Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Why Settle For Less?

Why settle for less? This is the main point of the Gospel today. Jesus had already done a lot of miracles and had spoken great words of wisdom to the people. For Him, it should be enough for them to realize who He really is. At least, regard Him as no ordinary man and worthy of great consideration. However, they wanted more. They asked a sign from Him. Something more spectacular. Something up to their standard or what constitutes a work of God. Jesus got very angry. He felt that what He had done and said should be sufficient for them to believe. He decided not to give them signs. Then He proceeded to site what the Ninevites did. How they heeded the plea of Jonah for repentance. He also cited how the queen of the south travelled from a far away place just to seek the wisdom of Solomon. If the Ninevites heard Jonah, who was a prophet, and the queen of the south exerted effort to hear the wisdom of Solomon who is a king, why would the people now not hear, recognize, and accept Jesus, who is the Son of God? He is greater than Jonah or the queen of the south. Much much greater in fact!

Maybe we can say that it was really hard to make that claim and ascent to faith. The fact that the Jews believed in one God, how can they accommodate another God, much less one who is claqiming to be the Son of God? Ang hirap talaga ng kalagayan ng mga Hudyo. And I could say that if I were there, I would also find it hard to immediately make that act of faith. I admit, the thought of another God is too much for an ordinary believer.

But there comes the inspiration of God in His Spirit. Peter was able to profess Jesus as the Messiah because it was revealed to Him by the Father. We can also profess the Lordship of Jesus only in the Spirit. If we are open to the Truth, if we are willing to travel the Way, and if we are lovers of Life, we can make that leap of faith. Our generation can be considered more lucky than the Jews. Compared to the Jews, we now know the whole story of Jesus. We have put together the whole plan of salvation by God both in Scriptures and Tradition. We have seen the fulfillment of the New Testament of the promises of the Old Testament. We knew of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We knew the birth of Christianity. We received the testimony of the apostles and the early Christians. We have so many reasons to believe in Jesus as the Son of God. We have so many reasons to believe that we have the right and true faith. Why settle for less? Why hear more the word of others? Why practice the ways of the world more than the ways of God? Why be more inspired or commit to views and principles of personalities who are less compared to the Lord? The Lord Jesus is greater than anyone, anything, or any event.

When we ignore the the Lord Jesus in favor of others, we are settling for less. When we live principles and ways that are contrary to the ways and teachings of the Lord Jesus, we are settling for less. When we continue to be ignorant of the Lord Jesus and be more aware of others, we are settling for less. When we continue to live and regard the things of the world more than we regard the Lord Jesus, we are settling for less. Settle for Jesus. Settle for God.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


There are those who are afraid of "forever". While it was supposed to be a very positive and favorite word, to some, it had generated fear and confusion. Especially when we apply it to a relationship called, marriage. There are actually few events when one is required to make a vow of forever. Off hand, there is priesthood. A priest like me, once ordained, is a priest forever. Even when I have decided to "get out of the priesthood", it only means that I was just freed from the vow of celibacy and had been laicisized (act of becoming a lay person). But if I baptize, celebrate mass, hear confession, etc., it will still be valid but illicit. The power to dispense the ministry is never erased or taken back. I liken it to a doctor whose license had been revoked. His capacity and capability to heal are not affected. The license is just a proof of what the doctor is allowed to do. The perpetual vow of a nun is another. It is a bit different in the sense that it can be revoked. A nun, even if she had made a perpetual vow, could still get out of the congregation and becomes a lay person.

