Trust in the Lord!

Being happy is one undeniable state that everyone desires. Being happy inspires others and it is something that uplifts the people around more than just being happy yourself. However, being truly happy isn’t easy to achieve. Some think that to be happy one must have wealth and earthly possessions. Yet we can read about rich and wealthy people committing suicide or having depression because they can’t handle the pressure or adulation whatever you call it. Some say that when they’ve achieved something great in their life they’ll be truly happy. Yet, when they’ve achieved it, they still find nothing but emptiness.

Fr. Armand Robleza, SDB, says that “Being happy is the firm refusal to be dragged down by the hubris of living. A happy spirit will always find something to celebrate or be thankful for. A happy person believes that life is on his side. Yes, his heart overflows with the songs of his private victories which will eventually find their echoes in the lives of others.”

More importantly as Christians, we believe that ultimately the state of happiness should be lasting (eternal) and not just here in this world (temporal).

In the Gospel (Lk. 6: 17, 20-26), Jesus says, “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours.” St. Luke was referring to the situation of the poor as blessed since they have no other recourse but to trust in God’s provision. Come to think about it, who is better to trust to, God or man? In the First Reading (Jer. 17: 5-8) the Prophet Jeremiah says, “Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” The poor are indeed blessed because when they recognize that what they have is from God, they become humble and generous as well, having the faith that God will richly bless them if they share what little they have to others who are in need. This verse also tells that you can’t serve both man and God. Thus, a stern warning: this Gospel warns that as a consequence of not trusting God, the Lord says, “But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.”

Becoming happy is not about you, it is about making others happy. Only then can you truly be happy.

Reflect on your own situation: are you generous to the poor in your community? Are you helpful in your own parish whenever asked to help? Do you sacrifice from the little you have to provide for those who have even less?

Let us pray therefore that in all that we do, in all the situations and challenges we are in, we will be always grateful and giving, fully abiding and trusting in the Lord.

Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.” (Ps. 40: 5a)

[If you want to understand happiness and real joy, join the next run of the Code of Champions!]

Here I Am Lord!

There are moments in our service to our communities that we become so tired and weary that we want to give up feeling frustrated and spent. Especially when the results are far away from our desired outcomes, we want to veer away from reality and fly out of it all, trying to escape the disappointments and failures.

My daughter Alexa plays the piano so well that we look forward to listening her play at home. Yet, we’ve observed that the moments she does it are times when she’s expressing herself — and the best music comes out naturally. As an artist, I sketch and draw but these are also mood dependent, the timing simply has to be there so that I can focus on it and get better results. You don’t do it just anytime, there’s what you call the perfect moment in doing the things you love to do.

In the Gospel (Lk. 5: 1-11), “the fishermen had disembarked and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, Jesus asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.”

Simon must have been so tired already but the words of Jesus was powerful enough to persuade him to follow the Lord. As a fisherman who knows his work well, Simon knows it may just be a waste of time, but the Lord’s command is just so hard to resist especially that Jesus has worked wonders and miracles. True enough, “When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing.”

Thus, the Lord is assuring He is behind you in all that you do especially when you are in the service of His people. The “deep water” that Jesus mentioned here is significant. In the turbulent and stormy times that the Church is in, you have to recognize that you have to follow the call of the Lord as you have a role to do. In your Parish you may be a youth coordinator or volunteer, or a reader/commentator, an altar server, a Eucharistic minister, a Mother Butler guild member, etc. it really doesn’t matter what your service is or what others may think. You may say that what you are doing is insignificant, but don’t worry, the Lord is not after the grand things, He is after obedience and humility in serving Him.

Even St. Paul felt that way when he said in the Second Reading (1 Cor. 15: 1-11) “For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective.”

Today, reflect on the service that the Lord has given you to do. Feel and hear as in the First Reading (Is. 6: 1-2a, 3-8) the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I sendWho will go for us?” Gently follow His command and say “Here I am, send me!” And you’ll be amazed at the bountiful harvest that is forthcoming.  

Come after me and I will make you fishers of men.” (Mt. 4: 9)

Acceptance and Rejection

A popular successful Chinese business magnate, investor, and philanthropist once said, “When selling to close friends and family, no matter how much you’re selling to them, they will always feel you’re earning their money, no matter how cheap you sell to them, they still wouldn’t appreciate it.”

Just like in business, one of the more difficult challenges in your participation in Christ’s saving mission is in sharing the Good News to your family and friends. It seems awkward for them to hear from you – someone they know so much that they always look at it with indifference. [Don’t get me wrong as family has always looked and appreciated my efforts in this regard but there are still those few who chose to distance away whenever situations like these are presented to them.]

