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Tuesday, July 02, 2002

The Greatest Thing In All My Life
The alarm went off this morning at 4.30 am waking me up rather abruptly with its whining 'peeep'. For a while I was wondering where I was and what the day it is. A find state of mind to find myself in. Then remembered I had the alarm at this god-forsaken hour because I had to attend Mass at St Anne's for the 6.30 am Mass. Later after breakfast at the Punggol Field food center, I walked all the way back to the Seminary. A 'good' start to the 1st half of the day, don't you think? That's what the holidays seem to be doing to my mood...

Today's gospel reading which I took to my prayer hour seems to be asking me to take a more deeper and honest look with the question of faith. I had brought this up many times in my various conversation with people and just recently with my catechism students last Sunday. While challenging them to see where they stand with their faith these days, the gospel today is challenging me to look at mine now. My verdict? Not too happy with my own level of faith as it is always in need of constant renewing and reevaluation. Everyday of my existence since I joined the seminary has been a series of picking up the pieces again and again and continuing with what I have to do. However a commentary from Erasmo's work on the Gospel of St Matthew says something encouraging and yet pointing towards a deeper mystery yet to be plumbed. From the scene where Jesus sleeps in the boat while the storm rages all around (to the dismay and fright of his disciples), it is similar in our every day lives as Jesus 'sleeps' within us while we run a round like a headless chicken in the midst of the hullaballoo around. We miss our 'center' of calmness where Jesus resides as he continues to 'sleep'. He seems to be waiting for us to turn to him to calm our storms. He isn't making a move to push his way into our mess but waits for us to make that initiative ourselves. So we try this, that, go here, there, everywhere except where we should be going - Jesus Christ. When we finally do, we holler 'Save us!' which, by the way, is the name of Jesus, i.e. saviour. When he eventually calms the raging tempest, we act exactly like the disciples, wondering what kind of a person is this and not accepting him for what he truly is since the beginning of time - Jesus, Son of God and our saviour. I think we are no better off then those disciples then, some 2000 years ago. SInce I'm akin to that myself and knowing that there are many, many others like that, I'm 'comforted' that I'm not alone in all this.

As such the challenge is always there to make that difference. Finishing my prayer hour I felt a little encourage that I can still have that hope of doing great things for God, despite my failings, and I don't need to go too far than just to fall on my knees and thank Him for the gift of life I receive free of charge every time I open my eyes to greet the new morning.

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