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Who is blessed?

The story is told about a man who prayed: “Lord, last year I asked you to give me a fat wallet and a thin waistline. Lord, it will be my birthday again soon. Please don’t get confused, and mix it all up again.”

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 6; 17, 20-26), Jesus must have confused His audience when He said it is the poor, the hungry, the weeping and the persecuted who are blessed. Hello? Isn’t there a mixup somewhere? Nope. The Beatitudes are clear. It is the lowly and the meek who will inherit the earth.

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Who is blessed? In the eyes of the world, definitely it is the rich, the well-fed, the satisfied, the powerful who are blessed. If you are one of these favored by worldly blessings, may the Beatitudes remind you that your blessings are not permanent nor forever. This world is passing. Eternity is waiting.

What a consolation to hear from the Beatitudes that there is dignity, and hope for the last, and the least, and that sufferings and persecutions are temporary and not forever. Yes, this world is passing, eternity is waiting.

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Who will be “blessed” in the coming elections this May? Work, hope and pray that the outcome of the elections will not depend on guns, goons and gold. May we have more leaders who have guts, goodness and God.

A friend shared with me a Beatitude moment after attending the healing Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in Retiro, Quezon City, which led her to the road of reconciliation with her father whom she had not talked to for two years. Let us not belittle nor take for granted the power of the Beatitudes.

I personally experienced a Beatitude moment a few days ago when I met 19-year-old Maxine Blanco whose left leg was amputated in November 2018 because of cancer. Such courage and joy in the face of a misfortune, at such a young age! No trace of self-pity nor helplessness at all in this second year legal management student of UST. Why she wants to be a lawyer? Her answer was simple — to be of help to people and to our country, the Philippines.

Ever since she was young, Maxine’s prayer to God was that she would make a difference in this life. Now, because of, and in spite of, her medical situation, she is reaching out and inspiring so many, especially the youth, sharing her story of courage, love of country, joy and deep trust in our Lord and Blessed Mother, living true to her motto to live life to the max! Mabuhay ka, Maxine!

I received a lot of quotes on Valentine’s Day, but this one stood out: “No date on Valentine’s Day? Go to church, and you’ll find the One who truly loves you, and who loves you most.”

If your life is stressful and not peaceful, try the road of the Beatitudes, the road of simplicity, humility, patience, and trust, and you will have a more joyful and peaceful life.

Fr. Jun Perez, SVD, is going back to his difficult mission in Malawi, Africa, to serve the refugees, and be a witness to the presence and love of God in a very challenging situation. It is the spirit of the Beatitudes that makes Father Jun brave deprivation, loneliness, and even persecution. This missionary who has been assigned to Siberia, Liberia and Korea inspires us with his missionary zeal, especially so because I know him to do his mission with a heart. Till we meet again, Father Jun! One with you.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, thank You for reminding me that even, and especially, in difficult moments and situations, I am blessed. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments
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