Monday, October 16, 2017
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Level up!

opinion / Columnists
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Level up!

The story is told about two priests who were serving in the same parish. Call it coincidence, but all of the sick people whom the first priest prayed over and anointed were healed. On the other hand, again as if by coincidence, all of the sick people whom the second priest prayed over and anointed, died. And so, the first priest came to be called “the healing priest,” and the other, “the killing priest.”

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Today is Ascension Sunday. When Jesus was lifted up into heaven, He did not “kill” the hopes and dreams of His disciples. He drew them to Himself, and led them to a new level of life and discipleship with purpose and mission. His ascension was not only for Himself. He was lifted up to heaven, and He lifted all of us as well.

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 24, 46-53), the Risen Lord challenges His disciples to continue His work of preaching repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He empowers His people and makes them His partners and coworkers in His work of salvation. Let this be a strong reminder to all those who will “ascend” to positions of power

after the elections: It is not about you. It is about the people who elected you to be their public servant. Your ascension is not for your personal ambition, but for the good of the nation.

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We pray that all the officials who will be elected will become “healing,” and not “killing,” servants of our people. More than winning the position, the bigger challenge is to unite a people who are divided by class, creed, ideology, subculture, and religion. May all winners and losers alike be open to peace and reconciliation so that we can all level up, and move forward.

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Let us not forget the “big picture” in our exercise of choosing our leaders. More than a political battle, it is also definitely a battle between good and evil, a battle between light and dark, a battle between the Prince of Peace and the prince of darkness. Beware, and be very vigilant, for the evil one is excellent in deception, lies and manipulation, and his agents are working very, very hard these days. How do we know which side we are on? Those who make a choice based on ardent prayer, sincere discernment, and clear conscience, and not on emotions, affiliations, and personal agenda and intentions, are the ones who are on the side of the Prince of Peace.

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Tomorrow, May 9, is our Motherland’s Day. The elections are not about the candidates seeking public office. The elections are about our beloved Philippines and our people, and the future ahead of us. Let us not pin all our hopes and dreams on just one or a few persons. Lord, please help us, and deliver us from leaders that would harm and burden us. Give us healing, not killing, leaders. Amen.

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Tomorrow, let us pray before we vote. Let us also pray that our votes will be truly counted. And let us pray that those who will be proclaimed winners are the ones who were really chosen by the people—and yes, by God Himself. Whatever, let us all pray, pray much, pray more!

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Please don’t forget to pray for and lift up to the Lord your candidate for the presidency. More than any human blessing or endorsement, your candidate must be endorsed by, and acceptable to, God!

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Win or lose, think about this: “Getting what you want may give you achievement, but wanting what you get will give you fulfillment.”

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On the eve of Election Day, let us not forget that there is such a thing as an “act of God,” which makes the impossible possible, and surpasses human efforts, perceptions and expectations. Let us not belittle or leave out God’s power through it all! Let us also not forget that there is such a thing as “a mother’s embrace” wherein, win or lose, anyone can find warmth and comfort, be lifted up, protected and shielded from any danger or sin. Let us go to our Blessed Mother and ask for her loving embrace—for ourselves and for our nation.

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Today is Mothers Day. Let our mothers remind us that amid all the harshness and uncertainties of life, matters of the heart still matter. Thank you, dear mothers. Thank you for the reminder that this life is not all about the “5 Ps” that can destroy our peace—pera, power, pride, pleasures, and politics!

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Let me end with a story I heard about a bird who was convinced by a cat to give a feather in exchange for every worm the cat will give. It was easy and convenient, until the bird lost all its feathers and could no longer fly, and was devoured by the cat.

Dear friends, let us not sell out, let us not settle for compromise with the prowling politician ready to devour us. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help us to level up so that we can rise above our petty quarrels, rivalries and divisions, and move forward. Amen.

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TAGS: election day, Elections 2016, elections featured, Mother’s Day
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