Marriage had been destined by God to be forever. Others would even want it to extend beyond forever. But it is clear from the Lord Jesus that in heaven, relationships like husband and wife do not exist anymore. We can say that there are three kinds of "marriages". We can call the first as "kasal sa banig" or common law marriage. " I love you. You Love me. Let us live together." The witness to their marriage is their home. It relies on each others intention alone. No law, tradition or covenant binds them except their promise to each other. In many cases, it is problematic and weak. Once one of the couple decides to stop, it can be stopped. It lacks institutional or external support that will help them think about their situation. The second is marriage by (civil) law. The marriage is usually done by the officer of the law, the local official, or anyone authorized by the law. The couple is bounded by the laws on marriage of the place. The marriage is considered legal. In any situation regarding the marriage, the law applies. It is not, however, guaranteed to be forever. There are now provisions in the law that allow "annulment" (process of invalidating one that had been declared valid due to reasons provided by the law). One only had to seek a lawyer who can facilitate the process of annulment. The third is sacramental marriage or more commonly known as "church marriage". The law of God applies. It is a pledge of love forever to love each other ( for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, for better for worse, till death do them part). It is a lifetime commitment. Much more, it is a sign of God's love for the Church. Every marriage is supposed to reflect that truth. The married couple is suppose to give witness to the love that God had for us His people. The unconditional love of God is also forever, even beyond forever. He loves us even after our death. That is why sacramental marriage can not be compared with other marriages. It has an essentially spiritual nature. It is salvific in purpose. The marriage of a couple should aid the couple and other members of the family to be saved.

Forever therefore makes us enter into the realm of the beyond. While it is true that life here on earth will end, we have hope that life will continue in the next life in a different state. Forever ends our human existence but opens our spiritual one. Death is a forever. New life is a forever. Forever is life!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Word of God Defeats Temptation.

This First Sunday of Lent we are presented with the scene of the temptation of Jesus by the devil. Makes me think if the devil really attempted to lure the Son of God to go against His will? It means convincing Him to disobey the Father? It means to abandon His divinity? For what acceptable, even diabolic and deceptive reason, would the devil has the courage and cunning to even make any offer to Jesus and hope to triumph even in the tiniest quantity? This is really baffling. And I thought the devil is more intelligent and wise than man?

Examining the exchange between Jesus and the devil, we can say that the "temptations" used by the devil are is almost irresistible. The temptations address the very basic human craving. The devil gave an offer no one can refuse. As it happened, except Jesus! Jesus responded, not fled, to the challenge of the devil. His secret? The Word of God. Scriptures! What is written! Desperate, the devil deceptively and wrongly quoted what had been written, thinking he can beat Jesus in His own game. But how can the devil win over Jesus over Scriptures. Jesus is the Word made flesh! Jesus against Jesus? Ha, ha, ha! Here, the devil is completely controlled be Jesus. The devil realized that he can never win for the very act of tempting God is against what is written!

This gives us the lesson that the Word of God is the essence of holy life. All temptations could only be transcended and avoided if we know and live the Word. Obedience to God is realized by our obedience to the Word. Obedience to God is obedience to Jesus, the Word of God. The Word of God is the antidote to the lord of the lie. This also gives us the idea that temptations can be addressed. Temptations would not result to sin if we have the courage and the will to resist them. Temptations are even opportunities to prove to God our faith. When we overcome them, we move closer to God, a step up the ladder of holiness.

We may pursue intensely and relentlessly the reason for the temptation of Jesus by the devil, but I believe, the more important fact is its reality. If Jesus, the Son of God was tempted, not once but thrice, how much more are we? Jesus had given us the way to face temptations. He had also given us great hope that it can be defeated. He had shown that it is an opportunity to show God's power and wisdom. Temptations do not necessarily and must not lead to sin. Rather, it should be seen as a chance to show our faith in God.

So, let us equip ourselves. Jesus Himself fasted for forty days and forty nights in the desert. And then, let the Word of God rule our lives. Just like with Jesus, the devil's only recourse is to retreat and hope to find another time when we can succumb to his offers. Vigilance is therefore another aspect we must be aware of. The battle for human soul on this earth is never done. As long as we live, evil may strike anytime in any place to anyone.

Election 102 - After All There is Hope!

