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The way of the heart

The story is told about a farmer who went to a hospital and asked a nurse to heal the wound in his foot. The nurse replied loudly: “How dare you ask me to heal your foot! Do you know who I am? I am the head nurse of this hospital!” Whereupon the farmer humbly said: “I will look for the foot nurse then.”

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday. If God were to deal with us according to the law, intelligence, or logic, then none of us would survive. Thank God that He deals with us not with His head but with His heart that is full of mercy, compassion and love.

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In today’s gospel (Jn. 20, 19-31), we hear how a disciple, Thomas, doubted the resurrection of the Master: “Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands, and put my fingers into the nail marks and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” Like Thomas, many of us doubt God’s presence and love. Like Thomas, may we be able to overcome our fears and doubts, and end up saying: “My Lord, and my God!”

A personal encounter, a religious experience, is something that changes everything in a person’s life. It is something that goes beyond logic, principles, equations, or expectations. Once we have experienced the Lord, we will never be the same again. Let us seek that grace to experience God’s love and presence again and again, at opportune times in our journey through life.

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“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” I have not personally and physically seen the Lord, yet, like many of you, I believe in Him, and in fact follow Him. It is a choice we make in faith. What if in the end there is no Jesus, no resurrection, no heaven? Well, at least we followed Him who leads us to fullness of life and righteousness. Fools? Yes, to be a fool for Christ is okay. Better to be a fool for Christ than to be a fool for whoever and whatever.

On the personal level, the resurrection challenges us to rise above our personal problems, hurts, disappointments and failures, and move forward. May the power of the Risen Lord help us to let go of the baggage that burdens us, and prevents us from reaching out to others who are more burdened.

On the national level, let us continue to pray and work for a better Philippines. Let us not give in to hopelessness. Nor should we be intimidated by fear so as to be silent and just play safe. Easter is all about light and life. Let us not follow the forces of darkness to overcome us, and let the power of prolife be our guiding light.

Soon it will be May, the month of Mama Mary! On a recent pilgrimage, I met a woman who was abducted by kidnappers some 10 years ago somewhere in Mindanao. I was so touched by her testimony of how she never lost hope during her 10-day ordeal because of her trust in the Lord and her deep devotion to Mama Mary. All she did was pray, and pray continuously the Rosary, and eventually she was released, and was able to tell her story. Let us not belittle the power of prayer, and the power of the holy Rosary.

Equally touching was how her husband never gave up working for her release from captivity. And how he prayed to Mama Mary to set her free. Let us give Mama Mary a chance to love us. Let us not brush her aside. She is a mother, and a mother loves deeply, and never gives up easily for her loved ones.

Special thanks to friends who helped in our Palm Sunday recollection: Oasis of Love group, The Angelos 3rd GEN, Cocoy Laurel and company. Prayerful thanks to guest sharers in our Lenten TV recollection: Joe Dean Sola, Rey Ortega, Dr. Connie Alfiler, Fr. Luciano Felloni, Ansel Beloso, Martin Infante, Lucilyn Zambrano, and Eizabeth Corral. Prayerful thanks as well to our generous sponsors who made it possible: All Transport Network, Calapan Waterworks, Executive Resources Inc.–The Pilgrims’ Center, Gothong Southern, Master Chef, Pascual Laboratories, PLDT, Rebisco Biscuit Corp., and Semirara Mining Corp.

Jesus is alive, and He tells you today: “I heard your prayers; trust in My timing.”

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, thank You for the gift of eternal life, and for Your unconditional divine mercy and love. Amen.

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