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Hearer and doer

How did the famous Suntory Japanese whisky get its name? Actually, someone said that the owner of the company had three sons, hence the name Suntory (son three!)

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In today’s Gospel (Mt. 21, 28-32), we hear about a man who had two sons whom he called to work in the vineyard. The first one refused, but eventually he went, while the second one agreed, but eventually did not go. Who did the Father’s will? The one who went to the vineyard.

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It is not so much by words, as by deeds, that we do God’s will. The Lord reminds us today that more than our words, more than our religious affiliations, it is the heart that God sees. Let us not think that we can impose on God our own measures and standards. Let man be man, let God be God. Man, be not proud.

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God goes beyond names and brands. Our being Christians is not a guarantee nor an advantage for our salvation. There are non-Christians who live out Christianity more than we, Christians. So, let us be Christians not only in name, but in deed.

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By the way, there is a third son—the one who says “yes” to God’s order, and goes on to carry out this mission order in his life. We call him an “HD” son, a Hearer and Doer of God’s will.

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One such “HD” son is Fr. Jun Perez, SVD. His first mission assignment was in Siberia, Russia, for three years. Next, he worked in Liberia for two years in a refugee camp. His third assignment was in South Korea where he was a chaplain for migrants, and worked for justice and peace for 10 years. He worked in another refugee camp in Malawi, Africa, for two years. Now, he is preparing to go to his next mission assignment (refugee and urban ministry) in Thailand. A missionary in word, and in deed.

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Another “HD” son is Fr. Roderick C. Salazar Jr., SVD, who received a Pro Deo et Patria award from the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines last Sept. 22 for his invaluable contribution to education, and spreading Christian values in his 46 years as a priest. In spite of his talents and achievements, this “HD” (handsome and diligent!) son of St. Arnold Janssen, has remained a gentleman, humble and unassuming through the years.

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On a personal note, I would consider my uncle, Dr. Angel Muñoz, as an “HD” son. He died last Sept. 26, 20 days short of his 95th birthday. He did his mission as a doctor serving the poor and the needy in San Carlos City, Pangasinan. He did not enrich himself but he endeared himself to his patients because of his patience and generosity. He has been an inspiration to our family for his religiosity, humility, and joyful spirit.

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Like father, like son. Another “HD” son is Dr. Ante Muñoz, son of Tio Angel, who inherited many good traits of his father. He, too, has focused his practice on the poor and the elderly. But what inspires me most is his filial devotion to his Dad all these years, feeding him, bathing him, praying with him, and staying with him every night, till the very end. So inspiring! To this, Insan Ante humbly says: “It’s a privilege to be given this chance to serve our parents.”

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Sharing with you this beautiful prayer as we go through this pandemic: “Lord, into Your hands I place my worries, cares, and troubles; into Your wisdom I place my path, direction, and my goal; into Your love I place my life. Amen.”

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help us to be not just hearers, but doers of Your word. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments
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