Present always and in all ways / By Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

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Sunday MOMENTS, May 17 2020, 6th Sunday of Easter

The story is told about a man who was asked why there was a vacant seat beside him in a jampacked arena during the baseball world series finals. “It was for my wife. But she died.” “But you could have given the ticket to other members of the family.” “They are all in the funeral,” was the man’s reply.

In today’s Gospel (Jn. 14, 15-21), Jesus tells us that He will be present with us always, and in all ways. “I will come to you; I will not leave you orphans.” How consoling to know that He is always with us, and that He wants to be with us especially during these dark and uncertain times due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we slowly emerge from the lockdown and quarantine, let us continue to be aware of the presence of the deadly virus which we may forget or take for granted. On the same count, let us continue to be aware of the presence of the living God whom we often forget or take for granted.

Even now, let each of us make a list of the lessons we have learned from our quarantine experience which has been a time of purification and realizations. What do we discard, what do we bring along as we go into the “new normal” eventually? Otherwise, it’s back again to our old selves, and ways of being and doing, as if nothing happened. Let’s focus on these 4 Ps, paradigms for our journey.

PRESENCE. I hope we have learned being present to people, to our families and loved ones, as we realize the shortness of life, and the reality of death. Often, we were more present to our work, to our leisures and pleasures than to persons. We use things, and love people, not vice versa.

PRAYER. We had time to pray individually, as a family, as a nation, and as one world. It was prayer that gave meaning through it all, and it gave us courage and hope. Humility to God removes the monsters in us. There are no greater gods among us.

PARTICIPATION. We are connected. We need one another. We are all vulnerable, but together we are invincible. I hope the quarantine has not made us too comfortable, detached, and uncaring. Rather, it should move us to reach out, share, and have a heart.

PEACE. We realize that we can do without a lot of things, and that going back to the basics leads to more peace in our lives. I hope we have learned to be more kind to others, and I hope we now better understand and treasure that peace the Lord gives us, which the world cannot give nor take away.

When will we come out of this situation? When will this uncertain and scary time come to an end? Science has answers and predictions, but no definite timetable. It’s still a wait and see situation. For us, let it be a wait and see situation with the Lord! Let us wait with the Lord, and see the world with faith.

“In a little while.” The Lord tells us today to continue to have hope, and to trust Him. He has a plan. He has a timetable for everything. Let us continue to believe that He will make all things beautiful in His time. When beset with anxiety, impatience, or depression, say this prayer continuously: Jesus, I trust in You. Mama Mary, I love you!

The fire trees in our compound at Christ the King Seminary are in full bloom, with beautiful orange-red flowers. What a sight! And what a lesson for us, too. The fire trees are unnoticeable all throughout the year, but in the hottest days of summer, these trees that persevere and endure the heat bring forth beautiful flowers that bring warmth to the heart.

A moment with the Lord: Lord, thank You for being with us always, and in all ways. Amen.

BUY in LAZADA Philipines

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