Hold on, hope on | Inquirer Opinion
Moments

Hold on, hope on

orbos12032023

The story is told about a drunk man who was joking and laughing while everyone was screaming and praying as their plane was going through turbulence. The woman beside him scolded him saying: “We are going to crash. For once in your life, why don’t you do something religious?!” Upon hearing this, guess what? The man stood up and started to take a collection down the aisle.

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Today is the first Sunday of Advent, the time for renewal and preparation for the birthday of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the time for us to look into our lives and see what we need to be, and what we need to do so that we’d be ready to meet our Lord and receive Him in our hearts. It is the time to “do something religious,” but more so, to be open to God’s call for penance and conversion.

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In today’s Gospel (Mark 13:33-37) The Lord teaches us: “Be watchful. Be alert.” He warns us that we do not know when the time will come. Advent reminds us to be vigilant and to be ready when the Lord calls us back to Himself. Ask yourself today: Are there areas in my life that need conversion, cleansing, and restoration? Am I ready to say “Mission accomplished” when He calls me?

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Today we bless the Advent wreath and light the candle of Hope. Our advent discipline and preparation are done in the spirit of joy, hope, and expectation. Along with a humble and contrite heart, may we have grateful and hopeful hearts.

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HOPE FOR GOD’S PRESENCE: May we all experience the presence of God in a more personal way. May we take the time to pray, listen to God, and allow Him to speak to us. May we experience God’s presence in our midst, in our homes, in our country, and in the world, especially with the poor and the suffering.

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HOPE FOR PEACE: May we give peace a chance in our own hearts. May this be a time to focus on what is really important and not to be so preoccupied with money, good time, and selfish desires. Let this be a time, too, for forgiveness, reconciliation, and reaching out in humility. Peace in our homes, peace in our country, peace in the world! Sana. Sana all.

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HOPE FOR GOD’S PROMISE: Let’s hold on to God’s promise that He will be with us always and in all ways as we go through difficult moments in our journey. Let us remember that He has a beautiful plan for all of us and that He makes all things beautiful in His time. Let’s remind others to keep the flame of hope alive, and not to give in to hopelessness, depression, and cynicism.

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Advent is the time to be watchful, so I’ll start off with things to watch for: watch your thoughts; watch your mouth; watch your habits; watch your expenses; watch your time; watch your food; watch your drink; watch your weight; watch your pride; watch your desires … the list goes on. As the song says: “You better watch out, you better not pout, you better not cry I’m telling you why.” Why? Santa Claus is coming to town? More than Santa, it is the Lord who is coming to town!

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“Alive because of the Lord.” This is the beautiful message of Gelienor “Jimmy” Pacheco, a hostage who was released from Gaza recently. Our kabayan caregiver spent 49 days in captivity but he never gave up hope because of his faith and his family. We all have our own prisons and we all have our difficult situations. Let the Spirit of Advent, and the Spirit of Hope continue to make us strong.

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This coming Friday is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. May Mary our Model and Mother bring us closer to God’s heart, especially this Advent season.

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A moment with the Lord.Lord, help us to keep on hoping, keep on trusting, and keep on believing. Amen.

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TAGS: Gospel, Moments, religious column

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