This morning, I was awakened by the proclamation rally of a new political party called "Ang Kapatiran". It promotes value and duty as its rallying points. It offers, for senatorial positions, three budding but principled and experienced candidates namely,Zosimo Paredes, a former military man and participant of the controversial Visiting Forces Agreement; Dr. Martin Bautista, a young (44 years of age) balikbayan medical specialist in gastroenterology who returned to the country after establishing a successful rural practice in Oklahoma, USA; and another lawyer, broadcaster and Ateneo teacher, Adrian Sison. They have a theme song, "Pananagutan", a Catholic worship song about our responsibility to neighbors. They offer good governance and claims to respond to the needs of our country. They appear serious in their quest for a better Philippines, and....for me, they sound credible and capable.

I know that as a man of the robe, I am not supposed to be partisan. But watching and hearing the three candidates speak, I told myself, there is hope for our country. A party had courageously appeared to challenge the existing parties. Maybe that is one of the keys in our political environment, "challenge". The existing parties believe that they are the only alternatives, They believe that their ways and tactics are the only name of the game. The Kapatiran offers a new, hopeful, and good governance. Their offer, if they are serious and determined, would be best accepted and tried! They have a lot to say with regards to taxes, agriculture, population, labor, love of country, industry etc. Their ideas are not novel, but are just not being tried.

I encourage you to try them by hearing what they are saying. Scrutinize their sincerity and open your hearts and minds to the possibility of their aims. We might just give "trapos" and "ambitious" candidates the challenge they needed in order to force them to put up or shut up!
At least, with these kinds and new breeds of legislators and governors, politics will be raised to higher levels. If that happens, we are the only beneficiaries!

Are you a Kapatid?

Friday, February 23, 2007

Election 101- The Problem Like The Philippine Elections

Am I kidding? I will be writing my reflection on the coming elections? Well, for your information, I am the Archdiocese of Manila Parish Pastoral Council For Responsible Voting (PPCRV). Di yata bagay kung di man lang ako magbigay ng ilang kalat-kalat na mga kaisipan tungkol dito.

I just attended today a meeting of representatives of the different Catholic schools here in Metro Manila and the provinces. I was surprised at the big turn out of participants. Talaga ngang iba talaga kapag eleksiyon na ang topic. I heard the Cardinal a month ago, He mentioned a study stating that the most popular and productive business here in our country is....POLITICS! Daming mayaman pag eleksyon. Daming inilalabas na pera pag eleksyon. Bumabaha ng pera kapag eleksyon. That is why one wonders why would one be a candidate in an election especially here in the Philippines. Candidates had revealed how much they need or would probably spend in these elections. With the salary they would get, it would really take many many years before they are able to recover them. Unless, of course if they engage in massive corruption. Unless they would make use of their power and authority to exact influence for their vested interest.

I would admit that there was a time when I had lost all hopes in the future of our country. I do not know how I could accept the things that are happening around us. Elections for one. Cheating at different levels are known and done in broad daylight! With due respect to the present candidates, we have to admit that the quality had gone very low. There was a time na "wala kang itulak kabigin" on the candidates for election because they were all capable and worthy. Now, it is still the same, "wala paring itulak kabigin" but this time because it seems that there are only few who are worthy!? How did we arrive at this point in the history of our country? Wala na bang kahulugan at halaga ang mga pinaghirapan ng ating mga bayani at ninuno? Parang hindi na nila binigyan ng respeto at halaga ang mga nagbuwis ng buhay para sa ating bansa. Are we really going to the dogs?

Nauso na yung kahit kulang ang kakayanan ay tumakbo pa rin because they could win. They will just find people who had the capacity to work for them as staff. We can say that our congress had become a playing field of the staff and not the winning candidates. In the first place, the elected candidate really does not know what he is supposed to do. Meron pa ngang senador na habang nasa session eh tumatanggap through text ng translation ng mga pangyayari sa floor! Bakit pinapayagan ito? I also came to know that one senator really was not able to make one law by himself. The staff were bragging that they were the ones who had done all the work and the thinking! Anak ng kagaw! The elected is not performing his job! The selected staff are the ones providing us the laws? Ngek!

