Manila and the Philippines have just gone through another devastating calamity. Typhoon Mario has inflicted yet another traumatic calamity on our people. But this will pass away and people will soon be back to their normal lives.

Nature may seem destructive at times. But with the passage of time, nature gets everything done. In time, seeds sprout to become plants and trees. Plants bloom to give flowers and food. Trees grow and mature to bear fruits. The fields again become green and the skies become blue. The seas teem with fish and the air with birds. The mountains stand majestic and the meadows sweeping, rolling. Even with man’s irresponsibly polluting the environment, nature will renew itself and will always become better.

And so it is with the vagaries of life. There are a lot of problems besetting mankind today: wars, hunger, oppression, abuse and all kinds of evil, both the usual and the unthinkable. Yet, through the passage of time, life always become better and richer. Today is a lot better than it was a thousand years ago, or a few hundred years ago, or a generation ago, or even just a decade ago. In spite of the usual bumps on the road, somehow mankind has always managed to negotiate passages  through one portal after another to a higher quality of life.

And so it is in my life. It has been one passage after another. At birth, I made the passage from life in my mother’s womb to a life in a family. And the family I grew up in can be seen in the person that I am today.

Then, I started going to school and I made the passage from life in the family to a life in a community. And many of the friends I truly treasure today are the classmates, teachers and the people I got to know in the schools I attended.

Then, I started working and pursuing my careers. I made the passage from being dependent to becoming independent. And the comfort and achievements I enjoy today are the fruits of my work and my careers.

Then I got married and I made the passage from a life with many options to a life committed to one person. And it was then that I learned, enjoyed and lived what unconditional love means. What it means to bring new life and nurture it into this world. I experienced joy and  happiness I never imagined at all happening to me.

A few years ago, I retired and made the passage from a life of clearly defined work to a life asking for new creativity and wisdom. I now have some resources and all the time to do all the things I dreamt of dreaming in my younger years. Oh, there are days that are boring and even frustrating but still in all I have this feeling that simply would not go away. I feel that things will keep on getting better and that there are more exciting passages to make ahead of me. The most exciting of course is the final passage from this life.

I will walk in the presence of God, in the light of the living.
Psalm 56

When a large crowd gathered, with people from one town after another
journeying to Jesus, he spoke in a parable.
“A sower went out to sow his seed.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled,
and the birds of the sky ate it up.
Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew,
it withered for lack of moisture.
Some seed fell among thorns,
and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew,
it produced fruit a hundredfold.”
After saying this, he called out,
“Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”
Luke 8:4–9

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