Did you notice?

Inquirer Moments by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD, 5th Sunday Easter

The story is told about a man who had been dead for five days before anyone noticed he had a heart attack. He was the first in, and the last out of the office, always absorbed in his work in his desk. Lesson: Don’t work too hard. Nobody notices anyway.

In today’s Gospel (Jn. 13, 31-33a, 34-35), Jesus tells us how we will be noticed as His disciples: “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  That’s it. Beyond words, beyond pronouncements, beyond functions, beyond wisdom and intelligence, beyond titles, love is what matters. Without love, we are nothing, we are not His disciples. Let love be the reason for our mission.

People who make a career or business out of their discipleship miss the point. Please remember, functions are not what define us, nor our programs and visions that move us. We are missionaries, not mercenaries. We are disciples, not functionaries. We are not out to become a somebody, but a someone to God, and to His people.

A famous surgeon was once asked whether he would stop doing surgeries when his hands are shaky or his eyes are failing already. His answer was: “When I no longer feel the pain of my patients and begin to treat them as a number and one more case, then it’s time for me to stop.”

Two thousand years ago, Christ gave us a new commandment to love one another as He has loved us. Guess what? Like a pair of new shoes, this commandment is still new to some — unused or slightly used.

Did you notice the election results? Did you notice who won? The bottom line is: Did the people win in these elections? Will the future be better for them? When, oh when will we learn that the elections are not so much about the candidates as about the people.

We worked hard, we prayed much, we did our best, and we did what was righteous, but our brother, Tim, lost in his bid for congressman of Pangasinan’s first district. Sad. Money was more powerful in the end, and the politics of favor and fear prevailed. No regrets. Let us not give up. Someday, the light will overcome the darkness. God will make a way. God is a God of surprises.

In everything that happens or does not happen, there is a reason, and there is a mission. So instead of wallowing in disappointment, let us believe that God, perhaps, has for us another appointment, up ahead!

Sad and mad. Sad that many of our voters noticed the money, the looks, the gimmicks more than the program, the ability and the sincerity of those running for public office. Mad that those running for public office really notice our people only during elections.

“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?” For those who gained or lost a seat in these past elections, may these words of our Lord comfort you, or convict you, depending on how you played the game.

Think about this: “Rest tonight knowing that whatever is in your mind is in God’s hands.”

Spiritual and Religious book from Logos Publications available online

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