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Three Things To Realize :)

Fr. Benedict's homily can be summarized into these three things:

1. One of life's greatest tragedies is this: we work so hard to gain possessions to the point that we are becoming unaware that our possessions already own us. If you find it difficult to give away something due to "sentimental value" or whatever value it may have, you need to ponder and assess if it's still you who own that possession or if it already has owned you. The fact is, we do not own anything. Everything is just being lent to us by God. Whether we like it or not, we will eventually lose them. Don't be attached to the things that are temporary. Focus on what is eternal. 

2. The point of fasting and abstinence especially during Lent is to be able to extend charity. We simplify our lives so that others can simply live. May this season not just pass by without making any positive change in us. This is not a season for a good cause - to be able to reach out and extend help to those in need. Remember the Gospel reading yesterday about the rich young man? He followed the ten commandments, he has been doing what is right. But Jesus told him that he still needs to do one thing: to sell his possessions and give to the poor. The rich young man left sad. And Jesus was sad for him too. It's not enough not to do evil. We are called to do something... for others.

3. Following Jesus does not exempt us from the challenges of life. In the Gospel today, Peter said to Jesus, "We have given up everything and followed you." Jesus replied, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, WITH PERSECUTIONS, and eternal life in the age to come." If you are experiencing trials and difficulties in life, know that God is just being true to His word. Persecutions are part of God's promise. Unfortunately? No. Because God has also promised His presence. And the assurance that with Him, nothing is impossible for us. We will overcome because He is with us.

As Lent begins, let us draw ourselves nearer to God so that in the midst of life's temptations and the challenges that come with our following of Christ, we may never falter and give in. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to respond to the needs of others in the midst of our own neediness. :)

Photo Credit: Verbal Kwest

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