Ngayon ko lang talaga nauunawaan ang ibig sabihin ng "kapal ng mukha". When you do not care anymore what many would say; when you do not care whether you will be up to the challenge or not; when you believe you can get away with anything; when you think you do not need to think anymore; when you are just concerned about today and to hell with tomorrow; when platforms and promises are just to get votes; when voters are taken advantage of their weaknesses; when "winnability" ranks better than "responsibility", "character" and "principle"; grabe...I can go and on...I will stop here before kumapal ng kumapal!

How about hope? How about fighting? How about faith? How about how? Everything has an ending. This has to end one day. Are we willing to wait? Walang mawawala, di ba? We just had to continue our quest for what we believe. Good would one day triumph over evil. God's WILL will be done. We must die fighting. We must meet every day thinking that it will bring us new things, new beginnings and hopefully, a renewed people! ("Kung mangarap ka at magising.")

After all is said and done, the issue and the problem are still before us. We can not but face them Running away from them will not make them go away. We just had to go through them. Hopefully, we will come out well...... and alive!

One advice lang to all. Please take the time to vote. Do not abandon your responsibility. If many will not vote, then, the true voice of the elections is not reflected. It will be unfair to everybody.

Sacrifice must lead to Charity

It is the Lenten Season and there are three things we must do in order to prepare to enter into the Holy Week. Prayer, Fasting, and doing acts of Charity. The three are very much related. We can say that the latter two are closely entwined like the sides of a coin. Sacrifice must result to an act of charity. If one saves something because of a sacrifice, the best thing to do is to give it to charity. If one's sacrifice will lead to the benefit of another, it can be called "heaven'!

The early Christians practiced it. It paved the way for the introduction of "indulgence" in the Catholic Faith. There was a time when martyrs, out of their martyrdom, would produce salvific graces which they do not need. At that time too, there were Christians, afraid of being put to death, would deny their faith. After some time, there was a question of whether they would be accepted back to the faith because of their renunciation. If they will be accepted, how would they be accepted? What would entail their process of acceptance? Here, the graces merited by the martyrs were applied. It was called "indulgence". By virtue of the intercession of the martyrs, lapsi Christians were accepted back to the faith.

But now, it can be practiced in other ways. This season of lent, we can decide to give up some things that are dear or important to us for the sake of making sacrifices. This disciplining of self may lead to the saving some money which we can gather and later offer them as charity to others. None is more meaningful than to benefit from something which was the result of the sacrifice of another. Try to decide (if you have not yet done it...) what will you give up this Lenten season (about 40 days!). Giving up of food, recreation, luxuries, attitudes, etc will all help us make great sacrifices and have opportunities to help others too. To have a world of people who sacrifice for the sake of their needy neighbor is heaven on earth!

For once, or twice, or thrice.....try sacrificing for the sake of charity. It will be heaven!

Prayer is feeling God's wonderful presence.

Why not "ask", "plead", or "beg"? Why "pray", some would question? Prayer has a very special meaning. In most cases, it applies to one's relationship with God. It has a distinct characteristic. It involves humility, dependence, hope, faith, and love. It may deal with material needs or contentment in life, but it is really about the next life. It is geared towards life eternal. Salvation is its destiny and expected fruit. We pray to be led and guided to the fullness of life.

If indeed all prayers are answered, why are there claims they are not true? Maybe one answer would be, "Can you imagine if ALL our prayers are ANSWERED as we prayed?" It would be an underestimation if we say the world will be in confusion if not destruction. Our millions of prayers vary from the most simple to the most weird. From the most peaceful to the most violent. From the most reasonable to the most preposterous. Prayers have their particular purpose.

To come to pray means to ache and feel the presence of the Almighty. We turn to God when we have no one and nothing to turn to. We turn to God when what we need is more than what this world could give. We turn to God to fill the emptiness in our selves. We turn to God because we were created in His image. We turn to God because our hearts will not rest until it rests in Him. We pray to God to be with Him. We pray to God because He is presence par excellence!

