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Someone who cares

The story is told about two terrorists who are having a heated discussion in a restaurant. A curious waiter asks them what they are discussing. The first terrorist replies: “We are planning to kill 1,000 politicians, and a donkey.” After some thought, the waiter asks: “But why a donkey?” The second terrorist turns to the first terrorist and tells him: “See, I told you, nobody will care about the 1,000 politicians!”

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In today’s Gospel (Mk. 6, 30-34), Jesus saw the vast crowd, and “His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd.” He had compassion. He gave the people His precious time, taught them many things, and showed His unconditional love. All too often, because of principles, functions and personal agendas, we forget the heart and belittle matters of the heart.

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People will remember us not so much for our intelligence or greatness as for the moments when we showed kindness to them. People will remember us not because we impressed them, but because we expressed our love for them. What matters most in the end is that we did our best, went out of our way, and cared.

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It is a busy world in which we are living—an agenda-driven world. Jesus teaches us a lot of things. No matter how busy He was with His ministry, He had time to go away from the “maddening crowd” and to go out of His way to reach out to the people who needed His presence and His love. What are you so busy about? What is eating up much of your time? No matter how important are your functions and agenda, don’t forget to make time for yourself, for God, and for moments of compassion and love.

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Jesus went beyond His comfort zone and beyond the level of duty and obligation. There is a call for each one of us to go “the extra mile”—and to give the extra smile. Please remember that grace abounds when we go the extra mile and give that extra smile. Beyond being good is being nice. Beyond being diligent is being generous. Beyond being prayerful is being kind. Beyond being disciplined is being welcoming and warm. Beyond being professional is being personal.

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At the end of our lives, may we have little or no regret that we loved too little or too late. I have seen people who, in their last moments, were so filled with regret that they loved God, and their loved ones, too late. Too busy making money, they forgot to make and leave behind good memories.

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All these frenzied pursuits of wealth, power, popularity and fame are signs of insecurity. Instead of being driven by fear, may we live our lives driven by mission, purpose and love.

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Nicasio “Nic” Cabaneiro is one person who cares. This lawyer has been teaching at the San Beda College of Law since 1975 up to the present. He is a strict disciplinarian because he cares for his students and wants them to excel in their chosen field. He is very professional, and yet he is very personal, prayerful and religious. Many of our incumbent government officials, as well as bankers and finance people who trained under him, have become assets of our country because of this teacher who disciplined and taught them, and cared for them. In honoring him, we honor our teachers who have sacrificed and worked hard for us, and helped us in our journey through life. Also, we honor today our ancestors, mentors and loved ones who have helped us in our journey to God’s heart. Mabuhay po kayo, at maraming, maraming salamat!

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Another person I honor today is Moises “Mos” Cating, a family man and a successful lawyer in Baguio City, who started from nothing in Benguet, Mountain Province. This octogenarian-friend told me how he was orphaned at an early age and worked his way through grade school, high school and college by sheer hard work and prayers—lots of prayers. It is so inspiring to listen to his stories of faith, humility, perseverance and trust in God’s providence. In honoring him, we honor the generation of our parents and those before them, who taught us the value of humility, simplicity, hard work and prayer. Mabuhay po kayo, at maraming, maraming salamat!

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On a personal note, I would like to thank our formators and superiors in our seminary who helped us become priests. They may have their own brand of discipline and mentoring style, but they were there for us, and really cared for us. As Jesus teaches us all today: Be there and care.

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Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on “The abuse and neglect of the elderly” at the Janssen Hall of Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City, on July 25. For inquiries, please call 373-2262/998-2548 or 09174167849.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, as You love and care for us, may we, too, live our lives as someone who cares. Amen.

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TAGS: Bantay Matanda, concern, kindness, Mos Cating, Nic Cabaneiro
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