One for the road

By: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | May 01,2022 - 08:00 AM

Among drinkers, “one for the road” is an expression of taking one more drink before leaving the group or the gathering, but someone said that for senior citizens, it means going to the bathroom one more time before leaving the house.

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In today’s Gospel (John 6:16-21), the Risen Lord appeared to His disciples once again. This was the third time He revealed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead. These were “one for the road” moments by the Lord to strengthen the faith of His disciples, and to remind them to continue their mission for Him.

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We all need “one for the road” moments with the Lord so He can remind us what we really need to bring for our journey, and/or what we need to leave behind so that we can be His true and free disciples.

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One thing I have learned in my journey is to have a good and positive “outlook” in life. But equally important are moments of reflection and prayer, which I would call “uplook” moments. A lot of things become clearer and lighter if we learn to trust the Lord, and learn to lean not on our own understanding.

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The Lord always goes the “extra mile” to reveal Himself to us. The problem is that we do not listen, and we miss opportunities to grow in His love. Why? Well, because all too often we are so much in love with ourselves. May we focus on the Lord more, and less on ourselves.

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The disciples encountered the Risen Lord because they became more obedient, and more humble. Obedience and humility are what we need to really encounter the Risen Lord in our hearts, and in each other.

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The Lord asks each one of us today: “Do you love me? Do you really love me? Do you truly love me?” Your answer to these questions is all up to you. But the Lord goes on to say that the proof that we love Him is if we feed His lambs, tend His sheep, and feed His sheep. It is not enough to profess our faith; we must live our faith, and bear good fruits.

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It’s “one for the road” time for us all as we come nearer the May 9 elections. We will choose the people who will lead us in the road up ahead. Let us choose leaders who will clear the road for us, so that our journey will be more smooth, safe, and progressive. Let us not vote for leaders who will make a road just for themselves and their families, or worse, who will steal the road altogether.——————

“Follow Me.” This is the mandate the Lord tells all of us today, especially to those who lead us. For us, it is the Gospel values that should shape our choices and decisions. Ask yourself today: Is my candidate someone who embodies and personifies love, justice, service, honesty, humility, and generosity, and all the values of and for the kingdom of God?

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Speaking of the road, we will have the “Walk with God to Manaoag” on May 7, 2022, starting at 5 a.m. at the Urdaneta City Cathedral, ending with a Mass at 9 a.m. at the Shrine of Our Lady of Manaoag. This 13-kilometer prayer walk will be especially offered in gratitude to Mama Mary for seeing us through these past two years of pandemic, and to ask for her powerful intercession for peaceful, honest, and worthy elections in our country.

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Please remember that our most important road to take is the road that leads to God’s heart, not the road of riches, pleasure, fame, and popularity. “Ok ngarud!”

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A moment with the Lord: Lord, remind us to choose the road that leads to your heart. Amen.

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