The story is told about an angry pizza customer who complained over the phone that the pizza he ordered came with no toppings on it, and was just plain bread. The pizza staff was apologetic but the customer kept on complaining, until there was a pause, and the customer, in a quieter tone, said: “Oops! I opened the pizza upside down!”
Today is the Feast of the Sto. Niño, the Child Jesus. May we all be reminded today about humility and helplessness, and not to be arrogant and proud. Indeed, unless we become like little children, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven nor experience what it is like to be a child of God.
In today’s Gospel (Lk. 2, 41-52), we hear how Joseph and Mary obediently followed the customs and traditions of their religion and culture, together with the Child Jesus. There is wisdom and peace in obedience. Ask any husband and you’ll see him smile and nod.
Make sure you are not living life upside down. Never look at yourself as someone bigger than God, nor look at yourself as more important than other people. It is pride that gives us the illusion of self-importance and indispensability. Let God be God, let man be man.
I received this message from my oncologist, Dr. Gerry Cornelio, last Jan. 15 at about 6 p.m., Angelus time, Feast of our SVD founder, Saint Arnold Janssen: “Fr. Agerico Orbos lung cancer PET scan result: no recurrence. Congratulations. Alleluia. Mama Mary loves you!” Thank You, Lord! Thank you for your help and prayers, dear doctors, medical aides and staff, dear relatives and friends! God is indeed merciful, loving and kind!
With joy, gratitude and humility, I receive this grace of healing and wellness from God. I welcome this good news, grateful that God has answered our collective prayers, aware that there is yet a mission ahead of us, and resolved to live the rest of my life the best of my life. Amen!
When we receive any blessing in life, let us be grateful to God, yes, but let us be aware of other people who also need blessings, healing, directions and provisions in life. In other words, let us learn inclusive, not exclusive, gratitude for our blessings. Let us always be in solidarity with others in prayer, in our thoughts, words and deeds.
It is the Year of the Youth. Most Rev. Ricardo Baccay, DD, bishop of the Diocese of Alaminos, pointed out in one of our conversations that the two biggest problems that burden our young people these days are the feeling of homelessness and that of depression. We must go back and strengthen the family and the home, especially now when we are bombarded by materialism and internet culture. As a Church, are we giving young people the real life experience of home where they feel they belong? Are we giving them the experience of true meaning in life and joy?
Fr. Bong Lo of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the Philippines reminds us that today, Holy Childhood Day, we should be aware of and help in the spiritual and material needs of children all over the world. Let us offer prayers, sacrifices and material support for them, especially today. Mabuhay and mga bata!
Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on “Basic Home Care for the Elderly” at the Tuklong ni San Jose, Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Sr. Boulevard, Quezon City, Jan. 26, 9 a.m.-12 noon. For inquiries, please call 3732262 or 0917-4167849.
Think about this: If you are always complaining, sad, angry and stressed, maybe it is because your values and priorities are upside down.
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, help me to put You first; others, second; myself, last and not upside down. Amen.
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