“Manghihilot” or “Manghihilo” by Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

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Spiritual Reflections from Moments in Philippine Daily Inquirer

The story is told about a man who was making good in his “hilot” (massage) business. He had many regular customers, but one day, for an unknown reason, they stopped coming. He soon found out why. Someone had accidentally erased the letter “t” from the sign “manghihilot” outside the shop!

In John. 20, 19-31, we hear how the disciples became dizzy (“nahilo”) from the many amazing signs they encountered after Jesus’ resurrection. Many of them believed, but the others nursed doubts and fears, especially Thomas who declared: “Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Like the disciples, many times we experience confusion and unbelief when we encounter problems and periods of turbulence. Especially in such times may we be eased (“hilot”) and find comfort in God, who is full of mercy, compassion and love.

In today’s gospel, the Risen Lord greeted His disciples—“Peace be with you”—three times! He “massaged” His disciples who were dizzy and unbelieving. He could have scolded and reprimanded them all, but out of love and mercy, He understood their doubts and fears, and went on to assure and encourage them. May we, too, become more understanding, more compassionate and more merciful toward others, and also toward ourselves.

Someone once said: “It is better to give a piece of your heart than a piece of your mind.” More than principles and righteousness, what pleases God is our compassion and kindness toward others.

God’s love and mercy are wider than we can think and imagine! God’s ways are not man’s ways.

Let us make sure that we do not put God in a box and limit His boundless love. Yes, it is better to be presumptuous of God’s love than to doubt God’s love. In the end, it is not our righteousness or our goodness that will save us, but God’s mercy and love.

How understanding and compassionate are you? How forgiving are you? A person who has been forgiven will also be more understanding, compassionate and forgiving of others. But it also happens that recipients of forgiveness do not become givers of forgiveness. The key is humility. It is pride that blocks true repentance and conversion. Let us ask the Lord today to be merciful upon us and to be merciful unto others as well.

What is a good leader? One who has passion and one who has zeal and diligence in carrying out his/her duties for the good of others. But what is a really good leader? One who has not only passion but compassion as well. Oh, God, give us not only good but also really good leaders of our land.

Manghihilo ka ba o manghihilot? Are you one who confuses, hurts, or disturbs others? Or are you one who comforts, eases and assures others?

Available in Amazon Kindle (ebooks)

Available in Amazon Kindle (ebooks)

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