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‘What’s with you?’

The first time I heard the traditional Korean greeting “Annyeonghaseyo?” I thought I heard “Anong sa iyo?” (“What’s with you?”) so I responded, “Ewan ko sa iyo!” (I don’t know about you!”)

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Actually, the literal translation of “Annyeonghaseyo?” is “Are you at peace?” In today’s Gospel (Luke 10:1-12, 17-20), Jesus tells His disciples to be messengers and instruments of peace. “Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’” Peace is my greeting to you, dear reader, wherever you are, whatever you are going through right now.

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What’s with you? All too often, we don’t have peace because of things or circumstances around us and within us, a lot of which are beyond our control, and maybe beyond our liking. The question of having peace in our lives takes on a new meaning when we focus less on the question “What’s with you?” and more on “Who is with you?” The presence of God is the game changer in our search for peace. Is God with you? If God is with you, you can have true peace in your life.

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The unshakeable pillar of our peace is: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8, 31) God is for us! The problem is that we are not always for God, and that’s why we lose our peace. If the Lord is with you, you can go through anything, and still have peace, that peace which the world cannot give nor take away.

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What are the marks of true and peaceful discipleship? Let the Lord remind us today that a true disciple must be a man/woman with FAITH.

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FAITHFULNESS. Let’s be faithful to His message: “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand for you.” Let us stay focused on His vision and mission, and not proclaim our own message, nor promote our own vision and mission. Let us stick to His agenda, and be true to His call.

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AVAILABILITY. We have been called, appointed, and sent to cure the sick, to preach repentance, to cast out demons. We are not to be choosy of our provisions or positions. We are to be available to those who welcome us and even to those who don’t, and to be of service especially to the poor and the suffering.

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INTEGRITY. Being true to our Master is to be true to the people we serve as well. Integrity means we don’t sell out, nor do we water down the message. There are truths in the Gospel that are non-negotiable and hard, but we have to preach them in season and out of season.

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TRUST. We rely on God’s goodness and generosity, and we should trust God more, and worry less about our provisions in our ministry. Also, we must learn to be appreciative of the help and generosity of the people we serve. May we learn that we serve as one, we are a team, and that we are all dispensable.

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HUMILITY. Our Master is the Superstar. We are unworthy servants. When we encounter persecutions, deprivations, setbacks, and sufferings, we are being purified and refined, to remind us that it is His work, and we are His unworthy servants. “The greatest among you must be the servant of all.”

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Pope Francis asks us to pray especially for the elderly this July, that “they may become teachers of tenderness” so as to inspire the youth with hope and responsibility. To our elders, thank you for the learnings and inspiration.

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Somebody said that seniors are close to Mama Mary because they often pray “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us SENIORS, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

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A moment with the Lord:Lord, remind us that what matters more in life is not “What’s with you?” but “Who is with you?” Amen.

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