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God did not banish typhoons, calamities




Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

In an international convention in the USA, a man introduced himself to a Filipino, saying, “I’m Joe Smith from the state of Texas.”   The Filipino replied: “I’m Freddie Ubaldo from the State of Calamity.”

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        Yes, calamities made their presence felt again and the latest and most devastating so far was Typhoon “Ompong.”

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        JESUS & CALAMITIES. A sudden storm rose in the sea of Galilee that buffeted the boat on which Jesus and his apostles were riding. When the storm threatened to drown them all,  the scared apostles ran to Jesus who was asleep on a cushion at the rear of the boat and frantically told him of the perilous situation. Jesus said, “Oh you men of little faith” and forthwith calmed the waves and silenced the strong winds, prompting the astounded disciples to remark: “Who is this Man that even the winds and waves obey Him?”

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        Jesus could, indeed, control the mighty forces of Nature.  Note, however, that He did not banish altogether the storm that threatened them and other natural calamities (Read Mk 4,35-41). Why did He not do it? Is He a sadist who enjoys seeing people suffer?

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        It’s not because God’s Son is merciless or powerless to abolish destructive calamities;  rather it shows that earthquakes, typhoons, and floods are part and parcel of life in this  “valley of tears” called Earth.

They are the spasms and tantrums of Nature that are part of our imperfect world broken by Original Sin.

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        The best that we can do is to find ways and means of eradicating or minimizing the destructive effects of these calamities.

Holland, a country that’s located below sea level, had been plagued by perennial floods. By using the technology of drainage through canals, however, their engineers were able to solve the problem permanently. They could joke, “God made the world but the Dutch made Holland.”

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        PERENNIAL VICTIMS. In our country, the poor are the perennial and most vulnerable victims of calamities. They live under bridges and flyovers so that when typhoons and floods come, they are most exposed to mayhem or death, or their poorly constructed shanties are swept away, like matchboxes.

* * *

        The people abandon their perilous places temporarily, but when things are going well, they return and build weak houses again.

        Our hearts and prayers go out to them, but they should also help themselves, by moving to safer grounds. Better still, apply for government housing assistance.

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            For those of us whose lives and properties were spared from the devastating “Ompong”, let’s thank the Lord. But as an act of gratitude, reach out to the poor victims. There are parishes, the Caritas Manila, NGOs, government agencies like the Red Cross where you can course your donations in cash or kind.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE. An airplane was shook and rocked by a storm. Everyone kept quiet or prayed, except one man who was laughing.

        “My friend,” said the woman praying beside him, “Don’t you know that we may crash and die? Can’t you do something religious for once?”  The man stood up and passed his hat for collections!

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        SAN BEDA UNIVERSITY INVESTITURE. The first university rector-president of San Beda, REV. FR. ALOYSIUS MA. A. MARANAN, OSB, was invested last September 21 by the Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines His Excellency Gabriele Caccia, DD.

We wish Fr. Maranan all the best. I recall a saying, “When God sends you on a stony path, He provides you with the right shoes.”

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        FAMILY TV MASS — aired on IBC 13 (channel 15 cable) at 7-8 a.m. every  Sunday;  also on international GMA Pinoy TV. SPONSOR: CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION, Batasan Pambansa, QC. Celebrant: FR. ALFRED ROLLON, SVD.


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