Follow me (Moments by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD)

Moments in Philippine Daily Inquirer, 4th Sunday Easter

The story is told about a driver going up to Baguio City, who decided to follow the car ahead of him through the road that was foggy and dark. After some time, the car ahead stopped. He blew his horn, and told the driver ahead: “Let’s go! Move on!” To which the driver replied: “Move on? I’m already in my garage!”

In today’s Gospel (John 10, 27-30), Jesus tells His disciples: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” In this loud and misleading world, let us continue to listen to the voice of our Good Shepherd, and tenaciously follow Him. And amid many fears and insecurities in our journey, let us be assured that He knows us, and that He is always with us.

Tomorrow is election day. Let us follow our Master and not the black sheep who are out to mislead, use and abuse us. Let not favor nor fear silence us from proclaiming the kingdom of God.

“Not for sale!” Let this be our battle cry to those who buy votes. Those who buy votes are not good shepherds but wolves that devour us, and use money to perpetuate their personal agenda and family interests.

“Not afraid!” Let this be our response to those who use force, violence and intimidation to get votes. Sharing with you this prayer as we face our Goliaths: Lord, empower us with your truth; shield us with your love; disable those that would harm us.

I was in Pangasinan last week, praying in Bolinao church for peaceful and honest elections when a group of children arrived, bringing fresh flowers for Mama Mary. Flores de Mayo! I remember how we did the same when we were growing up in Bani, Pangasinan, every afternoon during May, offering flowers, songs and prayers to Mama Mary. May we offer to our loving Mother next week a bouquet of fresh, good and authentic leaders who have a heart for our people.

Happy Mother’s Day! We honor you, mothers, who are the good shepherds of the home. Thank you for your many untold sacrifices and love. We thank you, dear mothers, for the lessons, the memories and the inspiration we continue to carry with us in our journey through life. Mabuhay po kayo!

Tomorrow, the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, as we go to the polls for our nation, ask yourself this question: “Will Mama Mary vote for this candidate?” That should be our standard. Nothing more. Nothing less.

“Lord, help me to be more simple, and less sinful.” Let this be our constant and humble prayer as we follow the Good Shepherd. If we truly listen and really obey Him, we become more simple and become less sinful. One with you in this journey that is often dark and foggy, but filled with assurance that He is with us every step along the way.

Let me end with another driver story about a funeral car driver who went to a drive-through because he was hungry. Fine. But he was on a funeral service, so all the other cars followed! Imagine the confusion, the mess he caused on others, just because he was thinking only of himself. Those in public service, please remember the effect (positive or negative) you can have on so many people. Please be kind and considerate. Don’t miss your chance, your privilege to really serve and sacrifice for our people.

Think about this: People say that elections are the time to do all the bad and dirty tricks. We say that elections are the time precisely to be good and do good deeds. May goodness triumph over evil, we pray!

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help us to follow You more closely and love You more dearly. Amen.

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