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Refreshing moments

Someone once said: “Never be afraid to try something new. Remember that amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.”

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In today’s gospel (Mk. 1, 29-39), we see something new and different in Jesus. He was a great preacher and healer. He was so “professional” so to speak, but also very personal. He took time to heal Simon’s mother-in-law. And he took time to be united with God in prayer in a deserted place.

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A “root-less” person can end up ruthless. A person who does not have a quiet time can end up harassed, angry, and stressed all the time, if not, most of the time. We all need a place and a time to recharge, and spend refreshing moments with the Lord.

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May God grant us the grace and the wisdom to balance our being professional and being personal. Like Jesus, may we see whatever work or functions we do as an expression of our love for persons.

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“Let all that you do be done with love” (1 Cor. 16, 14). Please remember that when we finally meet God, He will not ask us how much we worked, or how much we prayed, how much we knew or how much we preached, how much we suffered, or how much we sacrificed. More than these, God will ask us: How much love did you put in all the things you’ve said and done?

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Hopefully, one of the fruits of this pandemic would be the appreciation of people, more than work. May God prosper the work of our hands. More so, may God increase the love in our hearts.

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Let us live meaningful lives, not shallow, vain, and empty lives. By all means, strive for excellence and abundance of worldly achievements, but remember, without love, without service, all these are empty and devoid of true meaning and fulfillment. For us Christians, let us keep in mind Psalm 127: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain those who build it.”

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Bottom line: “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers the loss of his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)

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The Society of the Divine Word is happy to announce the ordination to the priesthood yesterday of Fr. Dondon De Guzman, SVD (missionary to Japan); Fr. Gerome Tugadi, SVD (missionary to Mexico); Fr. Thomas Nguyen, SVD (missionary to China). These three new priests are ready to do a lot of legwork for the Lord, ready to touch people with their presence, and ready to be faithful to listen to their Master, heart to heart. The rites were held at the Holy Spirit Chapel, Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay, and the ordaining prelate was Most Reverend Socrates B. Villegas, D.D., Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.

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Our advice for them: Focus on the Lord, not on the load; Learn to look beyond your loads of work and problems; Learn to look beyond your loads of success and achievements and material blessings; No matter how loaded you are, don’t forget to be Lord-ed.

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It’s a year now since the pandemic. Looking back, it would be good for us to ask ourselves: What have I learned? What have I realized?

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We don’t know when the pandemic will end. Looking forward, it would be good for us to ask ourselves: What do I want to do more or to do less in the future? What do I want to be more or to be less from now on?

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After the pandemic is over (and it will be over someday, soon!) may we not look back with these regrets: That we did not trust the Lord enough; That we did not love and help others enough; And that we did not take good care of others and ourselves enough.

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, teach us to take time, and make time for refreshing moments with You. Amen.

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