March 2, 2024

Jesus said to His disciples, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)
Integrity is the wholeness of a person. God created a person with integrity and it is our moral mandate to keep it intact.
Our agreement with God is a covenant that revolves around faithfulness. When we respond to God, we don’t respond with our mouth but with our integrity. Jesus replied, “This is the most important: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ (Mark 12:29-30)
The best gauge of authentic prayer is praying with integrity to mean that the whole being of the person is communicating.
First, our attendance at the Holy Mass. Sometimes, we fall into the temptation of bringing just the body in church and our soul and mind are left at home doing the household chores. Hence, the Vatican II, the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy #14, encourages conscious, active, and full liturgical participation.
Second, our prayer and faith must not remain in the level of prayer as communication. It must transcend into the here and now. Our faith must be incarnated. Our words must have life. “We cannot say we love God and we hate our neighbors.” Faith must be founded on the Word that is incarnated in our daily life.
“Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on a rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set on a solid rock.” (Matthew 7:26)
How can we live our faith when there is a problem in the family?
On June 21, I delivered my homily with a husky voice and teary eyes. I remembered my papa Ikoy. I remember the families orphaned by their father. I remembered the fathers who became irresponsible because of problems. I remembered the good fathers.
My papa Ikoy was a good man, a good father, and a good public servant. But a problem at work led him to alcoholism. He got sick. He died. He left mama Carol who was then teaching at the Alab Elementary School. He left his 13 children struggling for education.
Papa Ikoy was 51 when he died on Feb. 9, 1983. I was 10 years old, the 11thchild of 13. Papa, if I am not mistaken, tried to solve his problems with alcohol but it made the situation worse.
I exhort all fathers everywhere, not to resort to alcohol, drugs, or other vices to solve their problems. You have your wife and children to listen to you. If you resort to vices, remember, you will end your life but you will leave your problem to your wife and children. They will suffer more.
Love your father while they are still with you. It is not easy to be orphaned by a father. They have mistakes and weaknesses but let us not capitalize on their mistakes. Instead, we should appreciate their goodness.
Father’s Day must be a reminder that papa has a big role at home, and we must always thank him.
Papa Ikoy became a drunkard, but he was still responsible. The big problem was, we were orphaned.
The faith that papa Ikoy left us may have been shaken by his drunkenness but it remained dignified to have help us as a family to mature and do well in our life. Having seen the problems alcoholism had caused, I am happy that nobody of us became alcoholics.
I can just imagine how papa Ikoy battled with his alcoholism to live his Christian faith. Alcohol addiction must be treated well in a process that promotes integral healing. They need professional help. It is not enough to verbalize our dislike and annoyance. Alcohol addicts need their family. Alcoholics must help themselves by surrendering their situation to professional help but above all, to the greatest healer, God.
Reach me at [email protected] or at 0905-165-3669.