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Pardon?

The story is told about a dying person who asked his brother for reconciliation. It was a beautiful and grace-filled moment when the two made peace. It would have been perfect, except that when they were about to part, the dying person said: “If I get well, this would not count, OK?”

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In today’s Gospel (Mt. 18:21-35), Jesus tells us how open and how “loose” God is in forgiving us, compared to how closed and how tight we are in our reconciliation with, and forgiveness of each other. You and I have been forgiven much by God. May we do likewise.

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Pardon? Conditional pardon, yes, but absolute pardon, human as we are, is something that is not ordinary. Precisely, because it is something beyond human justice. It is something which we call “grace.”

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Someone said grace is receiving something good which we do not deserve. Mercy, on the other hand, is not receiving something bad which we deserve. Let us be grateful to God for giving us so much grace and mercy through the years. Thank you, gracious and merciful Lord!

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Invert the word “forgive,” and you have “give for.” If you want to forgive, you must learn to give for the Lord, or hand over to the Lord whatever burdens you. “Come to me, all you who are weary and heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mt. 11:28) Take a moment now to remember, pray for, and hand over to the Lord people who have, and who continue to hurt you.

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“Bahala ka na sa kanila, Lord.” (Lord, take over, and be the one to deal with them.) This prayer is very liberating. When you say this prayer, say it sincerely and unconditionally. Bahala ka na, Lord. Period. Don’t say “Bahala ka na, Lord,” if you want them to get sick, or become bankrupt, etc. etc. Please don’t give your suggestions to the Lord, OK?

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“Learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart.” (Mt. 11:29) The key to true peace and reconciliation is gentleness and humility. Gentleness is the way, and humility is the key to lasting peace and unity. Let us take, and stay on the road of gentleness and humility.

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Since last week, people have expressed their concern about a message circulating in social media that I will have a lung operation this Tuesday, and chemotherapy a month later to treat my cancer. Thanks for the prayers, but I’m all right! This was a repost from 2018. By God’s grace and with your prayers, I am cancer-free. To God be the glory, and to you people of good will, His blessings, and to me, His mercy. Amen.

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Tomorrow, Sept. 14, is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. Please remember that the cross is a part of our lives, and it is the cross that will lead to a meaningful and eternal life. Let us carry our cross daily, and follow our Lord, especially during this pandemic.

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Sept. 15 is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. Mama Mary knows our sorrow and suffering. We have a mother who listens, knows, understands, and who remedies our present sorrows and concerns in this difficult time of our lives.

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Let us all pray for COVID-19 victims, especially for our dear Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, to overcome their sickness and be well again. Mama Mary, help of the sick, pray for us!

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Today let us humbly forgive people who have hurt us, pray for people we have hurt in any way, and promise the Lord to stop hurting people from now on. Lastly, let us also gratefully forgive ourselves. It is better to be presumptuous of God’s love than to doubt God’s love. Amen.

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A moment with the Lord: Lord of pardon and mercy, please pardon us and be merciful to us. Amen.

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