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Why we suffer and die


BY FR. BEL R. SAN LUIS, SVD


One morning, a husband who had a quarrel with his wife went to church to attend Mass. When he came home, he looked for his wife and, finding her in the kitchen, embraced and lifted her up.

Startled, the wife yelled, “Why did you do that? Did the priest tell you to be romantic?” The husband replied: “No! He told me: ‘Carry your cross!’”

* * *

When we talk about suffering, sacrifice, and carrying our cross, we usually shirk and avoid the thought of these. We prefer a life that’s easy, comfortable, and hassle-free.

That is why when Jesus’ suffering and death was approaching, his close followers could not understand why he, who healed the sick and raise the dead to life, would himself experience sufferings and death.

* * *

In order to help them understand, Jesus related a simple, little parable, saying: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 20,24 on this 5th Sunday of Lent).

* * *

Jesus was telling them that his death was absolutely necessary if there was to be a new life. It is a law of sacrifice that one can come to a greater life only by dying to a lesser one.

He was telling them that God works through a process of suffering-dying-rising-from-death. Jesus compares himself to a seed. He had to die and be buried in the earth for three days, then on Easter Sunday, rise to a glorious Resurrection.

* * *

This law of sacrifice is exemplified by the fruitful deaths of national martyrs and heroes. Think, for instance, of the martyrdom of Dr. Jose Rizal, our national hero. His blood spilled in Bagumbayan planted the seeds of the revolution which won the Philippine independence from Spanish colonial rule. Heroes, however, are rare.

* * *

In our life, however, there is to be a non-violent, “mystical” or spiritual dying to ourselves, our pride, selfishness, laziness, and other negative traits in order to attain the will of God.

* * *

There’s a true story about a married man who was given to drinking. His buddies took more of his time than his family.

As he sank deeper, his wife couldn’t bear the burden of supporting the family and still cared for a problematic husband. She decided to go home to her parents in the province, taking the kids with her.

* * *

The loss of the wife and children proved to be a traumatic experience for the husband. At a loss for what to do, he joined reluctantly some well-meaning friends to join in a Parish Pastoral Renewal Seminar. It proved to be an eye opener. Realizing his failings and wrongdoings, he took the long, arduous road of rehabilitating himself and eventually, got reunited with his wife and children. They have now become a happy and exemplary family.

It was the husband’s DYING to his pride and vices that made him rise to a new and God-centered life.

* * *

ASK YOURSELF: What are the vices and weaknesses I must die of? Is it excessive drinking, sensuality uncontrolled anger, pride, selfishness, or dishonesty?

Like that repentant husband, if we die to ourselves, no doubt we will experience a new and joyful resurrection. And when we leave this world, where do we go? Is it our home in Heaven or eternal fire in Hell!

Make your choice.

* * *

THE LIGHTER SIDE. Somebody calculated: At the rate of the vaccination going on in the Philippines – 30,000 vaccination in one week; multiply that by 70 million people, that would be 2,333 weeks. That would take: 44 years! Good Lord! Many would already be six feet below the ground or ashes!

* * *

A man who always had himself crucified on Holy Week was told by a doctor that the spikes could cause tetanus infection. So he advised him to get anti-tetanus injection.

The man replied: “Doc, I don’t want to. I can’t stand the pain of injections.” (But he can stand being nailed to the cross!).

* * *

SEVEN LAST WORDS. The SVD Mission Communications Foundation Inc. will telecast online the “7 Last Words” on Good Friday, April 2, from 12 noon to 3 p.m. over Skycable, Destiny (former ABS-CBN) Channel 8, Cygnal Cable 22, Teleradyo Channel 6, A2Z Channel 11, and Facebook and YouTube.

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BY THE WAY…We sent out solicitation letters for advertisement placements, sponsorship, and donations for the TV program. May we hear from you? Call Brian Deguito at 7233343 or e-mail me at [email protected]

What do you think?

Written by Tempo Desk

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