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Like a child

The story is told about a father and son who went camping and slept in their tent for the night. At midnight, the father tells the son: “Son, look at the stars above us, telling us that we are not alone in this big, beautiful world filled with beauty and wonder! What do the stars tell you, son?” The little boy said: “The stars tell me that our tent has been stolen, Dad!”

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Today is the Feast of the Santo Niño. In today’s gospel (Mk. 10, 13-16), Jesus tells us: “Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” May we remember today that we were children once, and may we not forget to bring along with us childlike simplicity, humility, and spontaneity as we journey on.

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“For somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good.” This line of a song from “The Sound of Music” reminds us about our good old days when we were more simple and innocent then. However, it should also remind us that goodness is not some sentimental memory, but a reality that should go on and on. Let us paraphrase it then, and sing: “For somewhere in my senior years, I still will do something good!”

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The pandemic reminds us to be extra good, especially in difficult times. It is sad that there are people who take advantage of the situation to make more money. That’s really foul! When this is all over, may we have no regrets that we loved too little, too late, especially when people needed it most, and soonest.

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Today we make a shout-out to frontliners and essential workers who, for almost a year now, have risked their health and well-being fighting COVID-19 so that others may live. Thank you for the childlike simplicity and generosity you carry with you. We can never thank you enough. Maraming salamat po!

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“Trust the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3, 5). Let us be guided and shielded by these words from the Scriptures. We have to keep wearing our “faith” mask so that we will not be infected by the culture of COVID-19 which is full of fears, anxieties, anger, hopelessness, and selfishness. Like children, we hold the hands of our loving Father, walk with faith in our hearts, and with love in our hands.

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Fr. Franz Josef Eilers, SVD, has gone home to our loving Father at the age of 88. He was a very learned person, and contributed much to the SVD, and to the Church with his work in social communications and formation. Professional, yes, but very personal and prayerful. His day always started at 4:30 a.m. in the chapel. He was a caring spiritual director to so many seminarians and priests. Till the very end, he lived his priesthood like a child, and lived a life pleasing to our God and Father.

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“You can never know the ripple effect you create with one tiny gesture of kindness” (Ellie Sommer). Specialize in kindness. It is so easy to become mean, hard, and heartless toward other people, but we choose to be kind, anyway. It is so easy to think ill, speak ill, and do ill, but we choose to think well, speak well, and do well, anyway. Why? Because we are brothers and sisters, children of one and the same loving Father.

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For those of us who are constantly worried and anxious, may we not regret, one day, that we wasted our precious time worrying about things that did not really matter, instead of just trusting God like a child.

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, remind us that we please You most when we do not forget to live, and to love, like a child. Amen.

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