Being open to changes and possibilities
Moments by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD
Many years ago I was driving my little nephews and nieces to Pangasinan, and we happened to follow a tricycle with two pigs in the side car. I knew that the pigs were bound for the slaughterhouse. Imagine my amazement when my niece, Manila girl Ginny, seeing such a scene for the first time, said: “Look, how kind the man to be taking his pigs around for a joy ride (pasyal) and sightseeing!”
In today’s gospel (Lk. 24, 35-48), Jesus appeared to two disciples after He rose from the dead. He opened their minds, and made them see a broader and brighter horizon. He led them out of their fearful and doubtful mindset, and gave them the faith, confidence and courage to become His witnesses. He set their hearts and minds on Easter mode. May we be open to God’s way of seeing and doing things, and not be imprisoned in our selfish, limited and often biased perspective.
Let us be open to changes and possibilities at any given point in our lives. Yes, let us be open to God’s surprises! People change, situations can be made better, and so must we. I saw the two pigs as dead meat, but my little niece saw them as tourists! May the Lord give us that Easter eye and that Easter look, and help us to rise from our “tombs” and “prisons.”
“Why are you troubled?” The Lord asked His two disciples this question in today’s gospel. He is also asking us this question today. What is it that is bothering you right now? Finances? Health? Relationships?
Allow the Lord to assure us and calm our fears and anxieties with His greeting, “Peace be with you!” There are many things that are beyond our control. There is always the unknown. Likewise, there are realities in our past that can no longer be undone. Faith and trust in God can heal us of our troubled past and strengthen us for our difficult present realities, as well as our uncertain future.
God is a God of surprises! I would like to share with you this beautiful prayer:
“God, surprise us again. When we miss the beauty and joy of Earth’s goodness. When we grow too accustomed to life’s busyness. When the goodness of others gets lost in the rush. When our frailty outruns our strength. When the hope in our hearts fades away. When the call to serve others loses its flavor. When we search for the way home to You. When loneliness pursues us. When it seems that the darkness will never give way to light. When the ache of the world wears our compassion thin. When the troubles of others seem more than we can carry.”
Growing older? Look at it as growing closer and becoming dearer to God. Let not the setting sun bring gloom and doom, but peace, serenity and gratitude for us who have toiled and endured the noonday sun. Let us always ask the Lord to give us new eyes to see at any point in our lives—that Easter perspective, that Easter heart, and that Easter smile. Yes, that Easter mode, the whole year round.
Functions can cease and work can stop at some point, but growing and becoming never end. May we, at any point in our lives, continue to become better persons. There is definitely life after retirement—that time in our lives when we go beyond our quantity mode and go for quality time, when we go beyond our acquirement mode, and go for payback time.
Think about this:
“Society measures success by the clothes we wear, the car we drive, the house we live in, the job title we carry, and the bulk of our bank accounts. But God measures success by our ability to forgive, our willingness to give, our treatment of others, how we live our lives, and the values we uphold—love and kindness for others. ”