April 18, 2024

I decided to have post-Sunday Lenten reflections to keep our mind and soul connected with the coming Sundays of Lent. We barely have two Sundays to go before Holy Week. The coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) brought the world literally to a halt and disoriented our days.
Due to the Covid-19, some are getting paranoid. Some are getting sick. Some are dying. Some are volunteering to be on frontlines, sacrificing their time and even risking their lives. Some are hoarding food. Some are profiteering. Some are stubborn and complaining. But I know well many are hoping and praying for the Covid-19 to disappear.
The enhanced community quarantine is one way to manage the spread of the virus. It may cause a lot of inconvenience but seeing the overall purpose will calm the people.
The third Sunday of Lent narrated the journey of the Israelites to the Promised Land with Moses leading them and the journey of the Samaritan woman with Jesus to conversion.
The Book of Exodus 17:3-7 narrates the journey of the Israelites loaded with complaints and grumblings against Moses. “In those days, in their thirst for water, the people grumbled against Moses.”
They were ungrateful people who looked up only for their personal convenience and personal benefit. They complained causing more trouble instead of becoming a part of the solution.
Moses, on the other hand, seeing the situation and realizing his helplessness, prayed to the Lord, “So Moses cried out to the Lord.” Moses was a proactive and productive leader. When he saw the situation and he realized his powerlessness, he immediately sought the help of God whom he knew all things will be well. He did not retaliate. He quarantined himself with the Lord and for wisdom and power.
We learn from Moses. In times of crisis like the Covid-19, let us not grumble and complain. We go to the Lord and have a quality communication with him. Only then that we can find doable and effective solutions. “Go over there in front of the people, along with some of the elders of Israel, holding in your hands, as you go, the staff with which you struck the river. I will be standing there in front of you on the Rock of Horeb. Strike the rock, and the water will flow from it for the people to drink.”
Our conversation with God will never go in vain. Let us find more quality time communicating with him.
The gospel of John 4:5-15, 19b-26, 39a, 40-42 narrates the conversation and conversion of the Samaritan woman.
Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” The woman was hesitant knowing the cultural differences.
Jesus asking for water is actually courting the woman to conversion. Indeed, the quality communication led the woman to conversion and more beautifully, she became instrumental for other people to believe and undergo communal conversion. “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”
On March 15, before the provincial enhanced community quarantine, Baby Naomi Langbao was baptized at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Sagada. Dilifer and Dublyn Langbao gave the best inheritance to their child – the inheritance of faith that will never be lost.
On the other hand, Our Lady of Lourdes Basic Ecclesial Community in Aguid, Sagada celebrated the third Sunday of Lent meaningfully. Fifteen youths experienced the healing power of Jesus through the Sacrament of Reconciliation and during the Holy Mass. They received Jesus in their First Holy Communion.
The third Sunday of Lent was indeed loaded with blessings. “C5,” or communication, conversion, communion, and Christ over the Covid-19 were the themes preached in my homily.
Sometimes it is not always good to be a Good Samaritan. This time, the priest lost his paper bag of underwear and socks. At the rectory, he checked the paper bag and it was missing.
This was not the first time that my groceries went off my car after having helped people who waited for a vehicle at Dantay, Bontoc.
I only noticed the missing items when I brought down my things in Kilong. During the enhanced community quarantine, I expected more people to be waiting at Dantay junction for a ride to Sagada and Besao. True enough, one evening a group of travelers persisted to ride despite my reservations. It was getting late. My conscience was bothering me so I offered the front seat and the back seat to accommodate everybody and not minding my stuff.
Like on many occasions, I told them, “I am heading to Kilong so I would leave you at Barangay Antadao.” But they were determined because they need to go home.
When in Antadao, I felt uneasy just to leave them feeling cold and waiting in the dark. I brought them to Sagada.
I hope it was not intentionally taken but mistakenly taken to mean hope of return.
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