Faith, Honesty in Election

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Word Alive — Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD — May 1st, 2022 / 3rd EASTER SUNDAY

There was a “fake news” that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead because the grave was borrowed. The wealthy owner, Joseph of Arimathea, was getting it back allegedly since he needed it.

That’s not true, of course. Jesus wanted to prove what he predicted and promised that he would rise on the third day.

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The gospel of this 3rd Sunday of Easter relates how the risen Christ appeared for the third time.

Jesus’ appearances served to strengthen and reinforce the faith of his close followers, telling them that he was really their Master who was crucified, died, and resurrected.

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Just as the apostles had believed in the Risen Lord and his teachings, so we his present-day followers should do the same. It’s easy enough to believe in Jesus when life is stress-free and comfortable. However, it’s not so when trials, failures, and adversities strike us.

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I had a friend who was very active in her parish as member of the Legion of Mary, Cursillo and other organizartions. When she migrated to the USA, she continued her pastoral involvement.

Everything went well, until she was diagnosed to have cancer of the uterus. The finding devastated her. But she and church co-workers prayed earnestly, trusting the Lord would heal her.

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Instead of getting better, however, the insidious sickness spread and became even more painful. The lady got so dejected that she stopped praying altogether. Not too long after, she passed away. When I learned about it, I felt very said and mumbled some prayers, asking the Lord to understand her physical and mental disposition then. To paraphrase Jesus’ last word, “Father forgive her for she did not know what she was doing.”

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There are other adversities and challenges we encounter like financial difficulties, unjust treatment from one’s superior or employer, family problems, to mention some.

Do I reflect that, perhaps, the fault lies in me as, for instance, I incur lung cancer due to cigarette smoking? On the national level, is our economy slow in progress because of corrupt officials and leaders?

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“Letting go” means getting rid of our negative attitudes and practices that hamper personal and national progress.

In the context of Easter, it means dying to our bad traits and vices, and rising to a new life.

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Faith in God also requires faith in ourselves. Meaning, let’s not just pray for a peaceful, honest, and orderly election; we should do our share of choosing wisely the right candidates, especially the presidentiables.

Let’s not vote on the basis of popularity, affinity or friendship or candidates who’re known plunderers, tax evaders and vote buyers. We should also show concern by volunteering as poll watchers of authorized groups like NAMFREL and PPCRV.

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Let me stress the importance of moral integrity or what we often call an upright and “God-fearing” leader. A leader may be the best economist who can solve the country’s financial woes but if he is corrupt, surreptitiously stealing from the government coffers or pocketing multi-million-peso from ghost projects, then his talent is all rubbish.

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That’s the reason why our country cannot prosper economically as it should. How true are the words of the Greek philosopher Plato: “Poverty consists not in the decrease of man’s possessions, but in the increase of one’s greed.”

Or, as another writer said: “There’s enough resources for every one’s needs but not enough for every one’s greed.”

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