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Passion and compassion.

Someone once said that there are three ways to drink whisky: Drink it without water; drink it with water; or drink it like water.

In today's gospel, we hear how Jesus was engaged and passionate in His work of healing, exorcising, and preaching God's message. We ask ourselves today: Do I have the desire, the willingness, the zeal and the commitment to do my mission for the Lord and for others? Is the Kingdom of God on my horizon at all?

Jesus knew the art of disengagement. He knew how to withdraw and fade away from the noise and the limelight. May we also learn that without prayer, without quiet moments, we will grow weak, vain, empty, and end up promoting ourselves and our selfish agenda instead of that of the Kingdom of God.

A person who knows how to kneel before God can stand up against anything and anyone. A person who really listens to God will not become arrogant, vain, or proud.

Check your batteries. Are you running low or empty? Take time to pray, listen, and recharge.

Move on. Jesus teaches us today not to 'rest on our laurels.' We must be ever ready to move out of our comfort zones. We must operate on the premise that we are all unworthy and dispensable servants. It's not about us. It's all about Him.

I asked the ground crew at the counter, 'Miss, I'm 64 years old now. Will I still be 64 when the plane gets here?' That was how I tried to cheer myself up while waiting for our plane for Batanes last Jan. 26. In our country where there is a culture of traffic congestion, endless waiting, and long queues, we need to have the 2 Ps to survive: Patience and Prayer. And humor!

After waiting at the Clark International Airport for 5 hours due to 'aircraft condition,' we finally took off for Batanes, only to return later to the airport due to 'weather condition' in Batanes. We were circling over Basco Airport for 30 minutes with zero visibility. It was such a scary situation. Finally, Capt. Ronald Victorino of PR 2688 decided that we should go back. In my heart I was praying that he would do just that.

Let us pray for those who drive for us and who fly us, and also for those who lead us, on whose hands depend our safety and our very lives. Let us pray for our President, our government and our religious leaders, and those with big responsibilities and who affect so many people.

The super blue blood moon last Jan. 31 was such a beautiful and rare sight. Yes, there are some moments that take our breath away. Let us be reminded that every moment is precious and will not come back again. Life is short. Let us live it well. And let us live it for something or Someone greater than ourselves.

Think about this: The kindness we do is never lost. Each act takes root, and every bit of love we sow will in time bear good fruit. Specialize in kindness.

I started this column with the three ways to drink whisky-i.e., to drink it with water, without water, or like water. Let me end with the three ways to live a meaningful life-i.e., to live well, love much, and laugh often.

Jesus lived a life filled with passion for the Kingdom of God, and a life filled with compassion for people. At any time in our lives, and at any point of our journey, may we continue to be inspired by our Lord and Master to be passionate in our mission to serve, and to be kind and compassionate to other people, especially those who are not of our liking, and not of our kind.

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, like You, may we live lives filled with passion and compassion. Amen.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 4, 2018
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