The story is told about a teacher who asked his students: “Class, if Moses were alive today, what would make him a remarkable man?” A student answered: “Ma’am, he surely would be remarkable because he would be more than 2,500 years old today!”

In today’s Gospel (Mk. 5, 13-16), Jesus challenges us to make a difference, not just with long, successful lives, but by being a salt of the earth, and by being a light to the world. We are called not just to exist, but to live meaningful, not empty or vain lives, so as to give praise to the heavenly Father.

So you have made a lot of money, and you have even made a good name, but have you made a difference? Is your life all about yourself and your own agenda? The bottom-line question is: Have you lived for something or someone greater than yourself? In other words, forget about being impressive, and focus rather on being expressive. That’s how you make a difference.

Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father.” Take note — we are to shine, not for ourselves, but for God! It’s all about Him. The sooner we learn this, the better. Our life is for God’s glory, not for our vain glory.

Notice how some people cannot let go of the microphone, and cannot quite leave the center stage? The lure to grab the microphone and the limelight is strong, and many of us can be playing this game in very subtle ways. It is in honest and humble prayer that we can really know who we really are.

* * *

Fr. Fernando Suarez has gone home to the Father. Mission accomplished. He has healed, and he has touched the lives of so many people. He also encountered many controversies, persecutions, and rejection. More than great deeds, it is the presence of the cross in a disciple’s life that defines him/her. Without the cross, discipleship is just a career, a comfort zone, an escape, an ego trip. We are truly a light to the world when we direct the light not to ourselves, but to our loving, merciful God.

Father Suarez was an avid tennis player. In life, as in tennis, we all must specialize in good service, keep our eyes on the ball, be firm on the grip, not forget the follow-through, always go for a deuce, and make it a love game.

* * *

With great joy, the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), presents to the world our confreres who were ordained priests yesterday, Feb. 8, at Christ the King Mission Seminary, Quezon City. They are: Fr. Eugene Philip Baldomar, assigned to Brazil-Amazon; Fr. Joel Malvas Jr., assigned to Mexico-Cuba; Fr. Jose Carlos Rapadas, assigned to Bolivia; Fr. Crispin Vejano, assigned to Indonesia-Timor; and Fr. Michael Creencia, assigned to the Philippines-South. Let us accompany them with our prayers as they face the challenge of making a difference, by being a salt of the earth, and a light to the world.

* * *

Result of my PET/CT scan last Feb. 7: “No hypermetabolic recurrent or metastatic disease.” Praise God! Thank you, Mama Mary, and thank you for your prayers. In gratitude and humility, we say, to God be the glory!

Being a salt of the earth, and a light to the world is an ongoing, daily mission of us all, and this happens not in big projects or events, but in the most simple, and even hidden ways. The fact is that we do not have to be rich or popular to make a difference. We just have to be ourselves—that is, to be humble, and honest disciples with a Master.

A moment with the Lord:Lord, beyond making money, or making a name, help us to make a difference in this life. Amen.

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