In the Gospel (Lk. 4: 21-30), the people were amazed at the gracious words that came from Jesus, but they then asked, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?” Those who knew him up close where skeptical and asked this question. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus pointed out to them their indifference and doubt. “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place”, Jesus told them, proceeding further about the stories in the Old Testament about the favors God bestowed elsewhere but Israel. The people became furious, rose up, and became close to being violent. For them the truth hurts and is so hard to swallow.

Why is it like that? I also heard of spouses not listening to their spouse talk about such concerns, children who don’t listen to their siblings, nor children listening to their parents. This is more often the rule than the exception. At one time while in the South after doing a talk on Spirituality which was so well liked by my department members, I asked my assistant why other managers don’t try doing the things we’re doing? She responded by saying, “maybe they are not comfortable doing it, or maybe they have that fear of being rejected. It’s also difficult because they may have done something bad in the past that affects their credibility in discussing something about doing good”.

This is also likewise true with us. We tend to be somewhat selective and biased with family. Maybe it is more of being so familiar with them that we tend to let biases come into the picture and affect our impressions and reactions. Your experiences with them has become some sort of filter that is screening out the good intentions that they may have. You let these downsides muddle the goodness of their intentions. Subconsciously you carry much baggage including resentments, hurts and bad experiences.

The Lord is telling us to remove these biases and open our hearts to family and friends. What we can do is try to unload these “baggage”, look at their positive side and give family an open mind and a fresh chance at presenting themselves differently from the bad experiences in the past.

Reflect on the strength of your family instead of their weaknesses. Reflect on how God has worked on improving them and their lives. You may be surprised at what God is telling you through them.

The Lord sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives.” (Lk. 4: 18)

Sharing in Christ’s Mission

There are days that we feel confused on what to do, what to write, and even on the little things. Even when we think about it, the words are hard to come by, the thoughts hard to organize. This is the time that we have to let the heart move our hands so that rhythm can be restored, inspiration can be summoned, the Spirit’s wisdom can be discerned. Just like the Church, we need the guidance on how things are in relation to God’s Word. We cannot just interpret the Word as we like, we have to ensure we are guided and discerned by the Holy Spirit of God. This is when we need the Church to shepherd us through the rough seas and storms that we have to navigate in this life.

In the First Reading (Nehemiah 8:2-4a,5-6,8-10) The prophet Ezra reads from the book of the Law and interprets it for all the people old enough to understand. Many times we need the guidance of elders and superiors who help in our journey. Ezra read from the book of the law of God, and interpreting it so that all could understand what was read. This is when we need the Holy Spirit to guide the Church who will lead us well. St. Paul explains in the Second Reading (1 Corinthians 12:12-30), that the people of God are part of the Mystical Body of Christ. Saying, “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.”

The Word and the Body of Christ are now announced by Jesus as a continuation of Israel’s prophetic tradition. Jesus announced His ministry as the focal point in today’s Gospel (Luke 1:1-4; 4:14-21) when He reads from the scroll handed to Him; it contains the words of the prophet Isaiah. What is momentous in this event is that this defines Jesus ministry,

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because He has anointed me 
to bring glad tidings to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,

and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.

The Lord Jesus not only announces God’s salvation; He also brings this power about in His person. He is not an ordinary prophet, He is the Christ, the “Anointed One” filled with the Spirit of God. The Kingdom of God is now at hand, even at this time more than 2,000 years after the Lord walked this earth. It is made present through power of the Holy Spirit so that the Kingdom of God can be fulfilled.

To continue the saving ministry of Jesus, we are invited to do our share in bringing glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, healing to the sick, and freedom to the oppressed. We definitely can’t do these on our own as the thought alone overwhelms. We have to follow the leadings and guidance of the Spirit, with which the Church continues the saving mission of Jesus. By the Spirit’s power, we will prevail, we will succeed, we will be victorious!

May we therefore have the courage to say “Here I am Lord, I will go Lord!”

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor.” (Lk. 4: 18)

The Father’s House

The Church in the Philippines has a special permission to reserve one Sunday just to celebrate the Feast of the Child Jesus—the Santo Niño. The readings give us an opportunity to get to know Jesus as a child. 

In the Gospel (Lk. 2: 41-52) after Mary and Joseph completed the celebration of the Feast of the Passover, they returned and journeyed for a day before discovering that Jesus was not in the caravan with them. They returned to Jerusalem to look for him for three days and found him in the temple, “sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.” When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

In the beginning, Jesus already knew His identity. That’s why He stayed behind in the Temple even when it’s time to go home. He wasn’t lost at that time. Jesus claimed it with confidence and certainty when He said, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

How about you, do you know that you are God’s child?

