Wednesday, September 19, 2018
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End of the story

Last week on our way to a restaurant, we saw a man who was running, closely followed by another man who was shouting something that sounded like “Ric!” or “Vic!” So we thought the second guy was chasing his friend. But they were running so fast, and it did not make sense. We realized that he was shouting “Thief! Thief!” But we wondered why he did not just shout “Magnanakaw! Magnanakaw!”

Then we presumed that maybe he was a foreigner whose phone had just been snatched. Finally, it all seemed to make sense when one in our group quipped: “Maybe he was shouting ‘Tip! Tip!’ to a guy who did not leave a tip in the restaurant he had just left!” Maybe that’s where the story ends.

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Today is Easter Sunday. In today’s Gospel (Jn. 20, 1-9), the disciples, Peter and John, and Mary Magdalene finally realized the meaning of what Jesus had been telling them: that He would rise from the dead. Finally, it all made sense when they saw the empty tomb on that first Easter morning.

The Lord has indeed risen. The Lord has kept His word that He will save us from our sins. End of the story? Not quite, for that is where our story begins. Each of us should be busy today doing our mission to tell and live the Easter story again and again.

There are many mysteries in our life and there are many open-ended questions that we cannot answer or understand. But we have been given a tremendous gift—the gift of faith, which helps us believe even if we don’t understand, which gives us meaning, purpose and hope. Today we pray: “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen!”

Faith helps us to move on. Not only that. Faith gives us direction. As we journey on, frail and weak as we are, we fall, we get lost, and we become tired. It is precisely at such moments that we hold on to our faith, and are able to go on in our journey. Today let us thank the people who have initiated, nourished and strengthened our faith. Today, too, let us make the resolve to share our gift of faith to others with respect, understanding, dialogue and peace.

We were saved with much pain, and at a great price. A grateful and contrite heart is our response to God especially at Easter. Often, we forget, take for granted, or simply disregard what our loving God has done for us. Lord, may we always remember, may we never forget, that Easter is not just something that happened years ago, but also something that is lived in the here and now. Yes, we are an Easter people, journeying together to God’s heart.

Easter is about gratitude and joy! Let us live grateful lives for we have been saved. Gratitude is the best attitude. Let us also live joyful lives, for we are forgiven and loved. Pope Francis urges us all to spread the joy of the gospel (“evangelii gaudium ”). By our very lives, let us be bearers of joy, hope, peace and love. The Easter story goes on!

A lot of crucifixions are still going on these days as the elections draw near, with political rivals crucifying one another. Who of them will rise from the dead? Who of them will be victorious? Whoever. But let us not forget that in the end, it is the people who get crucified and killed. Please remember that this whole exercise is about the good of the people and not about the good of politicians. Let the will of the people be followed. Let the common good be victorious and survive.

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We take time to honor the students and their teachers, guardians and parents for finishing another school year. Thank you for the love and sacrifice. We pray that the youth will have a better life ahead of them. We pray that we adults do not leave to them a country that has been damaged, corrupted and wasted by our selfishness, greed and pride.

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Good news! Two decades after her death, Mother Teresa is expected to be canonized saint on Sept. 4. 2016. This Albanian nun and missionary, a Nobel Prize winner in 1979, lived a life that concretized God as a God of mercy and compassion in her work with the poorest of the poor, the sick and the dying, the old and the lonely in Calcutta, India. We may not be Mother Teresas, but in our own little way, we all can be instruments of God’s peace and love, in our here and now.

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Inviting you to a pilgrimage, a journey of faith, to Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Poland on May 11-24. For inquiries, please contact the Pilgrims Center at (02) 5238581 to 88, fax to (02) 526-0126, or e-mail pilgrimscenter@pilgrimage.ph

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Think about this: “Hang on! Your victory is just around the corner. Keep trusting in God. He won’t let you down. He is always faithful to His promises. You can count on Him to help you through.”

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Happy Easter, everyone! Please remember that our most important journey is our journey to God’s heart—i.e., we are coming closer to God, and heaven is our final destination after we have done our earthly mission. One with you in prayer. One with you in mission. One with you in our hope to make it to heaven! That is where our life story should end.

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, remind us that our story does not end in the tomb, but in the resurrection, in Your Kingdom where You live and reign forever and ever. Amen.

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TAGS: Easter Sunday, FAITH, Mother Teresa, Resurrection
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