The WORD in Other Words by Fr Florencio Lagura SVD (Philippines) for Friday Week 24 in Ordinary Time
As he marched to his professorial podium to start his lecture exactly at the designated time, his students were strongly reminded of another professor from another century, the famous Immanuel Kant. Showing strong similarities with the renowned philosopher, Fr. Aloys Lehberger, SVD, faithfully and patiently explained the intricacies of scholastic philosophy to his disciples who got introduced to the world of being—as—such (Ens a se) and other beings (alia entia).
Especially when heads, heavy with complex ideas, started nodding as a prelude to a peaceful “dogmatic slumber,” another favorite topic of his was signs. Deftly, Fr. Lehberger would distinguish between natural sign (signum natural) and artificial or conventional sign (signun arfificiale vel conventionale).
Our Lord himself made use of signs to convey important lessons about his favorite theme — the kingdom of heaven — and one of these signs was the fig tree. And true enough, his words — often made understandable through signs — proved to be true. And absolutely so, for He himself is the Truth par excellence.
Later in his life, Fr. Lehberger took his failing health as a sign that his teaching days in the Divine Word Seminary, Tagaytay would soon be over. But till the last days of his life, he remained a faithful and prayerful religious missionary, praying for hours in the chapel for people and his brothers in the religious order that they in turn would be signs or living witnesses of God‘s wonderful love and mercy. Till the last days of his life, he remained a sign for others of a man who witnessed to and truly served the Word of God.