MOMENTS for 2nd Sunday of Lent – March 8 2020
The story is told about a child who was asked what the Church is. His simple answer was: “It is a place where people nod at each other.”
In today’s Gospel (Mt. 17, 1-9), we hear how Jesus was transfigured before His disciples, and how the Father, as if nodding, gave His approval and confirmation to Jesus, saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” May we all get, too, that nodding approval from our loving Father through the lives we are living.
If the Father were looking at the world we are living, and at what we have become, and at what we are doing, would He be shaking His head in dismay and disappointment? We also ask ourselves the question: Do we still care to nod at each other, and recognize/appreciate each other’s presence?
“Listen to Him.” This is what we all need to do, more than ever. We have to go back to the basics once again, i.e., to be humble to our God, and to love each other, or at least, be respectful and kind to one another. The problem is that it is money that speaks and dictates our way of thinking and living nowadays. Let us listen to Him. He is speaking.
“Be still and know I am God” (Psalm 46, 10). Now, too, in this time of fear and uncertainties, let us listen to Him. Let us go through whatever challenges that confront us, with faith in our hearts, and with courage, knowing that God is in control, that God has a plan through it all.
Let this COVID-19 outbreak cleanse, purify, and transfigure us all. How fragile life is, and how things can just change in an instant! How little are our achievements, possessions, and plans. Perhaps we all can become less proud, less selfish, and less materialistic in our thoughts, words, and actions.
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On the occasion of the 70th wedding anniversary of Rafael and Teresa Florentino last March 1, I asked their 10-year-old grandson, Matteo Ibarle, what he can say about his Lolo and Lola. “They have come a long way,” he said. Indeed! And what does he like most about them? “They are humble.” Let the children lead us to simplicity again.
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A transfiguration moment happened to me when I interviewed Mayor Isko “Yorme” Moreno, for a Holy Thursday TV special, regarding the presence of God in his life and work. I was edified with his simplicity, honesty, and dedication to really help our people, especially his desire to change our mindset, and our way of doing things. Here is one agent of change who believes that we all can do things differently, and that we all can, and must make a difference.
“God first!” This is the battle cry of “Yorme,” with his forefinger pointing upwards. He reminds us to keep pointing to God, to be grateful to Him, and to be answerable to Him. May all people who are given the opportunity to lead and to serve, not forget that it’s all for Him, and it’s all about Him.
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Br. Romy Abulad, SVD, who passed on last Dec. 17, wrote in “The Word” (SVD Bible Diary 2020) in his reflection for today, March 8, 2020: “The truly courageous man is a good man, the man who can face the Lord at any time at all.”
The oldest Filipino SVD, Fr. Quintin Terrenal, from Tayum, Abra, quietly left this world to the embrace of the loving Father at the age of 98 last March 4. He was a brilliant philosopher, and a good musician, but he always chose the candleglow instead of the spotlight, and the flashbulbs.
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A moment with the Lord: Lord, help us to listen to You speaking to us, in all that is happening in and around us. Amen.