‘Selfie’ | Inquirer Opinion
Moments

‘Selfie’

The story is told about a priest who had difficulty in getting a good collection in his Sunday Mass. How did he solve it? He instructed his two altar boys to take up the collection pew by pew at the offertory. When someone puts in a small amount, one altar boy rings a small bell that sounds like  “Katiting  (Very small)!” and the other beats a gong that sounds like “Dagdagan  (Give some more)!”

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 16, 19-31), Jesus warns rich people of their fate at the end of their lives, when they will be tormented because they were already comforted in this life. He also gives hope to the poor, who were tormented in this life and who will be comforted in the next life. As it’s said, the Word of God disturbs those who are comfortable and comforts those who are disturbed.

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“Selfie” is a modern term referring to a picture taken by the subject himself/herself and posted in a social network to be known, seen, or recognized. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but it says a lot about our tendency to be focused on I, me, and myself.  Are the rich people more “selfie” than the poor?  Are the poor also not guilty of being “selfie” because of their constant focus on their needs? Be that as it may, the Lord Jesus challenges each one of us today, rich or poor, to focus not on our treasures or miseries but, rather, on being generous whether we are rich or poor.

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The Gospel reminds us today that we will all die, and that there is a final destination for all of us, depending not on who we are but on how we lived our lives.  In the 1960s, there was a popular song with this line:  “If religion were a thing that money can buy, then the rich would live, and the poor would die.”  Not so.  Religion will not save us.  Our faith and spirituality will.  Our good and generous deeds will.

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“You are worth more than that.” The Lord’s message to us today is that our worth is not so much on what we have as on who we are to God.  It is wrong for anyone to equate his/her own worth with what he/she has or has achieved.  That is false security!  Neither should one be imprisoned in unworthiness because of what he/she does not have or has not achieved.  That is false insecurity!  If you are materially blessed, you are worth more than your blessings.  If you are not materially blessed, you are still worth a lot as a child of God.

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Today is National Seafarers’ Sunday.  We take recognition and appreciation today of our men and women sailors who sail the seven seas all over the world, braving loneliness, danger, and even persecution to earn money for the sake of family and country.  Politicians can talk a lot about helping our country.  Our sailors don’t talk much. They just do it.  Sail on!

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Speaking of journeys and going home, please remember that our life is a journey.  It is not a cruise.  Neither is it a race.  More rightly, it is a journey to God’s heart.  For those who think that life is all about a career journey, or a wealth journey, or a popularity journey, well, you really haven’t started the real journey yet.  I hope you don’t start the real journey when you are already on your deathbed. The real journey to God’s heart begins when you leave (or are forced to leave) your comfort zones, and when you take the “extra mile” out of gratitude to your God.

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Whenever I read the newspaper, I always make it a point to read the obituary page.  Why?  Because more than the personalities I read about on the front page, on the opinion pages, or on the society pages, I read about people who have made their final journey to God’s heart, and the untold suffering, loneliness, courage and faith they had before that.  We will all die.  We will all go through that “lonely stretch” in life toward God’s heart.  Beware, and prepare. Amen!

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I am turning 60 on Oct. 1.  That makes me a dual citizen: a Filipino and a senior citizen!  Thank you, Lord!  Thank you, family and friends.  At 60, I don’t have any more worldly agenda or ambitions.  I just follow whatever marching orders from my Master for whatever mission.  At 60, if I would be given one more extra day, or one more year to stay, or whatever, that’s fine with me.

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The Philippine Alliance of X-seminarians, the Lay Society of St. Arnold Janssen, and the XVD invite you to a forum on good governance on Oct. 3 starting at 1 p.m. at Janssen Hall, Christ the King Seminary, 1101 E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., Quezon City.  Admission is free.  Prof. Leonor Briones, Rep. Ma. Leonor Robredo, and lawyer Alex Lacson are the speakers. The reactors are former governor Among Ed Panlilio, Department of Agriculture adviser Edicio de la Torre, and former mayor Charles Avila.

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Inviting you to our “Walk with God” to Manaoag on Oct. 5.  The walk starts at Urdaneta Cathedral at 5 a.m., and ends with a 9:30 a.m. Mass at the Shrine of our Lady of Manaoag. One with you!

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me not to be a “selfie” but a “servie.” Amen.

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TAGS: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, Gospel, Moments, opinion, Religion, Selfie, SVD
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