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Agree?

At the start of the quarantine last March, churches and casinos were closed. That’s how grave COVID-19 is. As someone commented, if heaven and hell agree on the same thing, it must really be a serious matter!

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In today’s Gospel (Mt. 18, 15-20), Jesus tells us the importance of agreeing: “If two of you agree on earth about anything for which they are to pray, it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.”

Dear readers, this moment, let us stop and agree to ask the heavenly Father: that the pandemic ends soon; that we will be spared from the virus; that we learn the lessons God wants us to learn from this difficult situation. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

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Jesus also tells us the importance of gathering together: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name I am in the midst of them.” How we miss our gatherings to worship together as God’s people, especially on Sundays. We pray that soon, our churches will be filled with worshipping people again. Amen!

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Our confrere, Fr. Leo Schmitt, SVD, has gone home last Aug. 25 to our heavenly Father at the age of 92. Here was a man who built so many homes for the homeless. A lot of good things could be said about him, but what stands out for me is his firm, but gentle resolve to do his mission, in spite of criticisms, doubts, and objections when he was starting out. With humility, and animosity toward no one, he knew how to “speak his truth quietly and clearly,” and accomplish his mission joyfully.

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Fraternal correction is not an easy thing, but it is a necessary thing to do to build and strengthen relationships and communities. It is a part of our prophetic role as individuals, and as a Church to correct, admonish, remind, not out of self-righteousness, but for the good of all.

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When giving fraternal correction, let us always be guided by St. Augustine’s principle: “Unity in essentials; respect in doubtful matters; love in all things.”

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It’s the first Sunday of September! We’ve been on GCQ, ECQ, MECQ for almost six months already, and soon, we will have “PASQ” (PASKO!). Tuloy ang Pasko! We have been so focused on the virus, that often, we forget that God is victorious, and that goodness will triumph in the end! Let’s keep praying, keep hoping, and keep believing.

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Sept. 8 is the birthday of Mama Mary. The world may laugh at our simple faith and trust in a mother who loves, and intercedes for her children, so be it. As nothing, or no one could take away my Mama’s love for me, let nothing or no one take away Mama Mary’s love for you and for me. And even for — especially for — those who despise and scorn her. Happy birthday, Mama Mary! Bless our beloved country. Bless our world, especially these days.

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Sept. 8 is also the foundation day of our congregation, the Society of the Divine Word (SVD).

It was founded in Steyl, the Netherlands, in 1875 by St. Arnold Janssen, originally for China. In fact, one of our first missionaries, St. Joseph Freinademetz, worked and died in China on Jan. 28, 1908. Now, more than ever, China needs to hear the gospel of love and goodness, not the gospel of power and money. Let’s agree to keep praying for China.

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“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word, and the Spirit of grace, and may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all.” (St. Arnold Janssen, SVD)

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, may we never underestimate the power of collective prayer. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments
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