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Toward the light

Last week I received this text message from a friend that made me sad and made me smile all at once: “Father Jerry, my mother just passed away. Please pray for the eternal refuse of her soul.”

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In today’s Gospel (Jn. 3, 14-21), we read the most important line in the New Testament, in the whole Bible, for that matter:  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.” God does not refuse anyone! God wants everyone to be saved.

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How consoling to know that God has opened the gates of heaven for us mortals. We have access to eternal life. We have a standing invitation to be with Him in eternity. However, our response to this standing invitation is not to just stand around, but to go toward the light. We are to make a choice, i.e., to stay in the darkness, or to live in the light.

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In this Lenten season, let us take a good look at the lives we are living. Are there dark areas in our lives that need healing? Are there relationships that need mending? Are there bad habits that need ending? As we grow older, may we walk toward the light and leave behind the darkness. The more we go toward the light, the more our hearts will be light.

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As a nation, are we a people who have finally seen the light? Have we come to the realization that graft and corruption must really be eradicated and that we have to change our old ways? Shall we allow people to perpetuate or prolong the darkness that has overshadowed our government for the longest time?

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A good question we all should ask ourselves is: Am I an agent of darkness or of light? As we journey on, are we spreading light, and pointing toward the light, or are we the perpetuators of darkness and deeds of darkness?

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Sad to say, the present-day media focus not so much on the positive as on the negative news. It’s about time the media focused less on the darkness around us, and focused on the fireflies that emit inspiring light in the darkest night. There are many bearers of the light. Let us follow them, and let them lead us to the light.

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We pay tribute to the countless people who risk life and limb for truth and justice to prevail. Many of them have been persecuted, received threats, and even met with death. We salute these people who stand for something or someone greater than ourselves. They are agents of the light. Mabuhay kayo!

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On the other hand, there are people who stand only for themselves and for their immediate family (or families), and close friends. What are they doing for our country and for our people? Worse are those who have all the perks and the privileges at the expense of our suffering people. We pray that they may see the light and share their natural, material, social, and political blessings, for the good of the many suffering people around us.

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It’s graduation time again. Congratulations to our graduates! Congratulations, too, to those who helped them graduate. Parents, teachers, take a bow. Let us acknowledge that much of what we are and what we have are a result of not only what we have made of ourselves but also of what others have done and sacrificed for us.

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Speaking of graduations, let us not forget the final graduation in heaven. We hope all pass the exams! The beautiful thing is that there is already a “leakage” as to what questions will be asked. Look up Matthew 25, 31 and the following: “I was hungry, and you fed me; thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you received me in your homes; naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you took care of me; in prison and you visited me… Whenever you did this for one of the least important of these members of my family, you did it for me.”

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Someone once said that judging people should be like correcting test papers, i.e., no matter how many mistakes, in the end the correct answers will still be the ones that will be counted. We pray, too, that in the end, God’s mercy, more than His justice, will prevail. We trust, surrender, and believe we all will make it to God’s heart there and then.

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I remember Mother Teresa, who beautifully said: “If we stop judging people, we will have more time to love them.”

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Let me end with a story about a man who gave a piece of bread to a blind boy begging on the sidewalk. Upon receiving the bread and a pat on his head, the boy uttered:  “Thank you, sir! Excuse me, sir… Are you Jesus?” The bottom line is that as we journey on, may people feel and see Jesus more in us. Amen.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, constantly lead me toward the light. Amen.

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TAGS: Catholic Church, Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, Gospel, Lent, Moments, opinion, Religion, SVD
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