Having been with God can bring a feeling of bliss. It gives a taste of the unknown. It helps us enter into the beyond. God's presence is really an enough! It is really a wonder how many had not discovered this yet. How some would fulfill their prayer by mouthing formal and made prayers. Not that they are bad, it is just that they were sincerely made by their originators. It takes to be in their condition, heart, and mind in order to fathom and own their intentions. It also brings forth the important reality that prayer is more listening than speaking. It is God who we are meeting. It is His Word that is more important than our words. The only way we can know and understand God is when we listen. This attitude must be learned no matter how uncomfortable it is at times. When we get use to it, we will discover the tranquility it will bring. We will also discover that the Word of God is really not hard to hear. We will finally be able to know His Will. And if we have the courage to make it real in our lives, our prayer will lead us to a deeper and meaningful relationship with God.

Searching and aching for God's presence? Pray!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Global Warming

Some 12 big companies had finally decided to respond positively by cooperating with the world cause to stop the escalating effects of global warming. Scientists are already very alarmed at the great increase of world temperature. Our present 1.3 degree increase is very close to the 2 degree limit which estimated to be the critical point of global warming. The gathering of carbon monoxide (by-product of the use of coal and oil) in the atmosphere had enveloped the world and had led to the increase in temperature. Further production of carbon monoxide is entrapped in the inner earth atmosphere which further contributes to a hotter atmosphere. The carbon monoxide is supposed to be an ally against ultraviolet rays of the sun. It serves as a shield especially in places where the ozone layer had been destroyed. But too much of it, while it protects us against UV rays from the sun, threatens us with global warming.

Global warming has many devastating effects. Increase in world temperature directly attacks the ice regions. Increase in temperature slowly melts the ice which becomes water. The amount of ice we have can flood the whole world when melted. The movie "Waterworld" (Kevin Costner), now becomes a reality. Because of the melting/thinning of ice in different places, some who are used to it (like polar bears), are now migrating to cooler places. The melted ice is a source of water to some places in the world. They are worthy when they melt slowly bringing a steady supply to their beneficiaries. But when melted easily, they become a threat. It had been said that the calamities we had for the last years had been mostly because of climate change. This is not hard to believe. Climate is something that is hard to control. If we vary temperatures, climate behavior will also change. In most cases, devastating.

There are a lot of sites (e.g. where we can gain important and reliable knowledge regarding this critical phenomenon. They also provide ways we can help to advance its advocacies. Let us get involve. This not a time to just be fence-sitters. Everyone will be affected. Let us act before it is too late!

Salvation Guaranteed

We celebrate today the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, The Apostle. The stress is on the "chair"! So what is in a chair? The feast recognizes the teaching authority of the Church. That the Church (Pope, Bishops, and even priests), when she teaches on faith and morals is faithful to the teaching of Jesus. After the resurrection, before Jesus went back to His Father, He entrusted to Peter and the apostles the responsibility of spreading the Gospel and passing on of the teaching (Scriptures and Tradition). The Lord Jesus asked Peter if he loves the Lord, three times. Three times, Peter answered yes. Notice that every after answer of Peter, Jesus would add that Peter should tend His sheep or feed His flock. Peter and the apostles would pass on the deposits of faith to succeeding generations. They will share their experience of Jesus (what they have heard, seen, felt, and even tasted and smelled!). The authority had been transmitted to the Popes, Bishops and to priests through ordination. The priest is therefore responsible in seeing to it that the Good News is preached.

This is very concrete in the administration of the sacraments. The sacraments are considered as channels of graces from God. Every Catholic avails of the sacraments in order to experience and benefit from the saving grace of God. Does the spiritual condition of the priest matters? Accidentally or externally, it may. But essentially or spiritually, it does not. In other words, the sinfulness or holiness of the priest does not determine the validity and being effective of the sacrament. Of course it helps to have a priest who delivers well his homily or celebrates the sacrament with deliberation and sincerity, the essential effect of the sacrament is the same for ALL priests. So, it follows that even if it is a priest, or a Bishop, or a Pope who baptizes, they have the SAME EFFECT! The graces available and received for each sacrament are the same. Otherwise, doon na lang tayo pakasal o pabinyag sa obispo, papa o banal na pari. It follows too that we might have few if not out of choices! In the ministry of the priesthood, salvation is guaranteed.

