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Sunday, February 24, 2002

Making Lemonade
It's not uncommon to hear especially when one gets to the end of as stick, be told that when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade!. Well, many people including myself have been through that kind of situation and somehow survived to see another day. Some even have gone over and beyond that by even dishing out some lemons in return (sweetly known as revenge...)!

Having conversed with some parishioners and friends today, the question of relationships seem to be quite a thorny issue to deal with. We all have an inner desire to search for some form of compatible relationship and to try to keep it that way. Unfortunately, 'lemons' do turn up now and then and that's when we get to see for ourselves how we truly react. Consider how priests as preachers always have their favourite moment to say something about 'detachment' and 'to follow the footsteps of Christ' but when it comes to their turn, especially when the transfers came about, they reacted to them in a manner that you questioned their seriousness about what following Christ is all about. Sure, we can certainly feel sad to leave a place especially when one has been there for quite a while. Sure there are some who are too old to be shifted around. But from the various feedback and comments one hears, detachment and emptying oneself seemed to have taken a backseat! This place too small, that place don't have this, I need this to be here...etc. I guess when it comes to the crunch, priests have the same weakness as everyone. Part of being human, perhaps. We want to feel 'needed'. We are already among friends, so why be taken out?... Nonetheless, it do blunt the Lenten message of sacrifices somewhat and diluting the potentially strong sign and example of what priests can do in the world of materialism today. When the opportunity was there to give a potent symbol of solidarity and understanding of the cross in the archdiocese, the strong signal of 'Yes' to God became a mish-mash of distorted static lost in the transmission....

My principle is really simple: the parish is not for one to own and don't be own by anyone. Job says it even simpler - naked I came from my mother's womb, naked I will return. We seemed to have this strong tendency to take too many things for granted. It is when we have been deprived of what we consider as precious to us that we suddenly realised how much they really mean. Human relations top the list in this game of life. We use people and love things. The day we realise that we are all same under the banner of God the Father as his sons and daughters in Christ through the Holy Spirit, do we have a real chance for any reconciliation and healing. Till then, anybody care for some lemonade?...

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