Coping with COVID-19 – Manila Bulletin


WORD ALIVE

Nanding B. was making good as a high-ranking executive of a giant beverage company in Makati. After many years of service, his friends and office mates were astounded when he quit his high-paying job to work fulltime in the charismatic renewal apostolate he was serving.

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He needed more time in going to nearby towns in Bulacan and Pampanga to organize Life in the Spirit Seminars (LSS) or Marriage Encounter weekend seminars. Once he confided to me, “Father, I may not be making as much money as I used to, but I can’t exchange the joy and fulfillment I now experience.”

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Nanding’s story is much like the farmer and merchant in this 17th Sunday’s parable (Mt 13,44-46). The former company executive found the buried treasure and pearl of great price and gave up everything to devote his life in the service of God.

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While we do not forget that God and his Kingdom are our greatest treasure, we have basic needs like food security, setting up a decent house and livelihood that we need to attend to, especially in this difficult time of COVID-19. We need resourcefulness, ingenuity, and urgency to find work and employment as long as they’re not immoral or illegal.

I came across the story of a young man which exemplifies how to be resourceful and practical during this trying time.

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GLENNDAILE SAMONTE, a charter airline pilot of Asian Aerospace Corporation, like many employees, has been severely hit by the economic catastrophe brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The “no work no pay” paralyzed his financial state which was aggravated by the grounding of charter planes for months. “I was sad about the situation,” he said. But instead of throwing up his arms in despair, he looked around for work.

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One time, Glenn’s relative informed him about his need for a delivery rider of food to customers. Glenn didn’t think twice. He said, “I accepted the job because it would help me in my daily expenses and, at the same time I enjoyed passing time productively.” He added: “In a time like this “one has to be street-smart in order to survive. No inhibitions, no ‘arte arte.’ In Filipino terms, ‘diskarte ang kailangan sa buhay, hindi arte.’”

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Glenn found a way to push forward. He plodded from delivering plane passengers and cargo to delivering food to hungry individuals on a motor bike.      

After thanking all the people who have helped him, he said, “I’m extremely thankful to God for loving me unconditionally.”

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There’s a saying, “Adversity is the mother of invention.” With the COVID-19 pandemic, let us be more resourceful in “inventing” solutions. 

We Filipinos are resilient like the proverbial pliant bamboo. We can cope with this. Yes, we can!

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MISSION SOCIETY OF THE PHILIPPINES. Today is the 55th Foundation Anniversary of the diocesan-missionary congregation called “Mission Society of the Philippines” (MSP) founded by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in 1965.

The establishment of MSP was in response to the call of the Holy Fathers who had visited the Philippines; thus, MSP is the official missionary arm of the Philippine Catholic Church.

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 We Filipinos are singularly blessed with the gift of Christian faith. But every gift carries a responsibility. Pope John Paul II said in February, 1981, on his first visit to the Philippines: “I wish to tell you of my special desire that the Filipinos will become the foremost missionaries of the Church of Asia.”

How much have we done?

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For further information about the MSP, call tels.: 524-2979/ 524-2977/536-4795 or open their website: www.msp.org.ph

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APPEAL. Please help the seminarians we’re supporting under  our “Adopt-A-Seminarian” scholarship program. You may chip in an amount or sponsor a seminarian’s schooling for one school year.

For inquiries, call me at: [email protected].

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Let’s support our seminarians. We cannot have priests, bishops and popes without them. They all start as seminarians.



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