Let us be thankful to God that His graces are always available even in the most unusual and complicated of circumstances.

As for us priests, I pray that we will be faithful to our ministry so that we will be effective servants of God.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Countdown to 50! Where is Emil?

Seventy-four days na lang pala bago ang aking 50th birthday. Malapit na pala akong maging "golden boy"! To many who know this, I always tell them to "surprise me". What is in being "50"? Is it really a lot different? Di naman katulad ng senior citizen na meron ng 20% discount sa maraming commodities. Well, at least, it is an achievement. That will be the day when I can tell myself, I had gone through life. Malayu-layo na rin ang narating. For whatever it is, I am already very thankful to God for having given me this life, 50 or not 50. I can remember fully and clearly the times when I could not have reached this point of my life. When I was about seven, I fell from our window in the 2nd floor of our house. I was dead when my father saw me. He did not panic. Immediately he tried to revive me. I regained consciousness. Thanks to him. Then, when I was in high school,I nearly got drowned in Mariveles, Bataan. We crossed the sea to picnic at the other side. While we were having our picnic, sand (20 ft mountain high) was taken from the sea right on the path we would take on our way back. Not expecting that hollowed part, I felt myself going down bottom level. .I did not know how to swim. Emil, one of our companions (a native of Mariveles Bataan) dived to save me. I owe my life to him.

I thank God for the gift of life. I pray that He will continue to guide me. I know He loves me. I know He cares for me. I hope I can be equally faithful and loving! I hope I can make this life worthy of His generosity!

The Triduum is One!

Holy Week is the climax of the Catholic worship. Preluded and prepared by the Season of Lent and Palm Sunday up to Holy Wednesday, the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil) is the essence, the height, and Mother of all liturgical activities. Ont thing must be stressed regarding the Triduum. It is actually ONE liturgy spread in a span of three days. It is the finale of story of God's love to us in Jesus Christ. The sign of the cross is done at the beginning of Holy Thursday and at the end of the Easter Vigil.

Therefore, we have no reason why we will not be present in the Triduum to experience God's love. We want to be there to receive God's saving grace. We will be there to respond to the love that God had given us. We are fortunate to have a country which respects our faith. During the Triduum, every office and every worker is given a chance to take a vacation. All Catholics are given the time to render homage and worship to God. It is but responsible, moral, and truly Catholic for everyone to give to God what is to God. Bilang utang na loob natin sa lubhang malaking pag-ibig at kagandahang ng Diyos, marapat lamang na ibigay natin ang buo nating atensyon at sarili sa mga araw na iyon.

Sana ay mag-isip isip ang mga magulang na planuhing mabuti ang mga araw na iyon. Marami sa atin ang hindi sinasamantala ang mga banal na araw na iyon. There are those who take advantage of the time to go on vacation to a far away place for an R and R. Others would just spend the time watching tv (kasi may cable tv na!), play cards and gamble, go swimming, play mahjong, etc. and compromise if not disregard attending the celebrations. "Mahaba" daw ang mga rites. Di ba hindi naman kaso ang haba? If something is very important to you, length of time does not matter. When we are with someone we love, we want to stay close forever? Yung pagkainip ay tanda ng kawalan ng interes and therefore, pagmamahal. Di mo ba mahal ang Diyos? Di mo ba mahal sarili mo? Can we not stay with God for an hour, two hours, three hours or four hours? Di ba wala naman tayong dapat pagkaabalahan during those days?

When will we take advantage of the opportunities we are being given? When will we take advantage of God's presence in the Eucharist? When will we realize that these liturgies are salvific and not just a waste of time or "rituals" that had no deeper, significant, or spiritual meaning? Sana ngayon na. Hopefully when not we can not move, speak, or feel anymore. The time to respond is here and now.

