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One with you

The story is told about a mother who instructed her children that when she dies, she should be cremated and her ashes scattered in the mall nearby. When the children asked her why, she answered: “In that way, I am assured that you will be with me at least once a week.”

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In today’s Gospel (Jn. 14, 23-29), we hear Jesus saying goodbye to His disciples, but also making sure that they will continue to be one and united through the Holy Spirit, the Advocate whom the Father will send in His name. “I am going away and I will come back to you.” How assuring that our God is a God who continues to reach out to us, and who desires to be united with us.

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“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” Jesus, Prince of peace, the peace giver, and the peace maker!  Let us walk the way of peace, and let us make sure that we choose leaders who will lead us to peace, not disorder or division.

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The Holy Spirit is often called the “Paraclete,” the Comforter, in contrast to the evil one who is called the “great accuser,” the prince of darkness and the master of lies and deceit. Again, as we come closer to Election Day, let us choose men and women who will ensure that our rights will be respected, and that our interests will be protected. We need to pray more, and pray much, that Philippine Elections 2016 will be a victory for the Prince of peace, not for the prince of darkness.

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Speaking of prayers, I am inviting you to join us in the “Walk with God to Manaoag” on May 7, Saturday, starting at 5 a.m. from Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception church in Urdaneta, Pangasinan. This 13-kilometer, three-and-a-half-hour walk will end with a 9 a.m. Mass at the Shrine  of our Lady of Manaoag. Our very special intention in this walk of sacrifice and love is for clean, honest and peaceful elections that will produce good, able and deserving leaders in our land.

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I am inviting candidates running for public office to join this walk, not to campaign for votes, but to campaign for God’s blessing, grace and protection. It has been a long, hot, dry summer not only in our land, but also in our political landscape that has undergone a drought of some sort. Let it rain! And let the political drought in our country end. Let’s keep on praying.

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Let us learn a lesson or two from the lowly diaper. First, let us choose leaders who, like the diaper, are humble and lowly, and who will protect us, serve us and give us comfort. Second, someone said that leaders, like the diaper, are disposable. Let us replace them when they become laden, and when they stink! In the Philippines, why, oh, why do we keep them?!

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Nec laude nec timore (Neither favor nor fear). Blessed Cardinal Clemens von Galen continued to speak the Gospel truth during the Nazi regime in Germany. Let us apply this principle in the coming elections. Let not favor or fear blind or bind us in the choice of our leaders.

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It’s May, the beautiful month of Mama Mary, and next Sunday is Mother’s Day. What a timely reminder for all of us to remember and honor mothers. Also, to protect Mother Nature, and love our motherland! No matter what we go through in life, let us not forget the heart and matters of the heart.

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May is also the time when the first summer rains come. I remember how, as children, we bathed joyfully in the rain when the “agua de Mayo” finally came. It was a joyful time, but it also meant that the carefree summer is gone and the rainy season was not far behind. Such is life, and the seasons of our lives, full of hellos and goodbyes. But everything is acceptable and bearable if God is in our every hello and goodbye.

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“Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” How consoling to hear these words of our Lord as we come closer to the day of reckoning as a people and as a nation. Whatever we are going through as individuals, and as a family, or as a community, let us hold on to these very assuring and comforting words of our Lord. He promised that He will always be with us. And let Him tell each one of us again: “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps. 46, 10).

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One with you in our dream for a better Philippines. One with you in earnest prayer that the coming elections will produce a bountiful breed of good and able leaders. One with you in vigilance and hope that those who will be elected are those who have really been chosen by the people, and, yes, chosen by God Himself.

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Think about this: “When the heavenly Father stands with us, it doesn’t matter who stands against us. May His grace be upon us today and always. Let us surrender to what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.”

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, be one with us especially in the coming elections. May the people’s choice and Your choice prevail. Amen.

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TAGS: agua de Mayo, Holy Spirit, Manaoag, May, Paraclete, Prayers, rains
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