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December 31, 2020


Looking back at the beginning of year 2020, I started the year with great plans. By January, I have already booked a plane ticket for my annual regular holiday to the Philippines with my family. The family gathering had been set already, celebration with my fellow priests was much anticipated, school reunion and among many others was part of my itinerary. By March, my April parish calendar was almost full of meetings, parish fellowships, masses, school and parish reconciliation and priests retreat. However, when pandemic struck us, everything has abruptly changed. My parish activities were cancelled one by one. My trip to the Philippines has to be postponed, retreat was not recommended and it was the first time in my life that holy week celebration was forbidden. The worst was, I was left alone and locked down in my rectory. I was with nothing to do and the year ended with uncertainties. Fr. Jerry Orbos said, man proposes but God disposes. My year ended with nothing to look forward.

We are celebrating the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. The feast of our blessed Mother is teaching us of letting go and letting God. First, learn to read and reflect on the word of God. The gospel according to Luke tells us about the attitude of Mary for all the great things that had been said and done about Jesus. “She treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart”. One of the best attitudes of Mary is her listening heart. She welcomes the word of God in her life unconditionally. She allowed the word of God to possess her. The word of God became most important treasure in her life. She chewed the word of God until it became part of her life. She gave up her personal plans and let God run her life.

Learn to live as children of God. Saint Paul in his Letter to the Galatians said, because you are sons and daughters, God sent the spirit of his son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father! Through our Blessed Mother, Jesus became one with us so that we can also call God as our Father. When we were children, we do not have lofty ambitions in life. We do not have enormous plans in our life. In my recollection, I was just enjoying my life with the parents and siblings. I do not worry of what to eat and wear. Every time I was being scared of my older brothers, I would just run to my father and it is there that I felt safe and protected. This is how to truly live as children of God, just enjoy what we have right now. Always be grateful with the God’s blessings in your life. Do not worry about the future and learn to live happily here and now. Always find time to play around with our Father and everything will be fine.

Learn to discern our purpose in life. The Book of Numbers tells us about the Lord’s instruction to Moses and Aaron, “the Lord bless you and keep you”. Every time we asked blessing from the Lord, we are consecrating ourselves to God. We are surrendering our life to God. This year I still have plans in my life but what makes it different is that I am offering everything to the Lord. May the Lord bless my plans; I am always ready for my plans to be aborted. I truly believe that my Father is greater than my plans. May our blessed Mother, Star of Sea, be always there to guide our journey this year.

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