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‘Remain in me’

The story is told about a senior who received a frantic call from his wife while he was driving on the freeway, saying: “Honey, be careful! I just heard in the news that there’s a car going the wrong way in the freeway!” The old man, after some silence, responded: “There’s not just one car. There are hundreds of them!”

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In today’s gospel (Jn. 15, 1-8), Jesus tells us: “Remain in me.” If we remain in Him we will not wither and die. Instead, we will bear much fruit. If we go against Him, if we go the wrong way, we will encounter dangers, emptiness, hopelessness, vanity, pettiness, and futility.

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Especially during the pandemic, let the words of Jesus “remain in me” remain in us! As long as the Lord is in our lives, and as long as we remain in His heart, we will be strong, focused, and confident to face whatever trials come our way.

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It is our faith that has helped us stay afloat amid the fears and woes brought by this pandemic. It is prayer that has given strength, direction, meaning, and hope in our lives. So we pray, and pray pa more. Double the dosage! We pray on!

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Think about this. Pray about this: “Do not be distressed by anything, and in any circumstances, turn to prayer and supplication, accompanied by thanksgiving, submit your petitions to God. Then the peace of God which exceeds all we can think, will take into His care the hearts and thoughts of you in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4, 6-7)

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It has been more than a year, and the COVID-19 war is still raging, fear is lurking, many people are suffering and dying. We turn to the Lord who tells us: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn away from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7, 14)

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It has been more than a year… Why is the COVID-19 war still raging? Why are so many people still suffering and dying? Maybe we need to humble ourselves more? Maybe we need to pray more, and more diligently seek God’s face! Maybe we have not really turned from our wicked ways and asked for His forgiveness. Yes, let us all take, and remain, on the road of humility, prayer, repentance, and reparation so that the Lord will hear us, and heal our land.

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Let’s all go for prayer power. Let us all trust in God’s promise but we all have to do our part. As individuals, and as a community, let us pray more, be more humble, and turn away from our selfishness, sins, vices, and weaknesses. Let us stop comparing ourselves to what others are, or are not doing. Let us focus on our response to His call for us in this our present time and situation.

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Pope Francis is calling for a 31-day Rosary “marathon” in May for an end to the pandemic. He calls all of us to pray the Rosary with the heart, and ask our Blessed Mother to help us exiles in this valley of tears and fears.

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“Jesus I trust in You. Mama Mary I love you.” This is the prayer I continuously prayed with Karla over the phone at the ICU where her husband just died at about 3 p.m. last April 27. He was only 41, leaving behind Karla with their 10-year-old son. That is all we can say in surrender, and in love, especially when the hour of our death comes. Yes, let us remain in Him in life and in death.

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Think about this: “To make a difference in someone’s life, you don’t have to be brilliant, rich, beautiful, or perfect. You just have to care.”

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A moment with the Lord:Lord, no matter what, no matter when, nomatter how, help us to remain in You. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments
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