and missionaries of our Lord. Let us do our mission wherever we are, and whatever we are going through. We are disciples with a Master, workers with a mission, and travelers with a final destination. Let us remember that we are not alone as we journey through life.

* * *

Let me share with you this story about a swimmer who was troubled, and who went to the gym one night to practice. All the lights were off and there was only faint moonlight. He climbed to the diving board and extended his arms. He noticed that his shadow had formed a cross. Instead of diving immediately, he knelt and prayed to God to come into his life. Suddenly, someone walked in and turned the lights on. He wept when he saw that the pool had been drained for repair. Indeed, God protects us and never abandons us.

* * *

We thank God for the nine young SVDs (Jay Baliao, Jonas Piodo, Louie Luyun, Eric Lacandula, Jerome Ormita, Jonathan Ortalla, Philander Pinalgan, John Ferdinand Cruz, Thomas Aquino Nuwa Wele) who were ordained to the diaconate by Most Rev. Francisco de Leon, DD, the auxiliary bishop of Antipolo. The ordination was held yesterday at the St. Arnold Janssen Shrine in Cainta, Rizal. We praise and thank the Lord for their willingness to follow Him on the road, and to see things in life His way.

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Think about this: “An umbrella cannot stop the rain, but it allows us to stand and walk in the rain. Faith in the Lord may not remove our trials, but it gives us strength to overcome them.”

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, as I travel on, help me to see things Your way. Amen.


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