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“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?” – Matthew 5:13

Whenever I hear or read these words from the Gospel of Matthew, I always remember the Commissioning Rites on the last day of the Life in the Spirit Seminars of the Bukas Loob sa Diyos (BLD) Covenant Community.  I recall how the participants are made to take a pinch (just a pinch!) of salt and made to eat it.  And then like Jesus’ disciples, they are told to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.

It has been almost 10 years since I last served in a Life in the Spirit Seminar.  I know that there have been a lot of times when I have lost my “saltiness” and have failed to “season” the life of the people around me by my witnessing.  It is especially difficult to be the salt and light when many things are not going your way.  I don’t know if I still have it in me to serve the way I served before, to give till it hurts, to think only of  how else I can share God’s love to others, and not think of what I have to give up.

Sometimes I think that it was easy for me to serve way back when I was single, because I had only myself to think about.  Now, much as I would like to be a part of a community, I have to consider my kids and the time I would give up so that I can attend prayer meetings and join community activities.  But thinking about this made me realize that I don’t need to be in a community in order to be the salt of the earth or the light of the world.  I can still serve God and be His witness where I am right now – as a mom, as a wife, as a sister, as a daughter, as a friend, as a boss, as a co-worker.

I guess the challenge for most of us who are living ordinary lives is to live it in an extraordinary way.  My favorite saint, St. Therese of Liseux, said that to become holy, we need not do great things, but do our daily ordinary tasks with great love.  Yes it is not easy to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world if we think of doing great things the way the apostles did.  But Jesus is not asking us to leave our families and be missionaries in a faraway land (although some are called to do that).  Most of us are called to be witnesses for Christ wherever we are right now, and to the people we encounter each day.

“Little things done out of love are those that charm the Heart of Christ… On the contrary, the most brilliant deeds, when done without love, are but nothingness.” – St. Thesere of Lisieux

 

 

 

 

I’ve been thinking, why does everyone in Manila always seem to be in a rush?  When I take the MRT and LRT everyday, I see commuters walking a mile a minute.  I don’t know if they are just late for work or for an appointment, or they just don’t want others to get ahead.

Oftentimes, I find myself walking as fast as they do or even running to get to the turnstile first even if I’m not really late.  It’s as if being in a hurry is contagious.  But what are we in a hurry for?

Why do we have to be the first on the train or the first off the train?  Why do we have to be the first at the turnstile or the first at the ticket counter? Why do we push and jostle and weave our way through people on the escalator ?  Are we really that worried about the precious seconds we lose if we just stand still and let the escalator take us to the top? Or maybe, we simply don’t want other people to be ahead of us.

Sometimes I just get to thinking, is getting there FIRST that important? Isn’t getting there what matters the most?

 

I’ve decided to end my Facebook hiatus.  Over the last two weeks that I deactivated my account, I had the following realizations:

1.  No one can make me sad or angry unless I give them the power to do so.  Just as no one can make me truly happy unless I am happy with myself, with what I have, with my own life.  I can’t force people to like me, but I can make myself think of what is good in me – and also of what is good in others.

2.  I can choose how I get affected by people around me.  I can’t control what people will say about me or my family, but I can choose to ignore negative comments and focus instead on the positive and uplifting ones.

3.  I really need to manage my expectations.  Sometimes I expect too much of people and place on them the same expectations I put on myself.  Sometimes I expect people to behave in a certain way because that is how I was raised to believe.  I’ve realized that a lot of my B.S. (belief systems!) have been deeply ingrained in me that I seem to think that the universe operates the way I think it should…pero hindi pala!

4.  I have so much to be thankful for – a loving husband who accepts me for who I am and who is not perfect but loves an imperfect me; two bright, loving and talented kids who think the world of me; parents who support me in everything I undertake; and two smart siblings who are not just my blood relations but my truest friends as well. And of course my good friends who are always there for me.  Truly I am blessed and I should not complain. 🙂

This Easter season is not just about celebrating the Resurrected Christ.  More than rejoicing, it is also a time for us Christians to renew our lives because we who are risen with Christ must focus on things above, and not on things below.  Easter teaches us not to focus on sorrow, pain, and death.  It tells us that beyond the bad, the negative, and the painful, there is a resurrection; there is light, goodness, and joy.

I just pray that no matter what the circumstance I find myself in, I will always go back to these Easter realizations and dwell on those things above – the good, the positive, the uplifting.

Today is Good Friday.  Today we see the best example of how much it hurts to love.  The love that Christ has for us is not the kind of love that we see on television or read about in cheesy novels.

Christ’s love is sacrificial love, a love that gives without expecting anything in return, a love that accepts the beloved’s faults and yet continues to love just the same.

As Christians, we are commanded to love one another as Christ has loved us.  This is not the kind of love that media popularizes – love that is based on feeling and physical attraction.

It’s not easy to love the way Christ has loved us.  I know.  I’ve loved and I’ve been hurt, especially by the people I love the most.  It hurts to give so much of myself, and yet my love and giving is not appreciated so much.  I sometimes want to cry out and say “Enough!  I don’t want to give of myself anymore!  It hurts to love and not be loved back as much as I do!”

But as I reflect on Jesus’ Passion and Death this Good Friday, I realize that I have not loved Him enough if I complain about giving of myself.  If I truly love as Christ does, then I should be ready to get hurt.  If I truly love others the way Jesus Christ loves me, then I cannot love enough.  If it doesn’t hurt, it’s not real love.