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The road of humility, or impunity?

The story is told about an elderly who was tired of his nagging wife, so much so that he planned to shoplift, with the intention of being caught, then sent to jail, to be away from the wife, and forever live in peace. Guess what? When the judge heard his case, due to his old age, the poor fellow was sentenced to house arrest!

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 13, 1-9), Jesus urges us to true repentance. “If you do not repent, you will all perish as they did.” Like the elderly man in our story, we, too, may be in a worse situation than before if we do not truly repent.

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The Gospel today urges us not to postpone our conversion, our going back to the Lord. We are supposed to bear fruit, and not just exhaust the soil. Like the fruitless fig tree, may we not be cut down. There is a time for reckoning for everyone.

There is, however, a “grace period” that is given to us by our merciful God. As it were, there is no expiry date to God’s compassion and forgiveness. Our sins are like just a drop of water in the ocean of God’s mercy! Having said that, may we take the road of humility and find our way to God’s heart. The road of humility brings us home. The presumption of impunity brings us to endless wandering, and gloom.

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We all have “regret moments,” like “I should have bought the stuff I saw at the store,” or “I should have greeted the person,” or “I should not have made that negative remark,” or “I should have taken good care of my health,” and so on. But the greatest regret moment would be “I should have loved God, and other people more, when I had the chance while I was still alive.”

“Jesus, meek and humble of heart, clothe us with compassion, kindness and humility, and make us want to be patient with everyone” (from the intercessions of the Breviary, Psalter, Week 1). Especially this Lenten season, let us take the road of humility, in repentance for our sins, and in gratitude for God’s mercy.

The shortest psalm in the Bible is Psalm 117: “O praise the Lord, all you nations, acclaim Him all you peoples; strong is His love for us, He is faithful for ever.” Let us constantly praise God amidst our many worldly travails and concerns, and let us hold tenaciously to His faithfulness and love.

It is always a wonderful feeling to come home. It was more so, coming from the Holy Land last March 20 to see from my airplane seat the big supermoon rising in the east, and the colorful sunset in the west. At such moments, one can’t help but praise God, and pray for our country, our home and our family. In moments like these, one can’t help but feel how big God is, and how small, how little we are, yet loved and important in His eyes.

Lenten food for the soul: “Someday, it will all come to an end, when all your riches, and beauty, power and fame will not matter; What will matter then? Not what you bought, but what you shared; Not your success, but your significance; Not your competence, but your character; Not your popularity, but your sincerity; Not your words, but your shining example of a life well lived.”

Bantay Matanda invites you to a Lenten recollection at Tuklong ni San Jose, Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City, on March 30, Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. For inquiries, please call 3732262 or 9982548 or 09174167849

A moment with the Lord:

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Lord, help us to take and stay on the road of humility in our journey to eternity. Amen.

[email protected]

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