OFW joys and sorrows

WORD ALIVE in Manila Bulletin By FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD

Once a class teacher asked, “Ano ang pangalan ng pinakamalakas na bagyo?” Dante raised his hand and replied: “Tukso po.” Taken aback, the teacher said: “Bakit tukso?” Dante, quoting a song, said: “Kasi po kay dami ng winasak na tahanan, kay dami ng matang pinaluha at kay dami ng pusong sinugatan.”

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For the record, the culprit that causes enormous damage is not temptation (tukso) but sin. Temptation is an incitement or attraction to do evil things; hence, it’s not a sin. It is when one gives in to the incitement that it becomes sinful. Even Jesus Christ was tempted but he overcame the devil’s lures as shown in this Sunday’s gospel.

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NATIONAL MIGRANTS’ SUNDAY falls on the 1st Sunday of Lent and it is timely and fitting because the theme of the Mass is about TEMPTATION.
One serious family problem among Filipino migrants is due to long separation of married couples. A spouse working abroad, for instance, can succumb to the temptation of infidelity as a result of long separation. The spouse left behind can also fall to the same predicament.

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Today, National Migrants’ Sunday, our attention is focused on millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who have sought greener pastures abroad.
However, not a few suffer maltreatment and injustices from cruel employers. The painful repatriation of contract workers from Kuwait months ago is a dramatic example.
Moreover, some Filipino women land in brothels or sometimes on death row for acting as “mules” to big-time drug dealers. Others are exposed to sexual harassment and rape. 

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One wonders if the dollars earned abroad are worth it when one’s family is in shambles. To paraphrase the Lord’s words: “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his own family.”

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We thank our OFWs for the enormous contributions they are rendering to our country. But we pray that God will help them surmount the moral and family problems they’re encountering in their pursuit for a better life.

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