In our small way | Inquirer Opinion
Moments

In our small way

The story is told about an Ilocano who donated blood for a German who needed surgery. He was thrifty and frugal, so imagine his surprise when the German gave him a BMW out of gratitude. Later he donated blood again, but this time the German gifted him with fruits and a thank-you card. When he asked the German why, the latter said: “That’s because I now have Ilocano blood within me!”

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In today’s Gospel (Mt. 13, 24-43), Jesus’ parables about the mustard seed and the yeast remind us about the reality of growth and change in our lives, which happen in simple, slow and little ways: The mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, can become a large, full-grown plant, and a little amount of yeast can make the dough rise. Yes, each of us, no matter how lowly, can make a difference in the Kingdom of God in our small way.

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“Maybe you and I can’t do great things/We may not change the world in one day/But we still can change some things today/In our small way.” The lines of this song provided so much inspiration to me as a teenager with nothing much but so many insecurities. Now in my 60s, I still believe that what matters most is not big achievements or functions, but little, simple and faithful acts of goodness and duty done daily, humbly and faithfully.

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Fr. Leo Schmitt, SVD, came up with “Action Leaven” in the 1960s—the Word of God should help our people rise above poverty and hopelessness. The Gospel values should and could make a difference in our lives. Something like this must continue during these our times to empower our people so that they will not be plundered or trampled upon by powers that be. Think about it: How can millions of Filipinos be controlled by a so-greedy few! Let the Word of God inform, form and transform us!

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When we look at the evil going on around us, we can’t help but echo the age-old question: “Why does evil seem to prosper and the good seem to suffer?” The parable of the wheat and the weeds assures us that God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He knows and sees everything, and He is in control. Let us not lose patience or hope. There is a time for reckoning. All in His time.

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Typhoon “Glenda” has come and gone.  I was praying in our Mission House Chapel when the winds were fiercest and loudest.  All we can do at such moments is to just be still, pray, and believe. “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46,10). Whatever storm we go through in life, that, too, will pass. Storms humble us, purify us, and ground us, to remind us of what is really basic and important in life.

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Last week somebody texted me:  “Fr. Jerry, I pray that you have a long, quality and happy life!”  I thought about it and prayed over it.  I responded: “Thank you for your prayers. Quality and happy life are good enough for me. Long life? That is for God to say.” More than quantity, let us go for quality. Life is short, death is certain.  Let us persevere in prayer, penance and good deeds till the very end, wherever the end.

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Finally, I dreamt of Mama who passed away last Jan. 25. She was smiling, so happy, and so pretty!  I woke up smiling and happy as well.  It was such a reassuring and comforting experience, affirming what I believe in faith that there is eternal life, that heaven is real, and that there is a great reunion that awaits those who love God.

By her very life, Mama lived what it is like to be a mustard seed and leaven. Of all the virtues of Mama, her humility and littleness inspire me most.

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Speaking of humility, I can’t help but be amazed by my dog Bruno, a golden retriever, who is such a humble and faithful companion and friend, always waiting for me, and following me wherever I go. Such faithfulness and devotion put me to shame when I compare myself in relation to my own Master. What amazes me is that at times, when I or someone would accidentally step on him, Bruno would just go away, without a bite, without a bark. Wow!

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Did you get to see the July “supermoon” last week?  If you did not see it, maybe you were too busy with “more important things” in life—or maybe you are just too busy. And if you did not appreciate it, maybe you don’t have the time or the interest to appreciate the finer things in life. Whatever, please take note that life is not so much about going far and fast as about going to the heart—to God’s Heart, to people’s hearts, and to your very own heart.

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Home is the happy missionary. Fr. John Regalado, SVD, went home to the Father last July 15 at the age of 54, 10 years of which were spent as a missionary in Botswana, Africa. One with you in prayer!

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Bantay Bata invites you to a lay forum on “Mental Health Concerns of the Elderly” on July 26, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at Janssen Hall, Christ the King Mission Seminary, E. Rodriguez Blvd. Ext., Quezon City.  For inquiries, you may call: 373-2262/998-2548/0917-4167849

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, remind us that though we may not do great things, we all can make a difference in our small way.  Amen.

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TAGS: Catholic Church, Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, Gospel, Matthew, Moments, Mustard seed, opinion, Parable of the mustard seed, Religion, SVD
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