You know very well my prayers last night, O Lord: that you take care of my family and friends affected by the floods and the rains that are expected to worsen this week. These past years I have learned to accept the flow of nature, never bothering you to stop or reverse it except that you give us the grace to cope with it. Most of all, that we finally learn to respect your wonderful creation we have destroyed these past years due to greed and lack of concern.
As we brace for more rains this week, give us the grace to see your glory amidst life’s many storms. In the first reading there is Ezekiel living during the Babylonian exile by the river of Chebar who saw a vision of the coming of your Son Jesus Christ. There was splendor all over his vision though he did not readily understand its meaning during that most trying time in Israel’s history.
In the gospel, Jesus predicted anew His coming passion and death that deeply grieved His disciples not knowing it would eventually lead to His Resurrection. And in the midst of His coming pasch were the many controversies against Him by His enemies like the paying of temple tax. Yet, Jesus kept His cool filled with wit and humor when He told Peter to catch a fish to find a shekel in its mouth to pay for their temple taxes.
And finally today, we celebrate the martyrdom of St. Pontian and St. Hippolytus whose lives presented us a quirky twist that eventually revealed your glory. St. Hippolytus became an anti-pope of St. Pontian due to many differences that threatened the stability of the early Church. But their exile and suffering in Sardinia became the occasion for them to be reconciled before giving their very lives for the glory of the Christ.
Like Ezekiel, Jesus, Hippolytus and Pontian, give us the grace, loving Father, to keep in mind that you always prevail despite many setbacks due to nature and human faults. May we sing like the psalmist, “Heaven and earth are filled with your glory!” Amen. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II,Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria,Bulacan 3022 .
Photo by Fr. Nick F. Lalog II, Sonnem Berg Mountain View, Davao City. 11 August 2018