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Always present

The story is told about a little boy who shyly asked his father how much was his monthly salary. “About P20,000,” said the father. “So that means you earn about P5,000 every week. That’s P1,000 every day, and that’s P125 every hour,” the boy said. “That’s correct,” the father said. “But why are you doing all that mathematics?” The son replied: “Dad, I saved P125 from my school allowance. Can I buy one hour of your time?”

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Today is Father’s Day. In today’s gospel (Mk. 4, 35-41), Jesus showed His disciples one very special mark of true love—that of being present, especially when storms of life arise. He was there to calm their fears and wash away their tears. How consoling to have someone say “Be still” when our hearts are weeping and our spirits are breaking. God is our loving Father. May we also be loving, or at least be present to one another.

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Our Papa was such an assuring presence in our lives. He was so interested in what we were doing, and he always encouraged us to become better and to pursue our dreams. I remember how he enrolled me and my Manong Oscar and Manang Ming one summer in a speech clinic to help us in our diction. That short course of four weeks helped us overcome our shyness and gain confidence in public speaking. He did not have much money to give us, but he gave us the skills and courage we needed to make good in life.

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Notice how Jesus challenged His disciples when He told them to “cross to the other side.” He challenged them to go out of their comfort zones, to leave familiar shores, and to engage in mission. Notice, too, how he did not take over right away to calm the storm, but first let His disciples come to Him, wake Him up and ask for His help. He again shows us that true love does not spoil, but challenges, the beloved. True love does not dictate, but respects, waits, and believes in the goodness and capacity of the beloved.

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Recently, there was this poignant video showing a father beating up and berating his helpless little child. It brought tears to my eyes. Please remember this image when you start thinking about whom to choose in the 2016 elections. Please do not choose people who beat us black and blue, who are so addicted to money and power, and who would lie, cheat, steal and rob us of our very souls. They call themselves the nation’s “ama” or “ina” when in fact, and in deed, they are wolves in sheep’s clothing that continue to attack and devour us. Please choose people who have grace, poise, righteousness, mercy and compassion.

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We honor our fathers today by remembering them, praying for them and appreciating them. We honor them best by remembering the traits that make them stand out, and by emulating and passing on their good traits. Like our Mama, our Papa was a prayerful, humble and kind person. That is what I remember. That is what I will emulate, continue and pass on.

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Last Sunday, I said Mass for the Philippine Franchise Association which promotes franchising as a tool for economic development. It is very inspiring to see so much talent and ingenuity among our people and how they share these to help in building the nation. On a personal note, it would be good for us to reflect today: What is “franchisable” in me? What traits do I have that people would be interested in, and would choose to make theirs also?

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I had breakfast with the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (Nova-Capitol Outreach) yesterday and joined their prayers. These are busy people who literally bring God to the “marketplace” by making Him the center of their businesses and their professions. They also try to make the love of God concrete and real among their members. Recently, they organized a car service to help one of their members, Caesar Liza, go to and from the hospital for his radiation treatment. The XVDs (ex-SVD seminarians) did the same for him. The Father smiles at us whenever we do good to and serve and love one another. Let us make the Father smile more, and more often!

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“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46, 10). May this powerful message of the Lord calm us and assure us that He is present, that He is in control, and that He is the God of all. Don’t be burdened with worries or turn to despair. He is our Father who sees everything, knows everything, and will take care of everything and everyone.

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Think about this: “You will begin to heal when you start to let go of your regrets, forgive those who have hurt you, and learn to forgive yourself. With time and courage, you will be able to tell your story without pain in your heart, ache in your soul and without tears falling down your cheek. That is when you know your healing has begun.”

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Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on osteoporosis at Tuklong ni San Jose at Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City, on June 27 at 9 a.m.-12 noon. For inquiries, please call 3732262, 9982548, or 09174167849.

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Sharing with you this beautiful quote: “We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures. We are the sum of the Father’s love for us, and our real capacity to become the image of His Son.” (Saint John Paul II)

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A moment with the Lord:

Thank You, Father, for being present with us always, and in all ways. Amen.

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TAGS: Bantay Matanda, Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, Family, Father's Day, franchising, Jesus, Philippine Franchise Association, presence, Time
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