Don’t be afraid

Word Alive — Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD / June 21, 2020 / 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, Dr. Viktor Frankl wrote about his three years in Nazi concentration camps. Even in that extreme situation where prisoners survive on meager ration, Frankl recalled, there were “men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread.

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They may have been few in number, but they offered proof that everything could be taken from a man but one thing: the freedom to choose his attitude in any given set of circumstances.”

Subjected to hunger and physical deprivations, these inmates could have become selfish, grasping but they opted instead to share the little that they had. “Do not fear those who deprive the body of life but cannot destroy the soul,” our Lord teaches in this Sunday gospel (Matthew 10,28).

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Today the followers of Christ may not live in the same milieu as those prisoners, nonetheless they can suffer the same lot because, like them, they stick to their faith and moral convictions. For instance, one can be honest in work or just to his workers or faithful to God when a health crisis, like COVID-19, strikes.

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Or, when one is going through difficulty in his marriage but he is trying hard to save it because he believes the Lord’s words, “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” Don’t be afraid as long as you’re holding on to him in faith. In the words of Simon Peter, “Lord, to whom do we go. You have the words of eternal life and we have come to believe that you are the Son of God.”

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Faith is the message of our Lord in today’s gospel who exhorts us to do, “He who acknowledges me before others, I will acknowledge him before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others I will deny him before my heavenly Father.”

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LOVE YOUR FATHER DESPITE HIS FAILINGS
Today is Father’s Day. Let’s greet and pray for all fathers, living or dead. Let us remember, also, our spiritual fathers–PRIESTS.

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Apart from giving a good example, one very important gift a father can give to his children is quality time. There’s a subtle enemy that can erode family relationship, and that is WORK.

One working father offered this insight: “Sometimes I feel that the time I spend with my sons could be better spent at the office.

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Then I remind myself that the productivity report will affect life for a few days or weeks. But my job as a father is more important.
“If I’m a good father to my sons, they’re likely to be good parents too someday.”

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And to children, here’s a timely reminder from the book of Sirach, “My son, take care of your father when he is old, grieve him not as long as he lives. Even if his mind fails, be considerate with him…For kindness to a father will not be forgotten, it will serve as a sin offering.” (Sir 3, 2-6).
Love your father despite his failings and weaknesses.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. In an amusement park, there’s an added attraction: a giant crocodile basking in the pond. A poster along the railing publicizes that whoever can jump into the water and come up alive will receive a one-million-peso reward. Nobody would dare do it despite the huge amount.

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But one day out of the blue, there was splash and a man fell into the pond. So pallid and frightened, he swam with all of his might and in no time was climbing up the railing. Everybody gave a loud and rousing applause. When asked why he did it, the man said puffing hard, “My wife pushed me!” The group turned to the wife, “Why did you do that?!” Well, we need the money badly. And I believe in the saying: ‘Behind every successful man, there’s a woman.’” Husbands, take note.

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APPEAL FOR COVID-19 VICTIMS. Please help the indigents and victims of the coronavirus pandemic we’re supporting. Contribute any amount. The Lord said, “Whatever you did to the least of My brethren, you did it for Me” (Mt. 25,40).

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For inquiry, e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com.

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