Features and preparations for the feast of the Black Nazarene have been flooding the news since last week.
It is worthy to note how most of the devotees that were interviewed are all asking the Lord or the Black Nazarene for something – – – a better life, a better job, more income, etc. None, of those interviewed, are there to give thanks.
But the same goes even for some of us non-devotees. We tend to only remember Him when it’s most convenient for us, or when we need something from Him. Seldom do we find ourselves saying, “Thank you, Lord.” A habit most of us should have learned in Catholic school Kindergarten.
While I have nothing against following age-old beliefs, such as what devotees do for the Black Nazarene, I just can’t help but ask and wonder about the following: Whatever happened to keeping one’s faith? If we asked something from the Lord, shouldn’t we just have faith that in His time, in His own way, though sometimes it may not be in the form that we expect, somehow He will deliver? Why do we have to go such lengths, as put ourselves and others in danger, just to be granted what we want and asked the Lord?
I’m sitting at a Korean chicken place waiting for my takeout. I am surrounded by tables of young students, some women dining alone, and families having their Saturday lunch. I am reminded of those Sundays mom and dad took my siblings and I out for lunch after hearing mass. I used to look forward to weekends because it meant not just a break from school, but more importantly, it’s time spent with family. It’s a time everyone listened to each one’s story, shared on food, and cared for nothing else but having fun.
My trip down nostalgia is interrupted as I glance around me again. I see other people dining, talking momentarily, but quickly bowing their heads to tinker with their phones. I think maybe if the lights are switched off, and there’s no sunlight coming in from outside, the light from everyone’s phones would be enough to see in the dark. The faint laughter coming from a few tables is overpowered by the deafening music from stereo speakers. The picture I see now is the complete opposite of how it was before.
Truly, being present is not just being physically there at that moment. To be present is to engage.
*photo borrowed from the internet*
During an interview last week, I was asked, “How do you see yourself in five years?”
I answered, “Mentoring your teachers, helping your students learn, and loving every minute of it.”
Then they followed up, “What about in your personal life?”
With a slight pause, I replied, “I’d be in love.”