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Word Alive–Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD October 2, 2022 / 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time / C

Did you know that long before the soft drink Coke was ever produced, the Bible had already a commercial on it? The “ad” goes: “Have a Coke.” In Hebrew, Ha-bak-kuk!

Levity aside, “Habakkuk” is the name of an obscure prophet in the Old Testament. In the first reading of the 27th Sunday, we read about him. What’s amusing about this man is his audacity to stand up to God, saying, “How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen!”

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Then seeing all the violence and misery around, he dared to question how God is governing the world. “I cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not intervene. Why do you let me see ruin; why must I look at misery?” (Hab 1,2-3)

Habakkuk may well represent a good number of us in situations when everything seems to be going wrong, when we feel that God is so distant and does not seem to care about our problems.

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God’s answer to Habakkuk is: “Be patient. I am the Master. What I ask of you is to have faith.”

Supernatural faith means loyalty and complete confidence in God even if we do not understand his will. As Jesus said, “You should judge by God’s standards not by man’s” (Mark 8,33).

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I have a friend, whose loving, caring, and devoted wife died at 60 years. Despite his staunch faith, the husband could not accept the unexpected death. He was so devastated that he thought his life had no more meaning. He thought of ending his life. I consoled him, saying, “Jesus didn’t want to suffer, too.

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He said at the Garden of Gethsemane, imploring his Father: “If it’s possible, take this cup (of suffering) away from me. Not my will but your will be done” (Mt 26,38-39). Did Jesus get his wish? No. He had to accept excruciating pain; eventually, death on the cross. My friend was enlightened and later kept reciting: “Yes, Lord your will be done.”

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There are other similar trials and difficulties that severely challenge our faith like financial problems due to the long pandemic, many are jobless, and others recovering from business loses, marital problems, lingering sickness, and so on. Let’s not despair.

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There’s one important thing we should remember, though. That is, when we put our faith in God, we must also have faith in ourselves. As much as we must implore God’s help in crisis situations so must we do our part to remedy them.

To illustrate: Some people pray for good health but they love to eat fatty foods rich in cholesterol, or can’t avoid excessive drinking or smoking despite repeated warnings. Praying for wellness of these people is futile.

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That’s true also in solving our national problems. We may be a predominantly Christian country but if our leaders do not live up to their Christian faith, and values of justice, honesty, and moral uprightness, we will never prosper as we should.

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As the saying goes, “God helps those who help themselves”? In local parlance, “Nasa tao ang gawa, nasa Diyos ang awa.”

May the Lord increase our faith, especially in difficult times, but may we also put our faith into practice.

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PRAY THE ROSARY. October is the month of the HOLY ROSARY and October 7, is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Let’s find time to pray the rosary, especially as a family.



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