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Road to hell

 

BY FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD

 

 

wrd word alive bel san luis

A MAN man died and went to heaven. At the Pearly Gate, St. Peter welcomed him, then gave him a tour. As they were entering a big hall, the man recoiled with fear, seeing so many tongues hanging inside.

“St. Peter, how weird this place is! Why are there so many tongues hanging?” the man asked. “Those are the tongues of those who had many good intentions but never acted on them. Only their tongues reached heaven,” St. Peter answered.

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In this 26th Sunday’s gospel, the Lord relates the parable of the two sons. The elder son, who was told by his father to work in the vineyard, said he would go, but never went. Like the owners of those tongues in the above story, he had the good intention but never acted on it.

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The younger son who was also told to work, refused to go, but later regretted it and went. “Which of the two did the will of the father?” Jesus asked. The chief priests and the elders of the temple answered correctly, “The second.”

The younger son represented the tax collectors and prostitutes whose lives had been a “NO” to God, but who repented and entered the kingdom of God. In contrast, the elder son symbolized the Jewish leaders who professed to be religious but did not respond to John the Baptist’s call for repentance.

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Jesus was proposing this little “quiz” not to see how smart his listeners were but to drive home the point that, in their relationship with God, it is not what you say or your good intentions that matter most but rather WHAT YOU DO.

There’s a saying that goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” We have good intentions about many good things we should do.

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We intend to give up those habits like excessive drinking, eating, and recreations that are destructive to our lives. We intend to get rid of our cheating, selfishness, and dishonesty. We intend to be more loving, more compassionate, more sensitive to the needs of others. We intend to re-examine our values and our priorities. But we have so many other things on our minds that we don’t have time to follow through on our good intentions. Jesus’ parable is a WARNING.

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Besides warning us, Jesus also expresses HOPE. That’s why even public sinners like the prostitutes and corrupt tax collectors who REPENTED were forgiven. We may have been slaves to some sin in the past, we may have been sensual like Mary Magdalene, dishonest like the tax collector Matthew, or violent like Paul, but we can rise from our sins. We can change. There’s always hope. There’s no room for despair.

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THANK YOU, PINOY SEAFARERS

Today, Sept. 27, is National Seafarers Sunday. According to the office of the Apostleship of the Sea in Manila headed by Fr. Paulo Prigol, CS, director and chaplain, “seafarers” is a broad term which refers to people working in ships, active and retired seamen, fishermen, those waiting for maritime employment, including maritime students.

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While the Apostleship of the Sea primarily gives seafarers spiritual comfort and assistance, it also provides counseling and para-legal assistance in the cases of abusive and illegal treatments, medical claims on accidents, and disability in the line of duty.

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We thank our numerous seafarers for the billions in remittances they contribute to the country. Their work abroad, however, has been severely affected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, we cannot deny the noble work and sacrifices they are doing.

We pray for them and their families, especially when they are tempted to infidelity and succumb to vices due to loneliness and long separation. We pray also that the COVID-19 global crisis will end soon. We believe, “What’s impossible with men is possible with God.”

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SUPPORT SEMINARIANS. It’s enrolment time. Let’s support our seminarians by sharing an amount or sponsor a seminarian’s schooling for a year through our Adopt-A-Seminarian scholarship program. Seminarians are very important in the Church. Without them, we cannot have priests, missionaries, bishops, and popes. 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 from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. every Sunday and anytime at “MCFI SVD Media” on YouTube and Facebook page. Priest presider: FR.ALFREDO ROLLON, SVD.

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The FAMILY that prays together stays together.

 

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