‘Where na you?’
Here’s a sample of a Pinoy’s way of answering questions in an ambiguous, indirect way: “Have you eaten?” “I’m still full.” “What time is it?” “It’s still early.” “Why were you not here yesterday?” “I was absent.” And the classic “Where na you?” “Near na. Wait lang.”
In today’s Gospel (Mk. 12: 28b-34), Jesus tells us in a clear and direct way which is the first and the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” And the second greatest commandment is: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The commandments are loud and clear.
The recent celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day is a timely reminder for all of us that life is short, death is certain, and that heaven is waiting. Are we listening? We can get away with it sometimes, but when death is “near na,” we can’t keep on saying “wait lang!”
Last Oct. 29, at about 6 p.m., I heard loud crying from the hospital room next to mine. The 83-year-old patient, Romeo, had had a cardiac arrest. It was a “code blue” situation. Thank God, the doctors and the rapid response team were able to revive him. I, in my pajamas, tagging along my intravenous pole on wheels, was able to pray over the patient, and pray with his family as well.
When we are given a new lease on life, we must ask ourselves, why? Yes, there must be a reason, and we’ve got to know why, oh why, and the sooner, the better!
Please remember that what we do and acquire for ourselves die with us, but what we do and acquire for God and for others are never gone, but continue and live on long after we are gone.
Anyone who has gone through chemotherapy can tell you how the metallic taste in the mouth can destroy the appetite, and induce the terrible feeling of nausea and dizziness. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I suppose it is the same with excess wealth, especially dirty money accumulated through fraud and violence. Remember, personal progress at the expense of other people is shameful. Nakakahiya at nakakasuka!
May we live in such a way that when we come before the gates of heaven, our GPS gadget will come out with the words, “You have reached your final destination,” and we are part of that number, “When the Saints Go Marching In!”
And so, if the Lord were to ask you “Where are you na?” Will your answer be a humble “Near na, Lord” or a frantic “Wait lang, Lord!” It all depends on you, and the kind of life you are living in the here and now.
Blessed are they who focus not only on their own journey to God’s heart, but go the “extra mile” to show the way, encourage, or stay with their fellow travelers on the road. Blessed are they who share with us their prayers and their care. Blessed are they who know when to give, and when to respect our time and space when we are infirm or weak. And blessed are they who give the “extra smile” to cheer us up, and to cheer us on, and let the sunshine in.
Think about this: “God is fixing the broken pieces in your life. Get ready for restoration. God is preparing you for everything you prayed for. He can turn around any situation for the better. Your hard times will end. Keep on praying and keep on trusting Him. God has a plan. Pray more. Listen much, and obey His will.”
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, help me not to be away from You too far, or too long. Amen.
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