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Storms of life

 

BY FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

 

 

 

wrd word alive bel san luis

THE gospel story for this 19th Sunday relates about our Lord walking on water. Somebody joked that he did this because he could not afford the exorbitant fare charged by the profiteering boat owners!

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When Jesus was walking on the Sea of Galilee at about three o’clock at dawn, his disciples thought it was a ghost. Peter recognized him. He asked the Lord to let him walk on the water, too (Mt 14,28). He wanted him to suspend the laws of Nature and experience the miracle.

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Peter was very human. Like Peter, we want to see signs and miracles. Some people who have the means don’t mind traveling and spending considerable amounts to go to places where miracles are reportedly happening.

There is nothing wrong about that. For them, however, faith in God seems to hinge on miracles only.

The story of the prophet Elijah in this Sunday’s first reading is an object lesson.

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When the Lord told him to go to the mountain because he would pass by, Elijah expected a stupendous event with heavenly fireworks. But God did not appear in a mighty wind, or a great fire, or even in an earthquake. Instead, to his amazement, Elijah felt the divine presence in a breeze so gentle that it was like a whisper (cf. 1 Kgs. 19,9ff).

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FAITH AMIDST TRIALS. The second timely lesson of the gospel episode concerns faith amidst crisis signified by the stormy winds and waves. Today we are experiencing crisis in this trying Covid-19 pandemic. Some workers of a dress shop I happened to meet related their severe financial problem. For the past four months, the shop closed which, for them, was tantamount to getting suffocated financially. They had to borrow money everywhere. Some of them who were sending money to their parents in the province was cut.

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However, after four months, to their great joy, their shop started reopening but when the recent Extended Community Quarantine (ECQ), a stricter lockdown, was re-imposed, the owner of the shop threw up her arms in despair. She told the workers she was closing her shop for good. It was a severe blow for the poor workers.

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There are other adversities that stagger many during this pandemic time. Think of those who were tested positive and tragically died. Think, too, of those afflicted of advance cancer, the sudden death of a loved one or family problems as a result of losing a job or business.

We turn to God and, like Peter, we cry out, “Lord save us” (Mt 14,31). The Lord is telling us that amidst the storms of life, we should not lose faith in him.

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Let’s not forget one important thing. Faith is not fatalism or irresponsibility. Indeed, God does help. But we must not forget doing our part, too. As the saying goes: “God helps those who help themselves.” Yes, if we can remedy our problems and trials, by all means, let’s do it.

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For instance, we pray for the speedy end of COVID-19 but we don’t follow the restrictions and taking lightly the safety measures like wearing the masks, shunning social distancing or submitting oneself for examinations and quarantine, then our prayers have no effect.

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Let’s pray that when powerful storms of life threaten us, we will not lose hope and that the Lord will not say, “Oh you men/women of little faith, why did you doubt?”

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. During this trying time of COVID-19, a man says to his friend, “I’m a walking economy.” How so?” asks his friend. “My hairline is in recession, my stomach is a victim of inflation, and both of these together are putting me in a depression!”

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“Better to be 2 meters away than 6 feet…below the ground.”

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A well known neighborhood physician and his young son were attending a Mass. During the prayer of intentions, the priest read a list of the departed members of the parish and asked the congregation to pray for them.

“Papa,” the son said in clear voice, audible to all sitting nearby, “weren’t all those people your patients?”

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HELP SEMINARIANS. It’s enrollment time of seminarians again. Share an amount or sponsor a seminarian’s schooling. Seminarians are very important in the Church. Without them, we cannot have priests, bishops, and popes since they all start as seminarians.

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For further inquiry, e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com.

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FAMILY TV MASS is aired on 5PLUS Channel 59 at 6-7 a.m. today Sunday and anytime at SVD Family TV Mass on YouTube. Priest presider: FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD.

The FAMILY that prays together stays together.

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For inquiries, e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com.

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