See you on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil. No, it is not me who is inviting nor you are going to see. It is the Lord!

Is it going to happen?

Among the many great concerns of our world today, "global warming" ranks the most urgent, I suppose. Many who are aware of its present and future effects are already very alarmed (yours truly included) not only because of its rapid occurrences but also of the magnitude it had been coming. Last August, a big chunk of the glaciers in the North Arctic Region near Canada, suddenly crushed to the sea without warning. The effect of its falling was heard more than 200 miles far. Before, many Eco-scientists believed that the melting of the ice would be gradual but now, they are not melting anymore but are crashing in big chunks. The fallen glacier measured an area equivalent to 11,000 football fields (660 hectares?). Wow!

It is said that by 2100, because of global warming, the world will be covered with water! Well, our consolation is that we will not be there anymore. But our great great grandchildren will be! The next 25 yrs. had been tagged as very crucial about ten years ago. Now, it is said that the next TEN years will be crucial!

A Tibetan monk came to know about the climbing of the top of the Mt. Everest. While it is a cause for joy and victory to many (including the Philippines!), to the monk, it is a cause for alarm. Before, the monk could not imagine that the mountain maybe conquered because of the thickness of its ice. The fact that many had climbed it shows that the ice HAD THINNED! There is no other cause for that excessive thinning of the ice other than global warming.

Can we still do anything to stop its snowballing devastating effect? There is nothing lost with trying. Anything we can do, no matter how small, would matter. If we can not stop its ultimate effect, we can at least delay it. Resignation? No, just being realistic. But that is human appraisal. That is human mind. For one who believes in God, there is hope. God is the creator and master of the universe. Nature obeys God. Our last resort will be our faith. If we change our ways, God will pave the way. If we begin to care for the earth, God will save us from such a horrible death. If we finally love this creation fashioned and offered to us by God to steward, God who can not be outdone in generosity, will give us His reward. In other words, it boils down to faith. It boils down to knowing who we are. A realization of our true nature will help us relate with nature truly.

Will it happen? Will global warming bring this world to its knees? Maybe, maybe not. Only God knows!

Lent is Lending

It just dawned on me that "lent" is also the past tense of "lend". It then means, "given away". The word itself leads us to an attitude which we must have during the season. Dapat handang-handa rin tayong "magbigay" at "mag-alay". We have to admit that in most cases, we prefer to acquire, to have, to take. In the Lenten season, baligtad. Generosity, sacrifice and being other-centered is the prevalent mood activity.

We must lend our time, our talents, and yes, even our treasures. Pagkakataon na para bumisita sa mga kaibigan, makinig sa kanila, samahan sila, o kaya ay kahit alalahanin man lang sila. Pagkakataon din para mag-ukol ng ano mang magagawa natin gamit ang ating mga kakayahan para sa ikabubuti ng iba. Kinantahan mo na ba yung nanay o kaibigan mo? Kung magaling ka sa Math, nag-offer ka bang mag-tutor? May style o gimik ka bang effective in whatever field that if shared would benefit others too? Pagkakataon din naman na mag-abuloy kung may kakayahan ka na magbahagi ng kayamanan sa iba. Maraming mga institution ang gumagawa ng mga makabuluhang kawanggawa sa mga nangangailangan ng ating lipunan tulad ng Caritas Manila, Home for the Aged, Holy Cross, atbp. na makasisiguro ka na ang iyong ibibigay ay makakarating sa mga kinauukulan.

Ganito pinlano ng Diyos ang mundo at sangkatauhan. Nagtutulungan, nagbabahaginana, nagbibigayan. Kung bawat isa ay nasa ganitong attitude, maraming suliranin ang malulunasan at hindi na muling iiral. Ang tanong nga lang eh handa ba tayo? Kakayanin ba natin?

Kaya mag-aral at magsanay na tayong mag-lent!

May your lenten season bring you closer to God!