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Heart and soul

What do you call a person who runs every day? A health-conscious person. What do you call a snatcher who runs every day? A wealth-conscious person.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! What do you treasure in your heart? Are you health conscious? Are you wealth conscious? There is another question we often forget: Are you conscious of your heart and soul? Be careful of your heart and be mindful of your soul.

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In today’s gospel (Mk. 1, 40-45), Jesus healed the leper. He could have told him to give a thanksgiving feast (blowout!), but instead, told him to go to the temple to offer a thanksgiving for his cleansing as prescribed by Moses. We who have received healing, forgiveness, and blessings must not forget to be truly humble and grateful to God who gave us these for a reason, and for a mission.

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Recipients of blessings and miracles must go on to become disciples. I praise God whenever I hear people tell me how their lives have changed out of gratitude for God’s love and mercy. On the other hand, I am sad whenever I hear people boast of their blessings and miracles, and give little or no credit to God, and go on living selfish and self-centered lives.

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“Maswerte ako (I am lucky)!” Maybe. But more rightly, may we gratefully say “Mapalad ako (I am blessed)!” Yes, more than lucky, we are blessed to be recipients of good things which we don’t at all deserve.

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Ingat (Take care)! This is my greeting to all of you on this pandemic day of hearts. “Ingat” is a beautiful Filipino greeting that comes with a prayer, a wish, a concern, and a hope for each other to be safe, to be healthy, to be happy, to be strong, and to be well. “Ingat po!”

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Belated Happy Chinese New Year! Someone said that this year will be OK because it’s the year of the ox (kaya Oks na Oks!) Please remember to be optimistic and hopeful, to be positive in our hearts and in our minds, and to believe, and keep on believing that things will turn out fine.

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One thing the pandemic has taught us is to be careful and mindful of the virus that can kill us. If only we could also be as vigilant and watchful of sin that can kill the goodness within us, and ruin our souls. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

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Sin won’t happen unless we make it happen. Let us listen to St. Padre Pio’s simple advice and admonition: “The devil is like a mad dog tied by a chain. Beyond the length of the chain he cannot catch hold of anyone. And you, therefore, keep your distance. If you get too close you will be caught. Remember, the devil has only one door with which to enter into our soul: our will. There are no secret hidden doors. No sin is a true sin if we have not willfully consented.”

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The three basic defenses against COVID-19 are: social distancing, face mask, washing of hands. The three basic defenses against sin are: avoid the occasion of sin (social distancing), prayer (faith mask), frequent confession (washing of hands).

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“E shim, Chon shim” is a Korean phrase that means a heart feels another heart. Please remember that there are many things in life that go beyond words, beyond logic, and beyond comprehension. Don’t miss, don’t belittle heart-to-heart moments with your loved ones. Don’t miss heart-to-heart moments with God in prayer.

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, help us to be conscious of our heart and mindful of our soul. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments
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