Please God! | Inquirer Opinion
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Please God!

The story is told about two students who appeared to have been copying from each other during their examinations because they had the same answers to the test questions. How did the teacher discover who was copying from whom? To question No. 6, the first student answered: “I don’t know.” And the second student answered: “Me neither.”

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In today’s Gospel (Jn. 8: 1-11), we hear the story of the woman caught in adultery and about to be stoned to death by the scribes and the Pharisees in accordance with their Jewish law. Jesus saved her by simply saying: “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” What Jesus in effect said was that all of them had committed sins, and they had no right to condemn and accuse someone who, so to speak, was a cheater just like them. In our journey to God’s heart, let us learn not to be judgmental and self-righteous. We are all sinners, period. Let us learn to be humble, and be respectful of one another.

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Remember that the evil one is called “The Great Accuser,” and anyone who plays the game of accusation, judgment and condemnation is playing his game. Beware! Don’t become his agent. Don’t let him make you believe that you are better than others, or holier than the rest.

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Please remember that those who throw mud at others get their hands dirtied in the process of doing so. Better not to throw mud. Better to throw prayers, understanding, compassion and love, for in the end, who are we to judge?

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Let us not play the game of politicians who step on their opponents to get to the top, or who operate their “dirty tricks department” in order to destroy and eliminate their rivals. Anyone who uses guns, goons and gold to win in the coming elections will most likely apply the same strategy once they are in office. Careful! Let us choose instead those who have God, goodness and guts!

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People who think ill or speak ill of others are harboring a lot of insecurities. Those who rejoice in the failures of others (real or imagined) oftentimes are shallow, vain, insecure and cruel! We take comfort in today’s Gospel message of a compassionate, merciful and loving God. God does not sleep. God knows. And God, in His own time, will serve justice to those who are accused, persecuted and oppressed.

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I remember Mama telling us when we were young and all throughout her 92 years of life about the concept of “merito” (merit). She said that whenever we are hurt by people, or whenever we are misjudged, persecuted, or put down unjustly, we must not be upset or fight back. Rather, she said, we must offer everything to God in silence and in humility because it is in such moments that we receive tremendous merits—now and in eternity. Foolish maybe to some, but for me, this spirituality has so much wisdom, and is a real treasure.

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March 19 is the Feast of St. Joseph, spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the foster father of Jesus. He must have suffered a lot, and must have been subjected to all sorts of rumors and even ridicule for taking Mary, who was with child not his own, as his wife. But he stood firm, kept his peace, obeyed God, and continued his mission. St. Joseph teaches all of us to focus on pleasing God, and not on pleasing people. Yes, what matters most in the end is not what people say, but what God says, about us.

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There is yet one more virtue of St. Joseph that we must not forget: humility. He was a man of few words. In fact, there isn’t any spoken word of him recorded in the Bible. He was a person who was low-key, and just behind the scenes. He did not seek the limelight. He was not after recognition or acknowledgment. We have much to learn from the self-effacing St. Joseph in our journey to God’s heart. Yes, they say little those who love much.

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March 20 is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Inviting you to our traditional Palm Sunday family recollection at the Meralco Theatre, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City, starting at 8 a.m. The theme is “Fresh Start, New Beginnings.” The recollection, sponsored by the Mission Angels, is free and open to all, and will be telecast live on PTV 4. May we all have a blessed Holy Week.

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March 20 is the death anniversary of a dear friend, Sonny Siytangco, one of the original members of the Mission Angels who have helped our Filipino SVD missionaries abroad in so many ways. Please remember to live in such a way that long after we are gone from this earth, the goodness we have done will continue and go on.

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Bantay Matanda invites you to a lay forum on “Nutrition for the Elderly” on March 19 at Tuklong ni San Jose, Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Quezon City, at 9 a.m.-12 noon. For inquiries, please call 373-2262 or 09174167849.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, remind us that more than pleasing people, what matters is that we live a life pleasing to You. Amen.

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TAGS: accusation, adultery, Humility
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