by: Dr. Laurence C. Mascay
The Lenten Season has been just barely over. It is a commemoration of the great concern Jesus Christ has for the people He came to save from the power and penalty of sin - which is eternal separation from God. Such a great concern that the Lord, who is in very nature God, humbled himself by becoming obedient to death on the cross. It is because of such concern that man has now the opportunity to be forgiven for his sin and be bestowed with an everlasting life with God in heaven if he repents and embraced Jesus as Savior and Lord.
When we experienced how God is concerned for us through His salvation, intervention, protection, and provision we can’t keep it to ourselves. Rather, we want other people to experience it too. Just like the men in the book of Matthew did, it says, “When the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to Him and begged Him to let the sick just touch the edge of His cloak, and all who touched Him were healed.”
Concern for others is a Filipino trait that is visibly seen and deeply felt especially in times of crisis. We call it damayan and bayanihan. Wherein various groups and individuals, alongside the concerned government agencies, initiates and spearhead donation drive, search and rescue operations, and livelihood programs for the victims of various catastrophes such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, fires, and Covid-19. It is to somehow alleviate the misery of the affected individuals and help them recover and continue with life with the hope of a brighter future. A religious leader says, “If we develop concern for other people’s welfare, share other people’s suffering, and help them, ultimately we will benefit. If we think only of ourselves and forget about others, ultimately we will lose. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes."
Each one has his way of showing concern for others - to an office mate, friend, neighbor, classmate, and even a stranger. However, we have to be intentional in doing so. Because every person we meet - in the office, in the school, in the mall, on the road, or wherever bears some burden or wrestling with problems or in a turmoil situation one way or another. Consequently, let us be more gracious with our words and be mindful of the tone of our voice, let us be more patient and understanding of our erring colleagues, let us pray for the success of others and help them succeed, and may we have a hearing ear and a shoulder for others to count on. The Scripture says, “Be kind to one another, be compassionate to one another, and forgive each other.” Accordingly, let us exhibit some concern for others today.
by: Micah A. Tecne
It has been a long weekend and we have commemorated the love of Jesus that is being poured out upon us on the cross and how He rose from the dead, proving that our faith in Him is not in vain. It is a season that reminded us that there is still hope in spite of all the chaos that we may experience whether in our personal lives; national and even international issues that can affect us. As we hear news about war, tragic incidents, illnesses, and natural calamities, we tend to raise the question “why?”. Our faith wavers and we lose hope thinking there is nothing we can do. We hear people give up in this so called race of life. Giving up being they can’t find the answer why things are happening. We stop believing and we eventually stop moving and doing.
An old writer says, "Faith and reason may be compared to two travelers: Faith is like a man in full health who can walk twenty or thirty miles at a time without suffering. Reason is like a child, who can only with difficulty accomplish three or four miles. On a given day Reason says to Faith, 'O good Faith, let me walk with thee.' Faith replies, 'O Reason, thou canst never walk with me!' However, to try their paces, they set out together, but they soon find it hard to keep company. When they come to a deep river, Reason says, 'I can never ford this,' but Faith wades through it singing. When they reach a lofty mountain, there is the same exclamation of despair; and in such cases, Faith, in order not to leave Reason behind, is obliged to carry him on his back; and, oh, how dependent upon Faith is Reason!" Why has God made faith the indispensable ingredient in man's approach to Him? Is it not precisely because man's reason can go only so far? Where reason comes up against an insurmountable obstacle, faith soars above it and apprehends God and heavenly mysteries by this divinely given faculty.
When we find ourselves losing any reason to move forward, let this season remind us to keep on believing. Our faith will carry us beyond our own reasoning. Let us trust in the Lord with all our hearts; and lean not to our own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct our paths. As we believe, we are able to activate our faith that is seen in what we do and say.
An old country preacher used to say: "There are two parts to the Gospel. The first part is believing it, and the second part is behaving it." The hearer only is the one who is satisfied with just believing without behaving. That is what James describes as dead faith
One of the question in the movie Do You Believe: Do you believe in the Almighty God; His plans and purposes, His works? If yes, then what are you doing about it? Is your faith activated? Does your faith has feet? Does your faith in God move you higher, deeper, wider, and further in Him? If yes, go further! If no, choose to be activated now! No more excuses and alibis, no more reasons!
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
by: Nathaniel A. Saquiban
Due to the adverse effects of the pandemic and the effects of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, it appears to some that we have entered into a VUCA World. VUCA is an acronym to describe or to reflect on the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of general conditions and situations based from the leadership theories of Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus. In other way of saying, VUCA world is a chaotic world. Such kind of environment directly or indirectly affects human activities. It alters the usual way of living of people. Incidentally, it constrains the pursuit for excellence in various fields of endeavor. Even the strong may become weak and even the diligent may be slackened due to these hostile incidents.
