Servanthood: Mission Possible By Fr Jerry Orbos SVD

MOMENTS October 17 2021 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time / B

Someone once said: “Give to God what is right, not what is left.”

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In today’s Gospel (Mk 10, 35-45) Jesus tells us that true service is about being a servant: “For the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” To all those who filed their certificate of candidacy for the 2022 elections, please listen, and listen well! Serve God’s people right, and make sure that God is not left out from your life as a public servant.

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Those who set out to serve must be ready to sacrifice. The bottom line question is: how many of our so-called public servants have become poorer because they “served” our people? Nowadays, public service has become a dignified name for what actually is a self-service, or a family business.

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But, there are people who see their public office or position as a vocation and a mission. I know some people who really serve with diligence, honesty, and dedication. And I personally know of one who has become poorer because he served sincerely as a congressman, a Cabinet secretary, and a governor. Goodness still abounds. Grace is never gone.

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To whom much is given, much is also required. We all will be asked to make a final accounting of how we used our time, our talents, and our treasures before God. May we not in the end be filled with sadness if we hear our Lord say to us: “You wasted it all on yourself. Begone!”

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Focus more on the mission, not so much on the position. In other words, position is not a pre-requisite for service. We all can serve, with or without a position.

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Sharing with you a “photo-oops” moment when we had a group picture some years ago in our seminary reunion. We were all set, when somebody shouted “Stop” and went on to break a branch from a plant that was “blocking the view.” Ouch! What was the fault of the plant? It was there all these years, trying to grow and survive, and we who were there for just a five-minute photo opportunity killed it. A message for public servants: You are just passing by so don’t kill the institutions that have been there before you came, and will still be there long after you are gone. And please don’t break our people’s hopes, and don’t kill their dreams.

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Home is the missionary. Fr. Rodrigo de la Rosa, SVD, has gone home to the Father at the age of 69. He worked as a missionary in Brazil for 23 years, one year in Germany, eight years in Australia. He was a caring and a joyful servant of the Divine Word. Till we meet again, in the resurrection, Father Rod, dear confrere, brother, and friend.

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“He ain’t heavy. He’s my brother.” Fr. Jay Baliao, SVD, took care and brought home our sick confrere Fr. Ferdinand Resuena, SVD, from their country of mission, Timor-Leste. Father Jay assisted wheelchair-bound Father Ferdie, especially in their six-hour layover in Kuala Lumpur, and 10 hours in Singapore airport, till they reached Cebu. Father Jay stayed on in Cebu until Father Ferdie died last Oct. 14 at the age of 51. Mission accomplished, Father Ferdie. Thank you, Father Jay, for the servanthood you personified, for the Lord.

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Today is World Mission Sunday. Let us continue to support and pray for our missionaries “out there,” including our anonymous Filipino missionaries, our OFWs, who bring the joyful and loving presence of God, all over the world. All of us are missionaries wherever we are, to bring God’s love.

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, help us to remember that life is a mission, a vocation, not a vacation. Amen

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