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For always

For a change, instead of starting this column with a joke, I’m inviting you to sing the famous song “My Way” in Spanish. Ready? It goes like this: “Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho… nueve, diez, once, doce, trece, catorce… ” Go ahead, keep singing, as it goes on and on and on!

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In today’s Gospel (Jn. 3, 14-21), we hear the most important verse of the whole Bible: “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” (Jn. 3, 16). Yes, God loves us so much; His love is endless, and it goes on and on and on!

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Why does God love us so much? We are all unworthy of God’s love, and yet He continues to love us! All is grace, and grace is a mystery, tremendous and true. We can never understand or fathom this mystery. We just believe, accept and trust. Given such a privilege and blessing, all we can do is say “Thank You, Lord!” and live a life of gratitude.

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Believe and keep on believing! It is easy to believe in God’s love when times are good and resources are aplenty, but not when trials, failures and difficulties come. It is precisely at such times that we must hold on, and hold on tight to God’s love. The evil one’s agenda is to make us let go of God’s love, and live a life of emptiness, bitterness, discouragement and despair. Let us not turn our backs on God, especially when the journey is rough, and times are hard and uncertain.

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Kapal muks to the Lord!” Yes, we are all thick-faced sinners, but we continue to trust and believe in God’s love. Let us not be discouraged and lose hope. God does not give up on us, so let us not give up on ourselves, no matter what. The evil one and his instruments will always play the game of accusation, judgment and condemnation, leading to despair and hopelessness. Don’t listen to them. Rather, listen to God and his instruments who console, encourage, and assure us with mercy and compassion.

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Kapit tuko to the Lord!” Like a child who holds on to his/her mother’s hand, we, too, must never let go of God’s hand, no matter what happens. Better still, let us ask the Lord to hold us and embrace us so that we will always be in His hands, and in His heart.

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As we go up and down, in and out, in our journey to God’s heart, let us remember that it is better to be presumptuous of God’s love than to doubt it. God’s love is far greater than we can imagine. Let us not focus on ourselves, our faults, and unworthiness. Rather, let us focus on God, His mercy, and His forgiveness. Let us gratefully celebrate God’s goodness and love.

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For a more peaceful and more grateful life, try Paewan (pray about everything, worry about nothing). Instead of worrying about our problems, let us just lift them up in prayer. Skip the worrying! Stop trying to know (Ewan!), and just leave them (Ewanan) to God’s heart. The act of surrendering everything in prayer helps us to face our situation, problems and concerns more positively.

Paewan also means “pray about everyone, worry about no one.” Try it. It works! It’s all about letting go, and letting God. Let us learn this simple, basic lesson in life!

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March 19 is the Feast of St. Joseph, husband of Mary. Pope Francis told us during the meeting of families at the Mall of Asia arena about his personal devotion to St. Joseph, whom he describes as “a strong man of silence.” Pope Francis has a statue of the sleeping St. Joseph on his desk, and he said that he writes on a piece of paper whatever problem or concern comes his way, and puts it under the statue, asking St. Joseph’s most powerful intercession.

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Prayer to Sleeping St. Joseph: “Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, our Lord, so that having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of fathers. May I never be weary of contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach while he reposes near your heart; press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, patron of departing souls, pray for me. Amen.”

(Ms Maita Martinez is propagating this devotion. You may contact her at 09258382671.)

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Let us ask St. Joseph, intercessor and protector, to intercede for us and protect us, our families, and our nation so that God’s love, and not the enemy’s darkness, may envelop and cover us. Together with St. Arnold Janssen, SVD, we pray: “May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the spirit of grace, and may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all.”

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Think about this: “Someday, everything that is happening in our lives will make perfect sense; so for now, let us laugh at the confusion, smile through the tears, and keep reminding ourselves that everything happens for a reason. Out of our great troubles come our best blessings.”

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A moment with the Lord:

Thank You, Lord, for loving us in all ways, for always. Amen.

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TAGS: compassion, God’s love, Joseph, Mary, Pope Francis
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