Are you ready? by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

Moments / First Sunday of Advent / December 1 2019

The story is told about a husband who confidently boasted that he is not lacking in loving his wife. When asked how he knew that, his response was “Because every time we quarrel, she keeps saying, ‘You are too much!’”

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. In today’s Gospel (Mt. 24, 37-44), Jesus tells us not to be too confident, but rather be vigilant, and be prepared because at an hour we do not expect, the Son of man will come. If the Lord called you today, would you be ready?

The basic spirit of Advent is that of humility and gratitude. We accept humbly our sinfulness, yet we gratefully believe in God’s mercy and love. Are you humble to God? Are you living a grateful life? Or, are you arrogant, ungrateful and proud?

Last Nov. 23, Saturday, I was late for the wedding of my nephew, Luke, and his beloved Zita Magalona. Why of all days of the year did they close the Nagtahan flyover where I got stuck for almost two hours? Anyway, my advice to the couple was precisely what I learned from that experience. Sharing with you the 3 P’s for our journey.

PRAYER. Prayer is never enough. Let us pray more, pray much and pray often. Let us pray especially when we come to difficult moments of our journey. Prayer gives us meaning and hope. Prayer makes us realize that we are not alone.

PATIENCE. Patience makes us strong and calm, and prevents us from useless anger, stress and worries. Patience lightens the load and brightens the mood. Remember, if you are always impatient, you are a candidate to becoming a hospital patient.

PERSEVERANCE. Perseverance gives us the perspective and motivation to hold on, no matter what. It gives us the tenacity to pursue our dreams, and to believe, and keep on believing in spite of delays, setbacks and mistakes.

May we all have a prayerful heart, a patient disposition and a persevering  attitude as we prepare for our Lord’s coming this Advent season.

Death could come unexpectedly, and fast. Laurice Rebollido was part of the crew on board PR113 bound for Manila that returned to Los Angeles airport 15 minutes after takeoff because of fire on the right engine. She told me how her prayer to Mama Mary and her guardian angel kept her strong through those agonizing 15 minutes. Laurice lost her pilot husband who died in a plane crash four years ago, and she prayed that her 10-year-old son, Pio, won’t be orphaned. The Lord heard her prayer. Praise God!

Thank you, PAL captain Triston Simeon! Because of your skill, good judgment and prayers, you have saved 360 lives last Nov. 21. Mabuhay po kayo! A captain with a heart, he texted Laurice: “Please hug your son for me. No child deserves to lose one, lalo pa, both parents. I have two babies myself… they need us as we need them.”

Think about this: “Those who walk with the Lord will always reach their destination; those who dream with the Lord will always achieve their vision; those who stand for the Lord will always win the battle; and those who work for the Lord will always receive their reward.”

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to be ready any time you call me, any day. Amen.

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