Also, Jesus knew His mission. He was already clear about what He should be doing while in this world. This should be the same with us. If you haven’t found your purpose in life, it’s time to think seriously about it. Mark Twain once said, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” 

Finally, Jesus teaches us to be obedient: “He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them...”

Knowing our purpose isn’t enough. There has to be both a spirituality and obedience to the will of God. After your conversion, you have that responsibility to be in the “Father’s house”, just like Jesus.

In this Feast of the Sto. Niño, let us pray that we may be reminded of our identity as sons and daughters of the Father. May we know and fulfill our mission and calling in life. May this knowledge make us bow down in humility and become obedient to God.

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. Any who did accept Him, He empowered to become children of God.” (Jn 1:14.12)

Be A Light

Many years ago when I was being sent on an errand by my Lola, I found a one-peso coin along the way. Upon returning home I told her about it and she said, “This is not ours, let’s give it to Church when we go to Mass.” Young and immature I was then, I felt dismayed that something that I found and could buy some candies is to be given elsewhere. But later, that lesson struck me about the values of being honest and trustworthy. Do not get what is not yours. Values that should be at the core of our being. Being endowed with honesty and trustworthiness stem from a deeply-seated humility and nobility of character. Not many are given that gift though, as it comes from a purposive and well-thought of behavior brought out by many years of learning and submission to authority. My Lola is a prime example as she has nurtured these values in her children and grandchildren (who have the blessing and opportunity to be guided and taught by her in our growing up years). She never took for granted the chance to teach us whenever situations were presented. And we are grateful to her for it.

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 3: 15-16, 21-22), we can see one of the perfect models of trustworthiness and humility in Scriptures, St. John the Baptist. When the time came that he was asked if Jesus is the Messiah, his classic reply is one filled with obedience and humility:

“I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

St. John lived his calling faithfully and without any selfish interest whatsoever. True he was popular and had many followers that’s why many were filled “with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.”

There are many cases wherein people who have been entrusted betrayed their friends and benefactors. People like Judas Iscariot, spies, corrupt politicians and officials, come to mind as among these kind of people. When we sin, we become like them. It’s not about education nor about being with a certain religion. There are many professed Catholics who betray their faith by being unfaithful in their positions. Nobody is perfect, but what makes it more serious is when you don’t acknowledge, repent and mend your ways. Thus, it is something that is drawn from natural and moral laws that is almost always common sense. It takes strength of character, wisdom, and fear of the Lord to overcome the temptations to abuse power and wealth. When you fail, have the humility to accept it and repent before God and Church. When one has these virtues, it’s almost always automatic that that person is endowed with integrity. Sad to say, this is lacking today.

When you are a person obedient to faith, without blinking an eye you can present God to others without fear and worry. You know yourself and as well as the source of your power and strength. You don’t derive it from people and earthly power. It’s something powerful and out-of-this-world. You know that God is with you and won’t fail you.

After Jesus’ Baptism, God the Father affirmed “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” Just like Our Lord, due to grace received at our baptism we are acknowledged by God as His sons and daughters. Thus considering most of us received Baptism when we were still infants, we have this obligation to learn, nurture and spread the faith. As parents, ask yourselves, “Have you done your obligation to teach your children what our faith is all about?” Have you taught them morality and in building principles and values in their lives? If you failed these roles, most probably these are the reasons why the world today is filled with dysfunctional men and women who persist in their ways.

Lately, Netflix released the movie “Noah” as an ambitious portrayal of the Biblical character descending from our first parents Adam and Eve. As the film portrayed, building the ark from “out of nothing” and a literally barren earth, Noah’s faith in the Creator (as the film calls God) was strong and unfailing. Despite threats from other men and to family unity, his obedience to the Creator prevailed and didn’t waver. His faith was strong and he was obedient.    

In this Baptism of the Lord Sunday, may we be obedient and faithful to our calling. May we have the strength to persevere and just like St. John the Baptist, offer everything that we have to God, whose honor, glory and power must “increase” while we “decrease” in faithful submission to Him. May we be “a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness.” (First Reading, Is. 42: 1-4, 6-7).

The Lord will bless His people with peace.” (Ps. 29: 11b)

Becoming a Light to Others

There are many messages and insights that today’s readings bring forth. The First Reading (Is. 60: 1-6) shows the author’s inspiration of an event that’s so deep and well-described. Through the darkness, “the light” and “glory of Yahweh rises” upon us. The dawn of God’s new day coming makes your “face radiant”, your “heart throbbing and full”. The Prophet Isaiah must have been so filled with the Holy Spirit when he wrote this. The words are not only powerful, they are also alive and penetrating to the core of one’s being as if describing experience singing in praise of Yahweh!


