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Clarity of identity and mission

The story is told about a man who mixed up his greeting cards to his friends. To the one whose wife just died, he sent the greeting: “Enjoy your new life!” To the one who just got married, he sent the card that said: “With deepest sympathy.”

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In today’s Gospel (Lk: 1-4; 14-21), we hear how clear and sure Jesus was about himself, i.e., He is the anointed one that the prophet Isaiah talked about, and that his mission is “to bring glad tidings to the poor … proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind … let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” He was clear about His identity and His mission.

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We ask ourselves today: “Who am I, and what is my mission?” If we are to live meaningful and worthwhile lives, we must be clear of our identity, and be clear, too, of our mission in this life. As Christians, we believe that we are loved by God, we have been saved by Jesus Christ, and we have been empowered by the Holy Spirit to be instruments of God’s peace and love in whatever way we can.

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To candidates presenting themselves to become our leaders this coming May elections, we must ask them if they are qualified and able to lead us by asking them who they really are, and what is their plan, their mission for us. We have the right to know, they have the obligation to tell us.

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The recipients of our mission as mentioned in the Gospel today are the poor, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed, who are with us in our present-day socioeconomic-political situation. May the Gospel message of love, justice, and hope continue to be our guiding light and inspiration.

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There are many of us too who are poor, captives, blind, and oppressed emotionally and spiritually especially during these scary and uncertain times because of the pandemic. May the Gospel message of God’s love, justice, and hope be our guiding light and inspiration.

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We ask ourselves today: What have I done, what have I sacrificed for the poor, the captives, the blind, and the oppressed? How have I helped them materially? How have I helped them emotionally and spiritually? Perhaps we should raise those questions and not only on the level of “they,” but also on the level of “me,” for aren’t we all poor, prisoners, blind, and oppressed, needing the light of Christ?

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Many of us have experienced being prisoners of the virus, and have been in isolation, which can be a very sad and depressing experience. The remedy? Be in isolation with God! Make it a time for prayer, cleansing, self-examination, and renewal. Make it a time for atonement and reparation of our sins and the sins of the whole world. Let it be a time of consolation and connection with God.

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Prayer: Lord, may these days of quarantine and isolation be days of healing and cleansing not only of my body but also of my soul! May these days of solitude and deprivation become days of tremendous grace and blessing, days of renewal and recharging for me and my loved ones. Amen.

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My sister Bing pointed out the importance and usefulness of praying to our Guardian Angels. For example, when you are worried about a loved one who is troubled or sick, pray to his/her Guardian Angel. Or, if there is someone who bothers or annoys you, pray to his/her Guardian Angel for his/her enlightenment or conversion. Try it. And let’s try to be angels to one another, okay?

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A moment with the Lord:Lord, remind us of our real identity, and true mission in life. Amen.

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TAGS: Fr. Jerry Orbos, Gospel, identity
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