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So loved

Did you notice how single ladies would come together to catch the bridal flower because it is said that the one who catches it would be the next bride? Just wondering – would people do the same if this were done in funerals?

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Today is Trinity Sunday. In today’s Gospel (Jn. 3,16) Jesus tells us the central message of His whole preaching. “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.” Yes, God is a giving God, a loving God who wants us to come together and be with Him forever.

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Today is Father’s Day. In general, a father wants unity and peace in his family. What father indeed would want discord and disagreement among his children? In the same way, our Trinitarian God, source of all unity and peace wants us all to live in harmony, cooperation and solidarity.

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The other day, an old man came to my office with a heavy heart. He has amassed a fortune after many years of hard work. What pains him, he said, was the constant bickering and quarrelling among his three children regarding money and inheritance. The three are not in speaking terms and are already at the point of suing each other in court. Worse, they hardly call or visit him, and when they do, they always end up in heated arguments, exchanging accusations. How sad.

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How sad indeed for a father, especially in his sunset years to feel that he has “labored in vain,” and that he is leaving behind “a house that is not in order.” The very same money he has worked for is now not working for him. In fact, the money that was supposed to give him comfort and ease has become the source of his burden and sadness in his old age.

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Our greatest investment is love. Let us learn from the Trinity to just love and keep on loving, and our constant principle when it comes to loving should be: “Double the dosage!” Love is never wasted and never gone. It pays to be good, it pays to love, in the long run.

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“A father is one who used to have money in his wallet, but now has only pictures of his loved ones.” This definition best captures what a father is. Fathers reading this, take a look at your wallet. What you carry in your wallet indicates what you treasure at this point in your life.

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Another sad encounter I had this week was that of a former classmate. He is sick of cancer, and “sick and tired” of his nagging wife who has emotionally battered him all these years. All he wants is a little respect and gratitude from the wife, he said, and peace in his last five or 10 years on this earth. It is a terrible, painful feeling to experience being helpless and imprisoned in a burdensome relationship and a seemingly hopeless situation where love has died and the Trinitarian spirit of freedom and joy is gone.

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The breakthrough in our meeting came when I uttered: “She is not God. She is not your God!” Somehow my former classmate realized how he had allowed himself to be trapped and imprisoned by a creature who had made his life miserable. He is not about to get a divorce or anything, but in prayer, he said, he will continue to reach out, he will not be boxed in by his wife’s negative attitudes in life. The Trinitarian spirit of freedom and joy once more!

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May the Trinitarian spirit of love, unity, freedom and joy reign in our hearts and in our families. May this spirit overflow beyond our domestic concerns into our society, into our nation and into the whole world. We all can help make this a better world for as long as we concretize this life-giving and love-giving spirit wherever we are and whatever we do. In other words, let us all become agents of the Trinity.

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What is it that divides us? What is it that prevents us from coming together? What are the blocks that prevent us from true, lasting unity and peace? These are questions we all should raise on the personal, national, and even on the spiritual level. Offhand, we can say that the biggest barriers are money, power, pride and the pleasures of life. Sin, selfishness, greed divide us. Perhaps the more basic question to ask ourselves today is: Am I an instrument of or a hindrance to unity and peace?

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As we commemorate our national hero Jose Rizal’s 150th birthday today, let us remember that the true greatness of a leader is in being a servant, who is willing to sacrifice for the sake of our nation. We ask our so-called leaders today: Who are you, and what have you sacrificed?

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Remember, we are loved by God, tremendously. We rejoice in this love! But let this love not spoil us, but “spice” us to love Him in return, and become better persons. And please remember too that this love is not for us to keep within, but for giving and for sharing.

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Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on Saturday, June 25 on “What is Alzheimer’s Disease?” at Janssen Hall of Christ the King Seminary, 9 a.m. to 12 noon. For inquiries, please call 373-2262/998-2548 or 0917-4167849.

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A moment with the Lord:

“May the Holy and Triune God live in our hearts and in the hearts of all. Amen.” (St. Arnold Janssen, SVD)

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TAGS: Belief, Catholic Church, Jose Rizal, Religion
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