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The story is told about a man who had his eye checked. No matter how the optometrist adjusted the lenses to get the right grade for his eyeglasses, the man kept saying, “I can’t read.” Exasperated, the optometrist asked him, “Why can’t you read the letters and numbers in the chart?” “It’s simply because I don’t know how to read,” was the man’s reply.

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In today’s Gospel (Jn. 6, 60-69), Jesus is exasperated because the crowd cannot “read” His mind. He had taken great lengths to explain that His flesh is food, and that His blood is drink for eternal life, but still many of them doubt, murmur or altogether abandon Him. When we cannot “read” or understand the problems and mysteries in our lives, do we hold on to God, or do we turn our backs on Him?

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“This saying is hard; who can accept it?” There are moments in life when we cannot explain or understand what is happening. At such moments, may we be given the gift of faith that enables us to say: Lord, I don’t understand, but I believe in You, and I trust in You, and I will not leave You. Lord give me the grace to read what you are saying to me, especially in difficult moments of my journey. Amen.

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Here are some Bible passages that tell us why we should trust in the Lord: “Fear not for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine” ( Is. 43, 1); “Because you are precious to me and honored, I love you” (Is. 43, 3); “Even the hairs of your head have been numbered, so there is no need to be afraid of anything” (Mt. 10, 30); “The mountains may depart, and the hills will be shaken, but my steadfast love for you will never end” (Jn. 54, 10); “For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord; plans for welfare, not for woe, plans to give you a future full of hope” (Jer. 29, 11).

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When we come face to face with God someday, may we be able to say, “Lord, there were many things I could not understand in my life, but I held on to You, and just trusted in You.” What a joy for us if we could say something like that to the Lord somehow. What a shame for us if we realize then that we did not trust, or hardly trusted, Him. It is our choice to believe or to doubt, to stay with the Lord, or to leave.

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For a moment of thrill, some crazy guy shot and killed Pamana, a three-year-old female Philippine eagle. Wala na si Pamana… Wala na ang pamana. Sad, very sad, that in the Philippines, people are killed, eagles are killed, and simple hopes and dreams are killed.

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Sharing with you this prayer of faith and trust in the Lord, especially when we cannot “read” what is happening in our lives: “Lord, I may not understand how things will work out, but I trust in You. I don’t see a way, but I know You will make a way. I have faith that at this moment, You are touching hearts, opening doors, and lining up the right breaks and opportunities. Things may look dark, but I have faith that my dawn is coming. Amen.”

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Speaking of reading, what is your “reading” of the coming 2016 elections? As it had been in the past, lots of money will flow and more thieves will win the show. That may sound cynical, but I still believe in miracles and dreams. Somewhere down the road, something qualitatively new will come upon us.

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This early, political advertisements are already being shown on television. Did you notice how the poor and the little ones are being used again for the personal agenda of some “superstar” or “messiah”? There has to be a better way of making this country move not because of personalities or some chosen few. There must be a way of institutionalizing people power, otherwise, it will all be politicians’ power again, and for us, “it’s crying time again.”

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Yesterday, we celebrated the Queenship of Mary. We look up to her as our Queen, and mother, and model of true discipleship and complete trust in the divine will and plan. There were many moments in her life when she could not “read,” understand and decipher what was going on, but she believed, and kept on believing. Like Mama Mary, may we see God’s hand and God’s presence and assurance in everything that is happening in our lives.

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Inviting you for a 13-day pilgrimage to Medjugorje plus Croatia and the shrines of Italy, including the Padre Pio shrine, Loreto, Lanciano, Manoppello, and Rome on Oct. 12-24. For inquiries, please contact the Pilgrims Center at 5238581 to 88; 09175235456; [email protected]

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Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on “Loneliness and Depression in Adults” on Aug. 29, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at Tuklong ni San Jose, Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City. For inquiries, please call 3732262; 9982548; or 09174167849.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, please help us “read” You in the lines and in between the lines of whatever is happening in our lives. Amen.

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TAGS: 2016 Elections, Bantay Matanda, Mama Mary, Medjugorje, Pamana, pilgrimage, political advertisements
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