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OFWs joys & sorrows

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WORD ALIVE
By FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Once a class teacher asked, “Ano ang pangalan ng pinakamalakas na bagyo?” Dante raised his hand and replied: “Tukso po.” Taken aback, the teacher said: “Bakit tukso?” Dante, quoting a song, said: “Kasi po kay dami ng winasak na tahanan, kay dami ng matang pinaluha at kay dami ng pusong sinugatan.”

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For the record, the culprit that causes enormous damage is not temptation (tukso) but sin. Temptation is an incitement or attraction to do evil things; hence, it’s not a sin. It is when one gives in to the incitement that it becomes sinful. Even Jesus Christ was tempted but he overcame the devil’s lures as shown in this Sunday’s gospel.

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NATIONAL MIGRANTS’ SUNDAY falls on the 1st Sunday of Lent and it is timely and fitting because the theme of the Mass is about TEMPTATION.
One serious family problem among Filipino migrants is due to long separation of married couples.
A spouse working abroad, for instance, can succumb to the temptation of infidelity as a result of long separation. The spouse left behind can also fall to the same predicament.

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Today, National Migrants’ Sunday, our attention is focused on millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who have sought greener pastures abroad.
However, not a few suffer maltreatment and injustices from cruel employers. The painful repatriation of contract workers from Kuwait months ago is a dramatic example.
Moreover, some Filipino women land in brothels or sometimes on death row for acting as “mules” to big-time drug dealers. Others are exposed to sexual harassment and rape.

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One wonders if the dollars earned abroad are worth it when one’s family is in shambles. To paraphrase the Lord’s words: “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his own family.”

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We thank our OFWs for the enormous contributions they are rendering to our country. But we pray that God will help them surmount the moral and family problems they’re encountering in their pursuit for a better life.

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OFWs AS MISSIONARIES. Some years ago, a cabinet member of the government once related how he met an Italian minister at an international convention in Rome.

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“So you are Filipinos!” he greeted. “I have a Filipina helper at home,” he said. As he tried to continue, he noticed the cabinet man and his Filipino companions were feeling uneasy, thinking he would report a bad news.

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“Signori, please…don’t get me wrong,” he countered. “I’d like to tell you that ever since that Filipina helper has worked with us, our house has become very clean and orderly.

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“Besides, my children now go to church regularly because she brings them, and we the parents have to go to church, too, because our children prod us.
“ I tell you, she has done so much good for our family. I’m so happy we have her.”

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The above and similar stories illustrate how our Filipino migrant workers have been a positive influence on the families and parishes where they’re working abroad.
In this way, our migrant workers are also modern-day missionaries.
CONTINUE THE GOOD WORK!

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LENTEN CHARITY. The season of Lent calls us to do more acts of charity. One way is to assist needy seminarians under our “Adopt A Seminarian” scholarship program.
For inquiries, e-mail me at belsvd@gmail.com.

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GOD BLESS — the latest donors: JUDGE MARIVIC BALISI-UMALI, MARIE ROSE NAVARRO, CHRISTIAN WORKERS of Mla. City Hall.

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FAMILY TV MASS — starting today — is aired on 5PLUS Channel 59 at 6-7 a.m. every Sunday; also on international GMA Pinoy TV. Sponsor: STI Education Services Group Inc. (Cubao Campus). Presider: Fr. Rino V. Tomas.

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The FAMILY that prays together stays together.

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