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Trust God, work hard

by Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

At dawn of March 18, 1994, the day my late father was to be interred, I was awakened at four in the morning. My table lamp, switched off then, suddenly started to go on and off. It stopped for a while, then it happened again. I could no longer sleep afterwards.

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The next day after returning home from the funeral, I placed the black handbag I used for blessing on top of a table. While taking a nap, I heard a loud noise that hit the floor. I got up, looked around and saw the black bag on the floor, its contents spilled out. Was my just-interred Papa making his presence felt?

The experience was so real that it reinforced my belief in immortal spirits or ghosts.

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The gospel of this 3rd Easter Sunday also relates about ghost. His disciples, who were overcome by doubts and misgivings, thought they were seeing a ghost when they encountered the Risen Lord (Lk 24,37).

Jesus tried to dispel their doubts saying: “Touch me, and see that a ghost does not have flesh and bones as I do” (v. 39). He even ate some barbecued fish with them to prove that he really had a body.

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What kind of body did the risen Christ have? In his article “Who Would Want to Go to Heaven?” Jim Auer writes that Christ’s glorified body was different than before. Neither was it a ghost or disembodied being.

The Risen Lord could eat and drink, but he wasn’t limited by material objects like walls and doors. He appeared and disappeared whenever he wanted. This is a hint of what our own risen bodies will be like after death.

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FAITH BOOSTER. The appearances of the Risen Lord served to bolster the drooping faith of his close followers buffeted by doubts and misgivings. “Was he really the expected Messiah?” “Did he really rise from the dead?” were the questions bugging their minds.

The disciples’ attitude represents our own at times. Yes, for us Christians believing in the Risen Lord is not very much a problem. But in PRACTICAL LIFE, our faith sometimes wavers when assailed by doubts, failures and difficulties.

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For instance, we pray desperately for something, say, the cure of a sickness or turn-around of a moribund business, but the response is a deafening silence.

We should remember that faith is accepting God not only in good times, but also in bad.

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In the Old Testament story of the suffering Job his wife taunted him to deny his God. To which Job replied: “You speak like a foolish woman. You have received good things from the hand of God, why should we not receive bad also?”

The story teaches that if one is faithful, patient and persevering amidst sufferings, he will be rewarded in the end just like Job. Of course, you should also exert effort to remedy your problem.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. A guy to his friend: “I’ve been drinking the whole night in order to drown my problems.” Friend says, ”What happened?” The guy replied: “I was surprised my problems are good swimmers!

Lesson: Drinking is not the solution. It will even add another problem – hangover the next day or some sickness. Try praying over your problem.

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