Saturday, March 24, 2007

To carry others' burdens

5th Sunday of Lent
Cycle C

Have our hearts become numb to the needs and feelings of others? Do we hold grudges against others and not want to let go through forgiveness?

When I was a child, there was once a very old, poor woman who had been pestering my mother to buy mangoes. I said, "If we always buy from her, we'll lose all our money. And besides, I feel that she's abusing your goodness."

My mother just smiled at me, not minding my foolish accusations. she continued to buy mangoes from the old mendicant.

One time, my mother was not at home when the old lady came. With arrogance in my heart, I told her,"She's not in." She pleaded for me to get the mangoes because my mother would buy them anyway. But I refused and remained uncompromising. She gave in and what she did afterwards is something I will not forget for the rest of my life.

With her bag still full of fresh mangoes, the old, thin, frail lady lifted them all up and placed them on her head. I asked her,"Where are you going?" She said, "I still have a long way to go. I have to sell all these mangoes." With that she left and I cried.

I understood why my mother had to buy mangoes from her. Not because she wanted those mangoes for us to eat. Rather, it was to help the old lady up in carrying her burdens.

This lenten season, learn from the ways of the Lord in forgiving the adulterous woman. Learn also when the Lord has to forgive somebody like you and me.

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Friday, March 16, 2007


4th Sunday of Lent
Cycle C

The Parable of the Prodigal Son gives way to the Parable of the Loving Father.

It is the Father who is the main character here. The son is the antagonist. It's the father who waits for the son. The son squanders everything the father gives him. The father's love is supreme. The son's love is conditional. The father is self-giving, the son is selfish. This is the story of the loving Father.

Grant that we may see that it is not our actions that causes our salvation. All we can do is go to the Father. Like Mary, we can only say "Yes." But it is the Father's entire doing.

This coming Holy Week, we shall again experience the love of the Father through the self-offering of Jesus. Remember, it is totally God's action to save. Accept it by saying "Yes."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Why do bad things happen to good people?

3rd Sunday of Lent
Cycle C

"Why do bad things happen to good people?"

This is not just a title of a book; it is also a notion shared by many.

As God's grace falls on both the good and the bad, so too human weakness inflicts every person. But what separates the real Christian from the others is his faith. The unbeliever will rely on his own strength, but the Christian will rely totally on God and will find peace and real strength to endure the trials.

Whether believer or unbeliever, God is giving all of us the chance for conversion. How true is St. Paul when he said, "The Lord loved us even though we were sinners."

We should always recognize our need to turn to God in good times. For when the real trials start, we may realize that God has been with us all along.

Share your experiences on how you are living the gospel and enrich others as well.