It seems that the Philippines and the Filipino people have been experiencing a series of natural calamities and man-made catastrophes that destroyed lives and properties.

There were floods in places that were not flooded before.  The rivers and drainage systems overflow to land area.  The sea water transferred to the land. Earthquake of magnitude 7.2  lasted for weeks!

We had gone through 25 typhoons in 2013 with Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the strongest in the world! Terrible destructions everywhere and dead bodies floating on water!

Millions are homeless, hundreds of families lost their loved ones and many towns are isolated with the destruction of roads and bridges.

The devastation in Zamboanga was man-made. Muslim groups killed soldiers and civilians.  They also destroyed buildings and houses.  People had to run for their lives and suffer hunger, thirst, disease and homelessness.  In war, nobody wins, everyone loses!

Another man-made catastrophe is happening in our political system of bringing help and support to our poor farmers and needy people.  Billions of pesos are syphoned to already rich people living in luxuries and building wealth and power for themselves.

You can read the news and watch on TV and the internet the details of the above natural and man-made calamities our people are experiencing.

What’s the good news? God has not given up on us!  People have held on to their faith.  God will never abandon us.  We shall overcome – someday!

There are good people who care and help!  There are people who risk their lives to reveal the truth. There are people in government who use their position and power to find the evidences so justice can be served. Our government agencies are helping the victims of the catastrophes.  Private citizens and organizations and the international communities are sending help.

Many groups are trying to help government to come up with a system that is more secured against bad-intentioned people.  No one seems to be safe.  Honesty is wanting.  Love, care and service for others may be available after one has served himself/herself first.

A few may get all the wealth in the world.  Some may be more comfortable than others.  Some could afford to be luxurious, extravagant and live in style.  Some could bask on their popularity in the limelight.  But many are also contented living a simple, peaceful and happy family life.

And yet, all these are temporary! Sometime, we leave all these behind.  We take only the good that we have done in our lives.

Luke 21:7-11 reads …

`They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray, for many will come in my name and say, `I am he!’ and `the time is near!’  Do not go after them.

“When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.”  Then he said to them, “Nations will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.

The bottom line is – we are all living on borrowed time in this world.

Life is a gift. We did not ask for it.  But we do make the life we live and we are responsible for it.  We were given wonderful resources in nature and the most beautiful world in the universe!  It is up to us what we make of these gifts and resources.  But we need to work together as a loving, caring and sharing community so everyone is happy.  Simple as it is, it is most difficult when we consider that earth people are in different regions, countries, cultures, languages and religions.  But we can be one in peace and solidarity with one another.  We belong to the same species in this planet.

Even in our beloved Philippines, we are divided into regions with our respective sub-cultures and different native languages.  Generally, the people in the capital of the Philippines look down on those coming from the “provinces” as second-rate citizens, perhaps less intelligent or poorer in any way.  But we do share some things in common – we are persons, with the same basic needs and feelings.

Our borrowed time may be long or short, only God knows.  What we make of this time is our gift to the Creator of this life and for each other.  What is really our mission in life? What are we living for?  The best things in life cannot be bought in a store or manufactured in companies. But we do need some basic material things to survive while we are still in this world.  The victims of the typhoon and earthquake are wanting of these basic things to keep them alive.

There may not be much time left.  Think about it.  What legacy do we leave behind?  What shall we take along in the next life?

“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life!” (Jn 6:68)



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