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A life of giving and thanksgiving

The story is told about a priest who, at the end of the Mass, dismissed the congregation with the words: “The mask is ended. Go in peace!”

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Today is Corpus Christi Sunday, the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. We thank the Lord for His real presence in the Eucharist. We are also reminded today that the Mass does not end in the Eucharistic celebration. The Mass is never ended. It goes on in our daily lives. Beyond the devotion, may we not forget that the Eucharist should lead us to mission.

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In today’s Gospel (Luke 9:11b-17), the Lord performed the multiplication of the loaves. But take note: He did this with the help of the disciples (“Give them food yourselves”), and with the cooperation of the crowd (“Have them sit down in groups of about fifty”). Aside from the power of God, what is needed is the obedience, trust, and cooperation of people for a miracle to happen.

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Happy Father’s Day! May we acknowledge today God our Father who is good, loving, merciful, and generous. Out of His generosity, He has given us everything we need in this life. There is enough for everyone, if only we, His children, would learn not to be selfish and greedy. May we learn to share especially with the poor and the needy.

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The Lord took the bread and the two fishes, gave thanks to the Father, and gave them to His disciples, who in turn shared them with the people. This is what Eucharist is all about: thanksgiving and giving. Let us ask ourselves today: Is my life filled with thanksgiving, giving, and sharing?

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Someone once said that a father is one who used to have money in his wallet, but now only has the photos of his children and grandchildren. Growing old and giving, as a father and grandfather, is all about self-emptying. Thank you to all people who have truly learned to give, to let go, and to let God.

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On Father’s Day, I would like to thank Papa for these (Ilocano) words of wisdom and life lessons I have learned from him:

LET GO: “Bay-am laeng.” He taught us to be humble, to avoid quarrels, to have strength in trials, patience in sufferings; and to have a sense of humor through it all.

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BE GOOD: “Agsing-pet kayo.” Papa reminded us to take the road of goodness, honesty, and generosity as God rewards the good, and He sides with those who obey Him.

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PRAY MUCH: “Aglualo kayo.” In word and in deed, Papa taught us to be prayerful. Early on, he taught us to pray the Rosary daily, and hear Mass every day. To always carry a rosary in my left pocket is something I learned from him.

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STUDY WELL: “Agadal kayo a nalaing.” He did not have much, but he encouraged us to pursue our studies, as it was the only inheritance he could give to us.

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THERE WILL BE, SOMEDAY: “Addanto.” He taught us not to lose hope, but to keep on believing, trusting, and surrendering to God’s loving will and plan. BTS! BELIEVE. TRUST. SURRENDER.

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Today, Father’s Day, as you remember your own father, what trait would you like to “franchise,” what would you like to continue or pass on from him?

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As we pray for you, please continue to pray for us, your priests, so that we become more fatherly in our ministry, more holy and worthy to celebrate the Holy Eucharist. Thank you for your constant prayers, support, and understanding.

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Think about this: “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person—he believed in me.” (Anonymous)

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, help me to live a Eucharistic life, a life full of giving and thanksgiving. Amen.

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