Here's a personal story shared by Fr. Augustine during his homily:
Coming from a mission in Japan, he went back to the Philippines exhausted and hungry. He hired a taxi that would bring him to his accommodation in Tandang Sora. He was wearing his clergy shirt. In the middle of EDSA, somewhere in Makati, the taxi driver pulled over and commanded him to get out of the taxi because he (the taxi driver) doesn't want to do business with a Catholic priest. He also asked Fr. Augustine to pay him Php500. The priest had nothing left to do but to give in to the driver's demands. He got out of the cab and paid Php500 to the driver who claimed to be a member of another sect.
After 30 minutes of waiting under the scorching heat of the sun, he was finally able to get a ride. This time, the taxi driver is a Catholic who actively serves as lay minister in one of the parishes in Manila. Fr. Augustine felt relief having found a new brother and friend in the person of the taxi driver.
But he was somewhat traumatized by his experience with the first taxi driver. He shared he was already thinking of changing his shirt so that people won't recognize him as a priest. But the Lord told Him, "Do not be afraid. Live your faith. You are a priest."
And so he remained where he was with all his luggage and patiently waited for the ride.
How many of us share a similar story? Kaunting pagsubok lang, bibitiw agad sa pananampalataya.
Today's Gospel tells about the faith of the centurion from whose words we adapted our declaration during the part of the mass when the priest raises up the broken bread symbolizing the Body of Christ: "Sir, I am not worthy to have you under my roof; just give the word and my servant will be cured."
The Year of Faith has just ended but we are continuously being called to know, share, and live our faith. Definitely there would be trials along the way, but God is faithful. He grants us the grace to overcome and share in the victory that He has already won. All that is asked of us is to remain faithful to Him as well, despite and in spite of the difficulties that we face. After all, a faith that isn't tested is a faith that can't be trusted.
|Photo Credit: Mimi Lee|