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Duplicate

The story is told about a father who was at a loss as to what names he would give his newborn twins, both girls. After some thought, he decided to name the first one “Kate.” When asked about the second one’s name, his excited response was: “Dupli-kate!”

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In today’s Gospel (Jn. 6, 1-15), Jesus performed a miracle which none of us can ever duplicate: the multiplication of the fish and the loaves of bread to feed a vast crowd. The people were so amazed at the signs and wonders they had experienced. Like them, we often focus on the multiplication, and forget that the more important thing is the duplication of Jesus’ love and concern for the hungry and the poor. Christianity is not so much about the multiplication of prayers and devotions as about the duplication and imitation of Christ’s loving heart. May our hearts become a sincere duplicate of God’s heart.

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Take note that Jesus knew how to solve the situation of the hungry multitude, but He still consulted His disciples on how to go about it. His style of leadership is consultative and participative. We who claim to be followers of Christ must learn to duplicate His humility in all we do, especially in empowering the people we serve. Enough of trying-hard superstars and self-proclaimed messiahs in our midst!

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Why did Jesus instruct His disciples to have the people recline before He performed the miracle? It was His way of implementing crowd control. A hungry crowd is a rowdy crowd. More so, it was His way of making them focus on God and on the other people, and not just on their own selfish needs. Jesus teaches us again the value of letting go, and fading away. Someone once said: “It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you don’t care who gets the credit.” A good reminder for people who are hopelessly limelight- and credit-grabbers!

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“Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” Take note how Jesus made sure that the people who had been fed would learn to be grateful, and to be responsible. People who have been blessed with abundance must learn to share and to care. It is scandalous how some people live in excess and in luxury in the midst of so much deprivation and poverty.

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The people wanted to make Jesus their king. What did He do? He withdrew again, alone, to the mountain. What a contrast to our politicians who, this early, are already making their presence felt in an effort to make sure that they will win in the 2016 elections! A politician is one who runs for public office because of ambition and self-preservation. A statesman is one who does so because of self-sacrifice and mission.

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I keep going back to the virtue of humility as the way to sincerely duplicate God’s heart. Humility is the cardinal virtue on which all the other virtues are hinged. None of us can duplicate God’s power, wisdom, or intelligence, but we can somehow duplicate God’s way of loving if we are humble of heart.

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Grace abounds in a humble heart. When one finally accepts his/her weakness and sinfulness, grace starts to really operate. The problem with many of us is that we spend almost our whole lifetime making ourselves believe that we can make it without God, and hold on to our selfishness and pride. The sooner we realize our littleness and accept God’s greatness, the better.

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Kindness and humility are twins, or should be. A person who is proud is focused on his/her own needs, and is often insensitive to other people’s situation or feelings. May the Lord give us the grace to go beyond our personal selfish agenda and reach out to our brothers and sisters, especially to the lost, the least and the last.

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When people throw stones at you, pick up the stones. Don’t throw them back. Rather, place them in God’s heart, and offer your hurts and pains for their conversion. Duplicating God’s heart is something like that.

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“Blessed are the peacemakers.” How far easier to be a troublemaker, or to be cold and uncaring. Peacemakers are like bridges, and part of their role is that of being stepped upon, or being passed over, and even being blown up. Again, duplicating God’s heart is something like that.

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Think about this: Busy making money? How about being busy making and leaving behind good memories?

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In celebration of World Hepatitis Day 2015, the Liver Center of the National Kidney Institute will hold a lay forum with the theme “Prevent Hepatitis: It’s Up to You” on July 27 at the Ona Auditorium Diagnostic Center, NKTI, Quezon City. The first 100 registrants will receive free Hepatitis B screening. For inquiries, please call 0939-232-52-95.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, may our lives be a sincere effort to duplicate the goodness and kindness of Your heart. Amen.

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TAGS: 2016 Elections, grace, hepatitis, Humility, kindness, miracle, National Kidney Institute, Poverty, wealth
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