Set us free, Lord
Why do men snore at night? Someone once said in jest that nature has a way of restoring justice to a man who has to listen to his wife the whole day!
In today’s Gospel (Luke 1, 1-4;14-21), Jesus proclaimed His message of justice and freedom when He read from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” The same message of justice and freedom needs to be proclaimed again and again, more so, in this, our present day and time.
Persecution and martyrdom have always been, and will always be a part of discipleship. If we never go through persecution, maybe it is because we are not proclaiming the true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. And remember, persecution purifies us, clears our vision and strengthens our mission.
Please don’t forget our prophetic role to be like Jesus, who comforted those who are disturbed, and who disturbed those who are comfortable. If we are not doing this, maybe it is because we have focused more on our “profitic” role and concerns.
Why is it that there are so many prayerful persons who remain greedy and mean, unconcerned and uninvolved with those who are deprived and suffering? Whoever bends his/her knees in prayer, must also open his/her heart and stretch his/her hands to others, otherwise, religion and spirituality is all about I, me, and myself.
Are you living an unhappy life? Are you a captive and a prisoner inside and out? Are you in darkness? Are you going through oppressions of any kind? Are you living a life that is not acceptable to God? If your answer is YES to all of the questions above, read again the passage from Isaiah in today’s Gospel, and know that it is the Spirit of the Lord that will change you and the life you are living. May the Spirit of the Lord be with you!
Traveling to my home province, Pangasinan, is tiresome, but it is so refreshing and recharging. Going back down memory lane, seeing the old town and familiar faces, and walking in places where, as kids, we used to run—all these remind me of who I was, and make me ask myself who/what I have become. Prayer is precisely that—it makes us know again who we were, who we are, and what we can yet become with the help of our almighty and loving God. Prayer locates us. If we don’t pray, we get lost. As simple as that.
Last Jan. 13, I celebrated a Mass for the 80th birthday of Basilisa Arzadon Ramos, who bears such a striking resemblance to my Mama with the way she smiled in her simple, humble and joyful ways. I stayed on for dinner and savored, not only a delicious meal, but also a delightful experience of being with Mama somehow and encountering again the presence of a loving family. God really knows the deepest longings and desires of our hearts.
Mama did it again! A few days before Jan. 25, her fifth death anniversary, she manifested her love and presence, as she always did, through a white feather which I found in our Mission Home chapel. Those who love us are never gone. They are just around and are with us more than ever.
Sharing with you a Tibetan proverb I received via text message from Galoy Marfil: “For a longer and happy life, eat half, walk double, laugh triple, love without measure.” Well said! Maybe you can add a point or two to the proverb based on your own life experience? Me, I would like to add: Pray more!
A moment with the Lord:
Lord, set us free, and help us to set others free by the power of Your Spirit. Amen.
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