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Shallow and narrow

The story is told about a man who went to a drug store to buy vitamins for his child. When asked if he was looking for Vitamin A, or B, or C, his response was: “It does not matter. My little boy still doesn’t know the alphabet, anyway.”

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In today’s Gospel (Mt. 22, 15-21), Jesus teaches us that what really matters is not so much public opinion as God’s opinion. Many of us are so focused on what others say, or what we say, that we forget what God says. We must make room for God, and not leave Him out of the picture. Are you living in a “selfie” world? Is your life all about I, me, and myself? If so, the life you are living is shallow and narrow.

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Today is World Mission Sunday. It reminds us that we all have a mission, and that mission is to “go out to the whole world and preach the Gospel to all creation” (Mk. 16, 15). The Lord teaches us today to go beyond our selfish worldly agenda, to go beyond our comfort zones, to go beyond our biases and narrow-mindedness, and reach out, dialogue, in the spirit of peace, respect, understanding and love—deeply and widely.

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In solidarity with the whole world, let us fervently pray that the Ebola outbreak will not reach the pandemic level. We live in one world, and it is the only world we have. If only we would focus more on world peace and human progress, and less on selfish agendas and wars!

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The closer we come to God’s heart, the broader and deeper is our perspective in life. The horizon broadens and the vantage point widens when we begin to see the world with the eyes of faith. Let us pray that we will let go of our shallow and narrow horizons, and open ourselves to God’s wisdom and love that is far deeper and wider!

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In a recent pilgrimage tracing the missionary journeys of St. Paul in Turkey, Greece and Rome, our guide told us that St. Paul traveled a total number of 20,000 kilometers in a period of about 15 years—braving deprivation and persecution. He could have been imprisoned, too, and even faced shipwreck. That’s a lot of legwork, and hard work, for the Lord, and he had to suffer in the process. What legwork, and hard work, have we done and are doing for the Lord?

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Please continue to pray for and support our Filipino missionaries working overseas. From a mission-receiving country, we are now, by God’s grace, a mission-sending country. It is now our turn to “tell the world of His love!”

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Remember, too, that we are all missionaries, whoever we are and whatever we do. Let us do our own part. As we continue our journey, let us strive to change our narrow and shallow “all about me” mindset to the broader and deeper “all about God” mindset.

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Worth quoting are these words from Pope Francis: “It is the Paraclete Spirit, the ‘Comforter,’ who grants us the courage to take to the streets of the world, bringing the Gospel. The Holy Spirit makes us look to the horizon and drives us to the very outskirts of existence in order to proclaim life in Jesus Christ. Let us ask ourselves: Do we tend to stay closed in on ourselves, or do we let the Holy Spirit open us to mission?”

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Think about this: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. … The world and its desires pass away but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

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I thought I’ve heard all the interesting anecdotes told during a pilgrimage, but nothing beats this story of an octogenarian couple in our own recent pilgrimage, who explained why they were late for the morning Mass. The reason? The husband could not find his pants. After all the searching, he realized that his wife was wearing the pants that he was looking for! Now we know who wears the pants in the family!

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If you are having chronic marital problems, or wondering why Mr. Right or Ms. Right has not yet crossed your path, we invite you to join the next Psychogenetics-Gestalt Seminar Retreat to be held on Nov. 8-9 in Novaliches, Quezon City. For details, log on to www.gabaysapaghilom.org or contact Angie (0917809284), Harry (09178410398), or Ed (09178360305).

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Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on active aging on Oct. 25 at the Arnold Janssen Hall, Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Sr. Ave., Quezon City, 9 a.m. to 12 noon. For inquiries, call 3732262/ 9982548 or 09174167849.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, from shallow and narrow thoughts, words and deeds, deliver us. Amen!

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TAGS: Catholic Church, Fr. Jerry M. Orbos, Gospel, Matthew, Moments, opinion, Religion, SVD, World Mission Sunday
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