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Baptized, for Christ

During a pilgrimage in Spain some years ago, I wanted to ask the name of a courteous sales lady, but I forgot the Spanish word for it (“nombre”) but I remembered the Latin word for it (“nomen”), so I asked her “Nomen”? Imagine my big surprise when she said: “No, I have no men, but I hope to have one in the future.”

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Today is the Solemnity of our Lord’s Baptism. Christ is our Lord and Christian is our name!

Today, we remember how we were cleansed from original sin, we rejoice that we have become members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and we renew our baptismal promises. May we be Christian not only in name, but in our thoughts, words, and deeds.

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 3, 15-16, 21-22), we hear how John the Baptist acknowledged Jesus as the Christ. He also humbly magnified Him as someone mightier than himself. It is only in humility that we know who we really are. May we learn to make God bigger, always bigger than ourselves.

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“You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” May we live lives pleasing to God, and may we live our lives trying to please God, not ourselves. Real conversion happens when we focus more on what God asks of us, and focus less on what we want.

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Today is the last day of the Christmas season. Somebody said that it may be time to put away the Christmas decorations, but not the time to put away the Christmas spirit.

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Tomorrow, we go back to “ordinary time” in our liturgical calendar. May we find meaning and purpose in the ordinary, day-to-day events in our lives. Let us live fully one day at a time. No rewind, no fast forward. This is the secret of a peaceful and joyful journey through life.

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One missionary who lived a peaceful and joyful life was Fr. Iñigo Batungbacal, SVD, (from Pulilan, Bulacan) who died last Jan. 1, 2022, at the age of 77, in Brazil, where he served as missionary for 46 years. He was a simple and cordial person who carried out his task quietly and joyfully. When I remember him, I remember his joyful smile, and his humble service to the Divine Word.

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Fr. Eleuterio Lacaron, SVD, went home to the heavenly Father at the age of 85. He served as a missionary mainly in the field of education. He was a learned person, but he remained simple, diligent, humble, and unassuming till the very end. Thank you, Father Terry, for radiating the simplicity and gentleness of the Divine Word.

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Travel light. This is how we should face the new year ahead of us. We have loads of worries, anxieties, hurts, and pains. Let us focus on the Lord not so much on the load. Please remember: “Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.” (Isaiah 41,10)

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Amidst many fears and uncertainties because of COVID-19, let us hold on to God’s promise. In Jeremiah 29, 11, let us be reminded that God has plans for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us hope and future. Amen!

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As we start the new year, let us be reminded of St. Theresa of Avila’s “Nada te turbe”: “Let nothing disturb you; Let nothing frightens you; All things are passing; God never changes; Patience obtains everything; He who has God lacks nothing; God alone suffices.”

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Try to have DPF (Day with Prayer and Fasting) once a week. Let it be a day with GOD (Gratitude, Offering, and Detachment). Try it. It is good for the journey to God’s heart.

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A moment with our Lord:Lord, help us to be Christians not only in name. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments
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