By Bishop Crispin B. Varquez
IN this month of October, we celebrate the feast days of many great saints who teach us about the value of true wealth over material possessions.
First, we have St. Francis of Assisi who renounced his paternal wealth and committed himself to God. After a carefree youth, he lived a life of evangelical poverty and preached the love of God.
Second, we have St. Teresa of Avila who, after many years of living in vanity even as a cloistered nun, discovered the ‘Way of Perfection’ and influenced the Church by her conviction that ‘God alone suffices’.
We also have the Little Flower, St. Therese of the Child Jesus, whose spirituality is a testimony to the Church and to the world that true greatness is in living our ‘littleness’ in the arms of God, our Father.
We are in a world wherein material prosperity is extremely valued by people. Kung materially mayaman ka ikaw ay sikat, influential, madaling manalo sa mga elections, powerful, maraming kaibigan, masarap ang buhay, etc. Dahil dito, may maraming taong nalulungkot sa buhay kasi akala nila na kung mayaman ka lang saka ka nagiging masaya.
Hindi naman masama ang kayamanan. Nagiging masama ang kayamanan kapag nagiging alipin nito ang tao. Masama kapag ang tao ay gumagamit ng tao para magkapera. Tandaan natin na ang pera ay dapat gamitin para sa kabutihan nga tao.
Dahil sa maraming tao ang nagiging alipin sa pera, lumalaganap ang corruption. Malala na ang corruption kapag nagiging bahagi na ito ng sistema. Distorted na ang values ng mga tao. Ang masama ay nagiging tama at ang gumagawa ng tama ay siya na ang nagiging masama.
Malapit na naman ang election. Tandaan natin na ang election is piniliay hindi pinalitay. Kung hindi magbabago ang Filipino, walang mangyayaring mabuti sa ating bansa.
We need to sacrifice for the transformation of our society. We need to decide for a change. Money will just come and go. Do not give in to corruption just because of the love of money. Do not give in to corruption just because you want to live a comfortable life. Remember Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, “The world offers you a ‘comfortable life’ but you were not made for a comfortable life. You were created for greatness.”
The basic human longing is to be happy. Remember, a happy person is not he who has everything in life but he who makes the best of what he has. The happy person is the one whose wealth is God alone. The saints have given us the best example of how to live happily and meaningfully in this world through detachment from worldly pleasures and through a commitment to love God and neighbor. That is why the saints are joyful. Their only treasure is God.
October is also the month of the Holy Rosary. The inspiration and ultimate model of the saints is the Lord Jesus Himself. During this month, we give a special emphasis on the praying of the Holy Rosary. We do not only focus on the recitation but, more importantly, on the meditation of the mysteries. In every mystery, the Blessed Virgin Mary helps us to see the greatness of God’s love, the wealth of those who are close to Him. If we notice, the mysteries are joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious. Of the four mysteries, only one is sorrowful. So if we follow Jesus and Mary, it is necessary to experience sorrow but most of our experiences would be joyful, luminous and glorious. Kaya mas masaya pag kasama si Hesus at Maria!