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Presumption

The story is told about a news reporter who hurriedly boarded a twin engine plane which was already warming up, presuming that it was the plane he rented. Once they were airborne, he told the pilot to fly over the valley so that he could take photos of the forest fire. The young pilot looked at him, and slowly said: “You mean to say, you are not my flight instructor?!”

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Today is the Feast of the Sto. Nino to commemorate the Holy Childhood. In today’s Gospel (Lk 2, 41-52), we hear about the 12-year-old Jesus who got lost in the temple because his parents presumed that Jesus was already in the caravan with relatives and friends. Presumption could lead to confusion. Make sure. Don’t presume.

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Parents, don’t presume that all is well with your children. Take time to be present to them, and ask them how they are, and how they are doing. Don’t take chances. Go out of your way for them.

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I remember the pain of a mother whom I counseled by phone sometime last year. Her teenage son became withdrawn and melancholic because of the pandemic situation. She presumed that he will be just fine. One evening, while she and her husband were at the dining table, they heard a gunshot. Rushing to their son’s room, they saw their son dead, with a gun in his hand. Her biggest regret was: “I could have asked, I should have listened more…”

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Parents who are so protective and domineering over your children, remember they have a life of their own, and a mission for them from God to perform. Don’t presume that you can control them, and make them in your own image and likeness. Learn to let go, and let God.

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On the other hand, children should not presume that their parents will always be there for them, to provide and guide them. Somewhere down the road, children must focus less on what their parents owe them, and focus more on what they owe their parents. The sooner, the better. Without a “payback time” mindset, children will not really mature and grow up.

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Last week, presuming that I was still young and strong, I lifted up a heavy plant box while I was gardening, and hurt my lower back. I had to use a cane to walk. Two lessons learned: slow down, you are no longer that young; and whenever you experience a painful spasm, stop, lower your body by bending your knees, and the pain is gone or diminished. Same in life—if you know how to stop and bend your knees in prayer, your burdens become lighter.

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May this Feast of the Holy Child remind parents to raise not only healthy, witty, and wealthy children, but holy children as well. Remember, long after you are gone, the children will be okay, if they have faith in God, and they have love in their hearts.

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Sharing with you Pope Francis’ pandemic intentions for the beginning of each rosary decade: first decade—for the protection of first responders, health care workers, medical researchers; second decade—for healing of victims of the coronavirus and for the protection of their family members; third decade—for the souls of the victims of the coronavirus and for the consolation of their families; fourth decade—for the protection of those who are most vulnerable to the coronavirus; fifth decade—for the expedient halt to the spread of the virus, so that people will be able to return to their normal daily activities, with a deepened faith and love for God. Mary, Mother of the Sick and Help of Christians, pray for us.

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A moment with our Lord: Lord, help us not to presume, rather, help us to go the extra mile, and give the extra smile. Amen.

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TAGS: Feast of the Santo Niño, Gospel, Jerry M. Orbos, Moments, presumption
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