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Let go!

In a bus stop somewhere in Spain, I went to a coffee machine, and with my basic knowledge of Spanish, I read and followed the instructions, put in the coins, and pressed the button. Success! But the grinding and dripping sound of the machine was drowned by a frantic cry of the storekeeper, shouting: “LA TASA! LA TASA!” I had the coffee all figured out with my head, and with my money, but I forgot the cup to catch it.

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In today’s Gospel (Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48), Jesus warns us not to be too attached to worldly pleasures and treasures. All too often we forget what is really important in our lives because we are so busy filling up our heads with knowledge, or filling up our pockets with money, that we forget or ignore to fill up our hearts with love, than catch our real blessings.

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May it not be said of us at the end of our lives that our heads and our pockets were full, but our hearts were empty.

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Look at your hands. Jesus sternly tells us today to cut off and get rid of whatever makes us sin. “It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.” As we look at our hands, may we not see stealing hands, killing hands, accusing hands, selfish hands, violent hands.

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Today’s second reading (James 5,1-6) is likewise a strong warning to the rich of their impending miseries: “You have stored up treasure for the last days … wages you have withheld from the workers who harvested your fields … you have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.” God does not sleep. There is divine justice. The good will be rewarded, and the bad will be punished.

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I remember in shame how we would hunt for birds when we were children, and pounce on them especially when it rains, the time when they are most vulnerable. I shudder with guilt and shame with the thought that we took advantage of them, and hurt them, for our own enjoyment and pleasure … MEA CULPA. In this pandemic, there are adults who continue to take advantage of this difficult situation of our people to make money or to make a name. Shame on them.

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“For whoever is not against us is for us.” I hope and pray that the Lord will bless us with leaders who unite, not divide us. We need to let go of our colors that leave us at odds with one another. May we learn to focus more on the mission, and less on the position in our common task of building our nation.

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It will be October soon, the month of the Rosary. We continue to ask Mama Mary to help us cross over (itawid) this pandemic, and to straighten (ituwid) and cleanse us. Mama Mary, itawid at ituwid po n’yo kami. AMEN!

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October is also mission month. Don’t forget this year, we are celebrating the 500 years of Christianity in our country. We remember with gratitude, we rejoice with humility, and we renew our commitment to share our faith, far and wide. “Gifted to give.” Sana we make this our mantra in life. Sana all!

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Our first Filipino saint is San Lorenzo Ruiz (Sept. 28). Martyrs are those who sacrificed for others. We ask ourselves today: What have I sacrificed in life? What have I sacrificed for God, and for others? What have I sacrificed for my country?

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Today we pray for our seafarers and their families. May the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael (Sept. 29) continue to protect, defend, and guide us all.

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A moment with the Lord:Lord, help us to let go of whatever or whoever imprisons us. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, letting go, Moments, worldly things
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