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Divine justice

The story is told about a customer who said to the waiter: “Every day, you charge money for a cup of coffee. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you serve me coffee free of charge today?”

The waiter said: “Fair enough, sir. Every day, you drink coffee from a filled cup. Today, sir, you will drink coffee from an empty cup!”

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 16, 19-31), Jesus teaches us that God is fair. There is divine justice and it will catch up with all of us, sooner or later. The story of the rich man and the poor man, Lazarus, reminds us that God rewards the good and punishes the bad. That should give us the consolation or the warning, depending on which side we are coming from. Remember this:

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Comfort is not forever; likewise, suffering is not forever.

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For those who think they are on a roll and can get away with misdeed and wrongdoing, think again. Summer is not forever. Winter will come sooner or later. And for those who think they are in a bind and are always on the losing side, think again. Winter is not forever. Spring and summer will come. God knows and sees the heart of everyone.

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Credit and debit. There will be a final accounting that will be clean and uncorrupted. Worldly accounting is inaccurate, if not unfair, or altogether unjust. Indeed, why do evil people prosper and good people suffer? So it seems. But remember, those who prosper materially by evil ways, pay the price, even now. Those who suffer now because of their goodness likewise reap the harvest of peace, even now. Here and in the hereafter, God has a way of implementing His divine justice. Don’t count it out. Don’t belittle it.

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Many of the rich, the powerful, the popular and the influential now will all die, and will soon be forgotten. Who will the world remember?

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And who will the Lord reward? Those who did good, who sacrificed, who took the road of humility and selflessness. Please remember this: “Ang taong mayabang, tinatamaan. Ang taong mapagkumbaba, pinagpapala (The proud person gets struck. The humble person is blessed).”

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Sept. 28 is the feast of our first Filipino saint, Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, who was martyred in Nagasaki, Japan. A martyr is one who died for his/her faith. A saint is one who lived out his/her faith. Whatever, a martyr or a saint died or lived for something or someone greater than himself/herself. Whether we are rich or poor, let us live for something, and die for something/someone greater than ourselves.

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Riches and power can really blind us and make us not see what is really essential, and truly important in life. I have met many rich and famous people. Some of them have edified me with their humility. Some of them have disgusted me with their pride, just because they have the money. Some of them are generous and some of them are stingy. Some of them are so free, and some of them are so imprisoned with their money. Some of them are preparing for eternity, and some of them are wallowing in luxury and comfort, with no thought of hell or heaven, come what may.

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Whether we are rich or poor, we can always be kind. Please be kind in your thoughts, words and deeds. Kindness is what defines us human beings, and differentiates us from animals. God has been very kind to us. Let us be kind to one another.

Sept. 29 is the feast of Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. We ask them to protect us from wars, violence, killings, accidents, disabling illnesses and bad people. Also from selfishness, pride, hopelessness and depression. Dear Archangels, please protect us from leaders who lead us into the “valley of tears.”

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Inviting you to “Walk with God to Manaoag,” our biennial thanksgiving and petition walk, on Oct. 1, starting at 5 a.m. from Urdaneta Cathedral in Pangasinan, ending with a 9 a.m. Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag. We offer this walk especially for peace and true progress in our country, in our families and homes, and in the whole world. Please remember that October is the month of the Rosary. Let us pray more, pray much, and pray on!

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Let us acknowledge and pray for the seafarers and their families today as the Catholic Church in the Philippines celebrates the 21st National Seafarers Day.

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Think about this: “We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.” (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, You are a just and loving God. Help us to believe and not give up on divine justice. Amen.

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TAGS: Archangel Gabriel, Archangel Michael, Archangel Raphael, justice, National Seafarers Day, san Lorenzo ruiz
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