The mandate | Inquirer Opinion
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The mandate

“MABUTI PA ang tanghali, tapat.”

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“Tanghaling tapat!” Loosely translated into English, this Tagalog expression speaks about being sincere, honest and clear like the noonday sun. In today’s Gospel (Mt. 28, 16-20) Jesus’ Ascension mandate to His disciples is clear: “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching to observe all that I have commanded you.” His assurance is also clear: “And behold, I am with you always, until the end of age.”

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“When they saw Him, they worshipped but they doubted.” In contrast to Jesus’ clarity of purpose and purity of heart, we, like the disciples at the Ascension, have many fears, inconsistencies and doubts. Our mission is clear but, often, we are hard-headed, inattentive, unwilling, insincere, or just plain lazy.

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All these talks about the RH bill and divorce should make us realize again that we have a mission and a mandate in this world coming from no less than Jesus Christ our Lord Himself. Let not some lawmakers of questionable character and laden with hidden agenda sway us from our beliefs.  Choose: God’s commandment, or a lawmaker’s opinion.

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Mother Church is strict. Why? Precisely because she is a mother, that’s why. A mother will always say what is good, and beneficial for the children in the long run. On hindsight now, many of us will agree that it pays to listen and obey what our mothers teach us. What our mothers tell us may not be pleasant or popular, but, as the saying goes, “Mother knows best.”

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“Stand by your mother.”  How many mothers have been abandoned by their children? Let us be there for our mothers especially when they need us most. Let us also not abandon our Mother Church in these trying times. And still on mothers, let us not abandon or neglect our motherland and Mother Nature herself.

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Fr. Ewald Dinter, SVD, our long-time missionary to Mindoro, more specifically to our Mangyan brothers and sisters, sent me this interesting text message: “2get and 2give creates many problems, but double them, i.e., 4get and 4give, and you, solve all the problems.” That’s true. Loving is not easy, but the only way to truly love is to love more. Yes, we must continue to ascend, to level up in our giving and loving.

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Greed kills. The recent fishkill in Batangas and Pangasinan is a testament of man’s selfishness and lack of sensitivity. I come from Western Pangasinan, and I have witnessed the deterioration of our seas and rivers ever since floating fish cages were built there by rich businessmen who are not even from that place. What they are doing in fact is just to dump their waste, and haul in the profits at the expense of the poor fisherfolk from that area. Shame on them, and those local government officials who allow them!

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In contrast, we hear of retirees in Japan who are volunteering to go and help their fellow Japanese particularly those hit by the tsunami recently. It is so inspiring and edifying to hear of these old people who are willing to go out of their comfort zone and to sacrifice for the sake of the nation. That is something we need to hear more from our shores. We as a people and as a nation have still a long way to go when it comes to love of country and nation. It is as if we have never heard of Christ’s Ascension mandate. Maybe we have, but we just don’t care enough, or at all.

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It’s June, and it’s back to school for the children, the teachers and all those involved in education. Yes, we are moving on, and all of us must continue to do our part. Whatever our tasks, let us move on and not forget the Ascension mandate we have received.

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Next Sunday is Independence Day.  It is a good time for us all to look at our Motherland and ask ourselves how we as individuals, as a family, and as a nation have stood by her. As long as we are in the “getting” mode and forget our “giving” mode for our country, we cannot really progress and move on.

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It is interesting to note that even crocodiles in the zoo refuse to eat “double-dead” fish after awhile. We were told that they cannot stomach them anymore, unlike some “crocodiles” we know whose hunger for money is insatiable, and will devour any money, dirty money, blood money, or whatever money.

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Think about it: “Every day my most important agenda is to love, and my most important appointment is my appointment with God.”

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Think about this too:  “What defines a person is the way he/she behaves when he/she has nothing or when he/she has everything.”

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A moment with the Lord:

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Lord, help me to remember my mandate from you, and my date with you, Amen.

TAGS: Belief, Catholic Church, divorce, FAITH, Religion, Reproductive Health Bill

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