February 25, 2024

Here are the three Bs – Be a blessing; be beautiful; and be brave.
The biblical reading on New Year’s Day from the Book of Numbers 6: 22-27 narrates the beautiful way to start a beautiful life and a beautiful beginning.
“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Say to Aaron and his sons: “This how you shall bless the children of Israel, and you shall say to them: The Lord bless you, and keep you. The Lord makes his face to shine upon you, and have mercy on you. The Lord makes his countenance upon you, and give you peace. And they shall invoke my name upon the children of Israel, and I will bless them”.
We are indeed blessed by God. The natural response must be, we shoul be a blessing to others.
The Book of Numbers is obviously addressing the living and not the dead. There is one practice in Bontoc, Mountain Province where some music ministries sing these beautiful lines in wakes and funerals. It is done in English and beautifully translated in the Bontoc language.
Let us help educate one another. The biblical text of Numbers 6:22 is not meant for the dead.
Let us refrain from singing the beautiful texts during wakes and funerals because it will drastically change its purpose and meaning.
I overheard feedbacks when the Book of Numbers was sung during a New Year’s program, “Don’t sing that song. That song is for the dead.”
You see how the wrong usage destroyed the real essence of the blessing. Why? Because these music ministries stubbornly sing it during wakes and funerals.
The Mountain Province General Comprehensive High School (MPGCHS) started the New Year with a short prayer service. The readings were taken from the Book of Numbers and Psalms. It was a solemn service where everyone felt the Holy Spirit pouring in each one for one common desire, a fruitful and peaceful 2024 at MPGCHS.
The Department of Education of Mountain Province through the inspirations of Superintendent Benilda M. Daytaca and her assistant, Virginia A. Batan, encouraged the division office to start 2024 with a holy mass.
Oxford provides an etymology of blessing as influenced by its being used to translate Latin benedicere “to praise, worship”, and later by association with bliss.
The Catholic Encyclopedia: New Advent has this to offer about the meaning of blessing. In its widest acceptation this word has a variety of meanings in the sacred writings:
It has taken in a sense that is synonymous with praise; thus the Psalmist, “I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall be always in my mouth” (Ps. xxxiii, 1).
It is used to express a wish or desire that all good fortune, especially of a spiritual or supernatural kind, may go with the person or thing, as when David says: “Blessed art thou, and it shall be well with thee” (Ps. cxxvii, 2).
It signifies the sanctification or dedication of a, person or thing to some sacred purpose; “Christ took bread and blessed, and broke” (Matthew 26:26).
Finally, it is employed to designate a gift so Naaman addresses Eliseus: “I beseech thee therefore take a blessing of thy servant” (2 Kings 6:15).
It is then our desire for each one that as we start 2024 and to end it, we are all blessed by God.
Beauty is another element to dwell as we plunge into the new year. Beauty can refer to physical or spiritual qualities.
Physical attraction happens when qualities behold our vision. Its impact can long or short lived. But the beauty that emanates from the heart and soul cannot seen but felt. Hence, the more we live our values, the more we recognize our value. The more we see our value, the more we see our inner beauty.
Let us strive to see and unearth our beauty to influence our society to become more beautiful. A baby is powerless yet it has the power to attract us.
Beauty is innocence, purity, and simplicity.
If life was complicated in 2023, let us go back to the basics. Let us see simplicity, purity, and innocence in our relationships.
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