One of the ways to survive the existing phenomena is to practice the value of diligence with focus. As the famous proverb states, “A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich”. It is having a hardworking spirit, persistency, and industriousness without being dissuaded by all forms of difficulty. It is the ability to pursue desired goals in life at any cost. It is being totally consumed by the vision for success amidst of deterrent circumstances. It is aiming a glorious destiny even contrary situations kept bombarding. This aggressive attitude is easier said than done. Only the extraordinary can make it.
We, Filipinos, naturally possess this fighting spirit. We are known for our resiliency and diligence. We are oftentimes struck by natural disasters and calamities but we always rise-up from the occasion. We usually do not accept our misfortune. We do something out of our desperate state. This is the reason why many of us have gone abroad looking for better opportunities and higher earnings. We sacrifice our affections with our family members in order to earn a living. We do everything that needs to be done to alleviate our financial and social status. While there may be few who are sluggish, it is not our general character trait. We normally fight for survival and do not settle for less.
During the peak of the pandemic, admittedly, we were immobilized. Our productivity was limited and our purchasing power was reduced. Businesses and other means of livelihood were closed. However, a lot of us still managed to find ways and shift to other gainful undertakings. Diligence coupled with creativity is the key.
Other than being diligent, we also need to stay focus. We have a vision to realize by year 2040. According to National Economic Development Authority, “Vision 2040” are the set of goals identified by the public, for themselves, their children, their community, and the country. They came from the sovereign Filipino people and not from single individual, thus, they should be respected, honored, and fulfilled. The implementing body should not be sidetracked by the changing administration and minor political clashes. Each leaders may have priority programs and projects but those established by the masses should not be altered. Neither should the subordinates be unduly influenced by political figures.
We should therefore keep holding on to our dreams and aspirations for a better future. It is in our hands and we can do something. We should not be affected by the negative turn of events. Our passion should remain alive. Most importantly, we should stay diligent and focused.
by: Keren May B. Busaing
To remain untarnished and without blemish in this world where the war between good and evil is constantly taking place, is it even possible? This may be the most ideal picture we would paint if we ever try to delve deep into the value of purity. Ideal it is, but such painting is not necessarily what we wish to challenge for each and everyone to accomplish.
In the history of mankind, Jesus Christ was the only man who ever lived in complete purity. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth - one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. For we may have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.
Having said these, we hope to have established the perfect ground to build the value of purity. A state of humble acknowledgment of our humanity and at the same time, hopeful in working out a better version of ourselves according to the example of Jesus. Without judgment on our past and condemnation to the twists and thorns ahead of us, we are being encouraged to go through whatever process by keeping our hearts pure. In this long and winding journey of life, it is by the purity of our minds, thoughts, actions, and intentions that we can consciously work out the value of purity. We may stumble along the way and it creates a clot to the ideal picture we painted earlier, but the point is we will always find our way to the right path by consistently working out the value of purity.
Moreover, pure intents and thoughts does not always equate to the purest courses of action. We may have pure intentions, but there are times that our expression is not necessarily right or sometimes, it can be misunderstood by others. If we choose to see or measure purity by consciously addressing all the misunderstandings or whitening the clots on our painting, the journey will be much longer and tiresome. The standards will always vary since misunderstandings are subjective and people have different opinions. We can never please everyone and it is not our goal to let everyone conclude that we are pure. We only need to decide to keep our hearts and intentions pure, open our hearts and minds to corrections, and prepare to move forward in humility.
To the pure, all things are pure. Let this become our mantra. In the midst of all the chaos and deceitfulness of our surroundings including the accusations that may be hurled against us, this mentality can restore and keep our inner peace. Our purity is our best defense and as long as we consciously work it out along with humility, it will always protect us. Humility is important because we cannot deceive ourselves and proclaim purity all the time without being open to possible corrections. We are allowed to stumble and fall and get up and continue operating in purity. That is the very essence of purity.
From this point onwards, let us decide to walk our life’s journey in purity. Let us take it in peace, enjoy the walk, anticipate to overcome the challenges, be forgiving of ourselves for some mistakes, and do all these in love. If we want a specific pattern to imitate, the life of Jesus Christ is always the best example. His life story is not a secret and resources are always accessible.
Let us take that first step and enjoy the journey!
CRFV Winning Team
A company of men and women who have committed their lives to the cause of national transformation.