outbrain
Close  
Moments

Beyond ‘Yolanda’

The story is told about two children discussing their problematic parents who were always quarreling. The first one said:  “When our parents die, do you think they will still meet and recognize each other in heaven?” The second one said: “I don’t think so. That’s why it is called heaven!”

* * *

ADVERTISEMENT

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 20, 27-38), Jesus teaches us that there is life after death because of the Resurrection. Our celebration of All Saints’ Day and the All Souls’ Day is based on our belief in “the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.” Yes, there is eternal life beyond Supertyphoon “Yolanda” and all our storms in life.

* * *

FEATURED STORIES
OPINION

As I write this column, Yolanda, the strongest typhoon in the world this year, is screaming and steaming right through the middle of our country, creating hell and generating untold fear and suffering for our people. We can’t help but ask the Lord, “Why? Why us? Why now?” And we plead in prayer, “Please, Lord, enough and no more!” In our helplessness, we turn to prayer, we hold on to our faith, and we hope because of our belief in God and the Resurrection.

* * *

Yolanda has come and gone, and has left so much destruction and suffering in its wake. How fragile is our life, how temporary are our earthly dwellings, and how small are our worldly achievements! May we be reminded that life is short and that death is certain. But may we be reminded, too, that though life is brief, life does not end in death but in the Resurrection. Let us ask ourselves today: Do I really and truly believe that there is a Resurrection? Perhaps on a deeper level, we should ask ourselves:  Do I really live as if there is a Resurrection?

* * *

It is amazing how we Filipinos are so naturally resilient and are so joyfully hopeful in spite of the tragedies and trials we face as a people and as a nation. Right after a fire, a flood, an earthquake, or a typhoon, our people start moving again, immediately gathering fragments to build again. It is so inspiring to see smiles, to hear hope, and to experience faith among our people, especially in the face of earthly trials and deprivations.

* * *

The sufferings of the typhoon victims are plenty and real, so let our help for them be also plenty and real. Aside from our prayers, may we all reach out and share our material blessings with our less fortunate brothers and sisters. We had plenty of “prayer brigades” prior to the typhoon. Likewise, let us have plenty of “aid brigades” after the typhoon!

ADVERTISEMENT

* * *

Christmas, now! Now is the time to give Christmas gifts and Christmas cheer to the needy and suffering. We do not need to wait for that special or cozy time of the year to be generous and loving. Yes, I am sure the Lord would not mind if we advanced His birthday celebration this early. It would surely make Him very happy if we make every day His birthday!

* * *

We must not lose heart in our pursuit of peace and justice. We hold on to our belief in divine justice; we believe that there will be a final accounting, that the good will be rewarded, and that the evil will be punished. We believe that God knows, and that God does not sleep.

* * *

One person who never gave up in his mission for peace and justice was Fr. Jose “Joe” Dizon. I knew him as a seminarian in the 1970s, and since then until his demise last Nov. 4, this “activist priest” carried on his advocacy for the oppressed, the poor, and the marginalized. His 40 years in the priesthood could have been comfortable and “successful” by worldly and hierarchical standards, but he chose to live out his Christian, priestly and prophetic commitment in pursuit of social justice in spite of persecution from the state and being misunderstood by his brother-priests. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are my followers. Be glad and be joyful for a great reward is kept for you in God. For that is how these people persecuted the prophets who lived before you.” (Mt. 5,11)

* * *

Please don’t forget that persecution, or being misunderstood or ridiculed because of our faith, is part of a disciple’s life. If there is no persecution in your life, then maybe you are not really living out your discipleship.

* * *

Let us not forget to pray for the “grace for a happy death”. May we be ready when the Lord calls us back to our Heavenly Home. When that time comes, may we be in the state of grace, truly reconciled with God, with the world, with ourselves. May we face Him not empty-handed, but with hearts full of love, having humbly accomplished our mission in life. Let us also pray for the “grace for a meaningful life”! May we not live empty, vain, shallow and meaningless lives spent in selfish pursuit of worldly wealth, power, pleasures, and fame.

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, remind me that I have an earthly mission and a heavenly final destination. Amen.

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Catholic Church, Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, Gospel, Luke, Moments, opinion, Religion, Resurrection, SVD, Yolanda
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.