October 2, 2023

One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence who urged him to dine with her. Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine. So, she said to her husband, “I know that Elisha is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp, so that when he comes to us he can stay there.”
Later Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?” His servant Gehazi answered, “Yes! She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.” Elisha said, “Call her.” when the woman had been called and stood at the door, Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.” (2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a)
Selfish, egoistic, and self-centered people will not appreciate the values and virtues of the woman in Elisha’s story. They may even judge her as a stupid woman.
One of the primary reasons for poverty in the communities is greed rooted from selfishness and self-interest. Chaos leading to killing is an offshoot of greed.
When people turn their work, money, and wealth as the absolute gauge of success and development, then people will become greedier. There will be more chaos and killings. When people turn their work, money, and wealth as god, then they will gradually forget God. Their spirituality will no longer be about their covenant with God but pure materialism and eventually spiritual death.
The addiction to crave for more regardless of what manner, moral or immoral, will be realized is a dangerous conviction.
Some politicians, government officials, project contractors, and wealthy people are falling into the trap of serious materialism. God is being sidelined. Morality is eroding. Disarray is becoming more serious.
We learn important values and virtues from the woman in the Book of Kings. She was rich and influential and yet she was not greedy and was not indifferent. She saw the need of a holy man. The woman went beyond blood ties because of holiness.
She was generous, kind, and loving, simply because of her life of holiness to mean the recognition of God in one’s life and in one’s relationships.
The woman was not motivated by money, reward, or recompense. She was just living her values into virtues.
The woman did not expect blessings for doing good. She had been living with challenges for not having a son and Elisha did not only reciprocate the goodness of the woman but felt the predicament. Elisha became the instrument of God’s blessing to the couple. “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.”
The generation today does not mean lesser blessings. The problem is the alarming materialism and consumerism closing the doors and windows of God’s blessings.
On July 2, Odette Maggan and family invited me to administer the baptism of her son Ethan in Cambolo, Banaue, Ifugao. The place is quite remote to mean a challenge for the legs to reach them.
Julita Bangloy, Marjorie Pandagos, Gladys Maggan, Stela Chumacog, Baki Ofo-ob, and Sam Maggan joined me to Barangay Cambolo.
The visit was indeed memorable and fruitful. It was my first time to reach Cambolo. It was my first time to celebrate the Holy Mass. It was my first time to administer baptism, to bless a house, and to administer the Holy Anointing. It was indeed a day of blessings, friendship, faith, family, and adventure.
The church was loaded with people and astonishingly, there were many men and youth as well. I am grateful to the Maggan family who showed kindness and generosity to us newcomers. Raul and Marieta Maggan and Meliza Wingin are reflections of God’s generosity. Gratitude goes to Fr. Totz Pagao for the loving permission.
The Sunday readings from the 2nd Book of Kings 4:8, Psalm 89:2, St. Paul to the Romans 6:3and the gospel of Matthew 10:37 described well the beautiful faith experience in Cambolo.
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