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Moments

Pleasing God

The story is told about an interviewer who asked a call center applicant to use green, pink, and yellow in a sentence. After some thought, the applicant said: “When the phone goes ‘green, green,’ I ‘pink’ it up, and say ‘yellow’?” The interviewer was pleased. She got the job.

Today is the Solemnity of the Baptism of the Lord. After John baptized Jesus at the Jordan River, a voice came from heaven that said: “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” We, too, must live lives pleasing to the Father. Let us ask ourselves today: Is the Father happy and pleased with me, and the life that I am living?

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In today’s Gospel (Luke 3, 15-16.21-22), we hear how the people were pleased, and were filled with expectation that John might be the Christ. John was clear in saying that he was not the Christ. And that someone mightier than himself is coming. John teaches us to please God, and not people.

The things people do and say just to get the attention, and please others! Please remember that life is not about approval ratings or popularity. Those who live so will live a life that is vain and empty.

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Many of us spend our lives making money and making a name, but if that leads to our unmaking, then it is time to rethink and change our priorities, core values, and our very orientation and horizons. Bottom line is: What would indeed profit us if we gain the whole world and lose our souls?

One of my learnings from my battle with cancer these past six months is the importance of slowing down and silencing down in prayer. We have to learn to let the world go by, and pray more. Someone once said: “Your most important appointment today is your appointment with God.” Now, more than ever, I know what that means.

We please God when we finally learn to say “please” to Him. As long as we are arrogant and proud, and lean on our frail knowledge and understanding, we cannot make progress in our journey to God’s heart. The journey happens when we bend our knees, with a humble and a contrite heart, and say: “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner…”

We truly please God when we finally learn to say, “Not my will, but Thy will be done, Lord!” Please remember that life is not so much about your personal agenda and ambition as doing God’s will and mission. This life is not about you, but about something or someone greater than you. Period.

I admire people who, like John the Baptist, do their job with perseverance and dedication, unfazed by persecution or adulation, so focused on doing their God-given mission.  I admire those who know how to acknowledge and honor God publicly. And more so, those who know how to avoid the limelight and just fade away, pointing to God, constantly saying: “It is not, and it was never me. To God be the glory!”

We all have different beliefs and mindsets. But one belief I hold on to is that when I die, I will face God, my Creator and my Savior for eternal life, and not just the glass, the wood or the metal of my coffin, nor the soil nor the cement that will cover me then. There is a God, and you’re not Him. Amen.

Think about this: “God is fixing the broken pieces of 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 praying. He has a plan. Listen, trust and obey Him.”

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to live a life that is pleasing to You. Amen.

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