Last night, I was reading a book entitled: “Walk with Faith” with Bishop then Cardinal Tagle with the pilgrims of Via Lucis. They went on a eight day spiritual tour to Holy Land. The aim of the pilgrimage is to renew oneself the faith in God. The book narrates the stories of the members of the pilgrim and their statements proves that faith with God demands actions of love. There’s a story of a man who went to Holy Land few years ago who went on Via Crucis (Station of the Cross) and he was so disappointed and dissatisfied. As what he sees, the site where filled with busy people, tourists, sellers along the sidewalks even in the nearby churches. And he told to himself, I will never come back again in this place. But the time comes, when he was the one who organizes the pilgrim to the Holy Land. In which he has no plans of joining them to the trip. But, later on, with his wife, he joined the pilgrim. As what he tells along his comeback, it feels like the roads were new, there’ s a bit of changes in the area and suddenly felt that God renewed everything in this place, even himself, a pilgrim, was stunned by God’s grace. The result in him was tremendous that it reckoned his faith with Jesus.
When life gets tougher, and you feel that there’s no hope, we feel sometimes that God neglected us. But when the time that God gives us something good, we tend to forget everything that this was God’s Divine Plan. Do we really know God? Are we fully devoted to Him?
For everytime we say “I believe in God, Father Almighty” it is an affirmation of our faith. But that, affirmation must not in our minds only (intellectual) or verbal, Faith in times of affliction must prevail and so faith, is a deeper connection of love and compassion.
But faith doesn’t end there. Aside of professing our faith, we must lived to it. Faith must served as motivation for actions and does actions of love is our expressions of our faith. How we see Jesus in the poor? Oftentimes, when I’m in a jeepney, a little boy with untidy clothes, and dirts through his body and face lend me an envelope with a writing that’s pledging for alms. Most of the time, I tend to ignore it and just let them go off the jeepney. If someone approached us and seek for any help, do we provide something? Do we give alms to them? I am much guilty of this scenario because most of the time I just passed by to these people in the streets. Faith, without actions of love is nothing. Without living to our faith, by means of helping the needy, is not a motion of compassion. Recent week there’s a report of massive migration of Syrian refugees fleeing their lives to European countries such as Germany, Hungary and nearby nations. Pope Francis immediately ordered to all European Parishes to open doors to all war refugees. That is a great example of faith with actions of love. Most people in my friends in facebook told me: “Sir, no doubt you are very blessed, because we always see you in your photos roaming around the churches in the Philippines, participating in church’s activities, etc. You are truly a good man.” Then I immediately said to them:” No, I am not. What you see is just a pinch of my faith. Do not be fooled by those pictures, I am also a sinner, I sometimes easily forgot God, and ignored Him whenever I feel not into Him.” My reply is simple, I cannot say that I am fully devoted in my faith. Sometimes, I neglect on praying, failed to attend Sunday Masses when I’m in a far flang areas. So I am not completely doing what God tells us to do. But in some ways, yes, I am blessed despite the fact that I failed Him most of the time, He still, providentially granted my needs, He knows deeply what I am asking for.
And last, when you have faith, through actions of love, we must willing to surrender to God, denying oneself and carry the cross. Jesus Christ, during his time of afflictions never gave up on the physical sufferings He experienced. Instead, He carried His cross and were then crucified. This week, I was tasked to conduct an observation/ assessment to our management trainees deployed through different stores. So I conducted closed door interviews to each store personnel. And one person that has caught my attention and based on the results of my assessment. I asked them a question about what they can say about their attitudes/ behavior towards work then it appears that one man has a negative trait/ feedback of being mum. According to them: this man is too mum that we cannot even hear him when he was talking already. In which I agree to them, this man is so quiet that if you will not ask questions he will not open his mouth to talk. But I treated this one as a positive trait. Why? Because I saw St. Joseph in him. In a way that he was silently doing his job. When it comes to comparative analysis, among them in the store, I can confidently say that this man can manage the store already unlike his fellow trainees. And that, gives me a sense of actions are louder than words. If we have faith, then we must also have actions of love.
“Faith and Actions of love is a union, a marriage of living the word of God.”
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