Work and pray in humility

By: Fr. Jerry M. Orbos SVD - @inquirerdotnet - Columnist/Philippine Daily Inquirer | July 17,2022 - 08:00 AM

The story is told about a father who gifted an iPad to his son, who was filled with joy to the max. Wanting to teach him to be grateful, the Dad said: “What do you say to Dad?” “Thank you, Dad.” Wanting further to evoke love from him, the Dad said: “What else do you say? I love …?” “I love IT!” the boy exclaimed.

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In today’s Gospel (Luke 10, 38-42), we hear the story of two sisters, Martha and Mary, who loved Jesus in different ways. The former was busy serving Him, while the latter simply stayed in His presence. Whether you are a worker or a beholder of Jesus, the important thing is to love Him, i.e. to love Him more than your work, and to love Him more than your prayer life.

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Use things, love people, and not love things, and use people. This applies not only in our relationships with people but in our relationship with God as well. May we not be so engrossed in the work of our hands, and forget the love in our hearts. On the other hand, may we not be so focused on the consolations of our hearts, and forget the God of our consolations.

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“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about so many things.” This could be said of many of us as well. The only remedy that will help us go above our worries and anxieties is our trust in the Lord’s goodness and love, more and more.

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“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present” (Lao Tzu). How true. May we learn to live in the present moment, and not keep on rewinding the past, nor keep fast-forwarding the future.

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Sharing with you my simple prayer of surrender and trust: Lord, I surrender my PAST unto your heart where everything is blessed, forgiven, and embraced by You; entrust my FUTURE unto Your hands; which puts everything in place according to Your will and plan; I put my PRESENT into Your love that is surrounding me, sustaining, and blessing me right now. Amen.

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May the Lord prosper the work of our hands, but more so, may He increase the love in our hearts. It is not what we hold in our hands, but what we have in our hearts that make us truly peaceful and happy.

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I met Edgar who survived COVID-19 last year. He shared with me his near-death experience—how he came back to life, and how he realized the futility of earthly treasures. He now sees life as a mission, a payback time, and a real quality time especially with loved ones. He is a corporate guy who now looks at life “from both sides now.” Indeed, may we leave behind not only our footprints, but our heartprints, as well.

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I also met Bishop Joseph Durero, SVD, who visited us recently after he was ordained Bishop of the Diocese of Daru-Kiunga, Papua New Guinea. He has been working in New Guinea as a missionary since 1996. He comes from a humble family in Dapa, Surigao del Norte. He has remained humble and unassuming. He has not allowed his position to destroy his person. There are people who inspire and humble us. On the other hand, there are also people who lord it over, and humiliate us.

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Are you a “Martha?” The problem with some “Marthas” is they could end up “Martaray” (arrogant) because of their achievements. Are you a “Mary?” The problem with some “Marys” is that they end up “Maryabang” (proud) because of their righteousness. Whether you are a “Martha” or a “Mary,” stay humble, and stay focused on the Lord when you serve.

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A moment with the Lord:Lord, may work and prayer make us humble. Amen. 

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