By Fr. Jerry Orbos
Fr. Jerry Orbos "Moments" is a simple reminder of God's presence in everyday, ordinary, simple moments of our lives. It is our humble attempt to make the sunday Gospels more understandable and more applicable.
"Moments" comes out every Sunday in Philippine Daily Inquirer's Opinion Section.
November 14, 2004
Inquirer : Opinion Section
DID you hear about a man who was so obsessed
with signs so that he even followed the
railroad sign “Stop, look and listen” to choose
his wife? And so when he saw his future wife,
he stopped, then he looked, and now that
they’re married, he has no choice but to listen.
* * *
In today’s Gospel (Lk. 21, 15-19), Jesus
precisely tells us not to be concerned, and
not to worry about the end-time. He tells us
not to follow prophets of doom and gloom.
He further tells us not to be frightened or
terrified by catastrophes and signs from
heaven. He also warns us that there will be
persecutions, but all these should lead us
to deeper commitment to our mission; to
perseverance, and greater trust in the Lord
who will not allow even a hair on our heads
to perish. Fear is useless. What is needed is
love and trust. Fear is from the evil one.
Courage is from the Holy Spirit. Fear
freezes. Courage releases.
* * *
Human as we are, we do not, and we cannot
know everything. That is why we often
turn to signs, superstitions, prophecies, feng
shui, fortunetellers, numerology, astrology,
etc. People who are involved in such practices
do not have full trust in the Lord. We all, in
one way or another, have our “safety measures,”
(panigurado lang) but we must learn
to set them aside and hold on only to God. Do
we still cling on to other “gods” aside from the
God who has assured and promised that He
will be with us always? Are there still areas in
our lives that have not been redeemed by the
power of resurrection?
* * *
We do not belittle signs. Signs lead us
somewhere. The problem arises when these
signs lead us nowhere. A sign is a medium
with amessage. It can happen however that
too focused on the medium, we can forget
the message it is pointing to. Like Christpoor mas, for example. Some people can become
so focused on the trimmings and signs of the
Christmas season and end up not seeing
Christ at all.
* * *
Signs serve as a notice or a reminder. Nature
is one big sign of God’s presence and love. We
too as persons should be signs of God’s presence
and love. Are we living reminders of
God’s love? When people meet and encounter
us, do they end up knowing and feeling that
there is, after all, a God in this world so full of
misery, poverty and want? What are youa sign
of?Who are youa sign of?
* * *
After a funeral Mass for Vicente Quintos
at the Pinaglabanan Church last Tuesday
night, a man approached me and timidly
asked me to pray over his sick brother at
the ICU. It was late, I was tired, even
scared thinking of the possibility I was being
set up. But I agreed and drove with him
to the San Juan Medical Hospital, where I
prayed over his 35-year-old brother who
was in a coma. I was so touched by the
man’s love for his younger brother and his
big faithin God. But what moved me to
tears was when the man put into my hands
some coins in gratitude for my going to the
hospital for his brother. At first, I refused
and assured him it was all right. But upon
his insistence I received the coins. When I
got home, I counted P42 in 5- and 1-peso
coins, and I have kept these, to remind me
that there are so many people who are so poor
materially but so rich spiritually. I realized
so many things that night because
of that one person who truly loved. Shame
on us who have much but do not truly
* * *
We look for leaders who are supposed to be
signs of integrity and service, but nowadayswe
just end up with a sigh. Where have all the simple,
self-sacrificing, humble and honest leaders
gone? We need leaders to inspire us, not to
spite us; leaders to cheer us, not to cheat us;
leaders to lead us, not to bleed us. Yes, we need
leaders who are visible signs on our road to recovery
* * *
The Eucharist is an outward sign of the
real presence of the Lord in our midst. The
Eucharistic League of Adorers will sponsor
the 17th Eucharistic Congress at the St.
Joseph’s Convent of Perpetual Adoration at
71 Hemady St., New Manila, Quezon City.
For a day, on Nov. 29, 2004, be with Him in
prayer, adoration and quiet listening to spirit-
inspired talks by Fr. Emmanuel Cruz, Fr.
Mario Sobrejuanite, SSP, and Msgr. Sabino
Vengco Jr. Registration starts at 7 a.m.
Lunch and snacks will be served. I will be
conducting the same recollection at the
SSpSAP Convent of Peace in Cebu on Dec.
21, starting at 2:30 p.m.
* * *
Inviting youfor a local Marian Pilgrimage to
Naga, Legazpi, and Sorsogon on Nov. 24-26.
For those who like to join us, please contact Executive
Resources 5238581 to 89 or 7217457.
On this Marian and Eucharistic year, let us go
back and hold on to Mama Mary and the Eucharist.
As a people, and as a nation, let us stay
focused on the Lord and on Mama Mary amid
many disheartening signs.
* * *
A moment with the Lord
Lord, let my life be a sign, not a sigh. Amen.