St. Paul in the Second Reading (Eph. 3:2-3a, 5-6) tells us that this new dawn is not only for the people of Israel but is also for the Gentiles as well. Today’s Gospel (Mt. 2: 1-12) talk about the adoration of the Magi — foreigners and pagans — who came all the way from the East to pay homage to the Christ Child. They were guided by a rising star, yet for the rich and powerful, as Herod was then, signals a threat to their dominion and power over others.


As the Gospel reminds us that if God permitted the Magi to recognize and give the Child Jesus proper respect as the “newborn King of Jews”, we should know that nothing in our lives, not even sin, can keep God from bringing us to Jesus. We are also being challenged to detach ourselves from our treasures and offer it to the New Star, the New Treasure, who is Christ the Lord. Just like the Magi, for as long as we have faith that is solid and “diamond hard”, surely we will overcome obstacles to find Jesus and bow down in humility and faith.


Let us pray that the Solemnity of the Epiphany inspire us to seek the Rising Star in all that we do, even at the cost of persecution and difficulties.


May we realize that faith and trust in the Lord is what matters the most in this dark and challenging world that we live in.


May we realize that whenever threatened by darkness and challenges, our faith in Jesus will guide us into a new direction where we choose a better way of living.


May we become a radiant light to others as the star led the Wise Men to Jesus, through our service, dedication and compassion to the least, the lost and the last.


We saw His star at its rising and have come to do Him homage.’ (Mt. 2: 2)

Loving Our Parents

It’s the season when families come to spend the holidays together. We travel long distances to attend family reunions, visit old friends and meet again childhood neighbors. It is timely and providential that in the middle of the holidays, the Scripture readings focus on the family.

The First Reading (Sir. 3: 2-6, 12-14) reminds us to be most considerate with family, whom we love so much,

God sets a father in honor over his children; a mother’s authority He confirms over her sons.
Whoever honors his father atones for sins, and preserves himself from them. When he prays, he is heard; he stores up riches who reveres his mother

The Lord reminds us how we treat our parents especially in their twilight years. This strikes me especially that my Mom is at this stage, where she is fragile and needs extra loving care. I’m blessed that I have sisters who live with her while the rest of her children are working in different places. We know that while we are struggling to do this role, the Lord will surely fulfill His promise of supporting us in His mysterious ways.

Sadly, there are also families who have lost the love and gone astray in their relationships. We ought to pray for healing and love to be restored as God has willed it to be.

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 2: 41-52), we read from St. Luke the narrative when Joseph and Mary brought Jesus to the Temple in Jerusalem at the age of twelve to fulfill their obligations according to the Law. After that, they left thinking Jesus was with the caravan but the child stayed behind in the Temple.  When they found him after three days of search, they were surprised as he was sitting in the midst of the teachers of the Law. He was listening and asking them questions, and all who heard him were amazed at his wisdom,

Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.” And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” But they did not understand what he said to them.”

The scene must be one of mixed emotions; imagine the parents have travelled with the caravan for a day, returned to Jerusalem and searched for what, three days? This must be such a harrowing experience for Joseph and Mary. So what do you think was the reaction of the parents when they found Jesus? St. Luke didn’t elaborate much on that for us to reflect on this ourselves. And yet,

Jesus went down with them and came to Nazareth and he was obedient to them.”

With the rapid advancement of technology there comes a time when our parents lose track of developments in their aging years. Most will not understand what we’re doing so they sometimes ask us questions about it. If we’re not patient and understanding with them, we might take them for granted and hurt them unknowingly, unlike Jesus at twelve. We may not be patient with them when they talk about the past a lot, or rewind stories every now and then. In this Gospel, Jesus taught us how to honor, understand and be patient with our earthly parents, for they rightly deserve it.

Surely, we’ll find comfort in the promise of Yahweh God, as can be read in the closing verses of the First Reading,

My son, take care of your father when he is old; grieve him not as long as he lives. Even if his mind fail, be considerate of him; revile him not all the days of his life; kindness to a father will not be forgotten, firmly planted against the debt of your sins —a house raised in justice to you.”

Let us pray that during this season may we realize how blessed we are to be given that opportunity to take care of our beloved parents, so that we too can share our gratitude to their never ending love and patience in raising us. Like Jesus, may we remain obedient and grateful, so that in doing so, may we reflect the Lord’s goodness to Joseph and Mary.


Blessed are those who fear the Lord and walk in His ways.’ (Ps. 128: 1)

Gratitude, Generosity and Service

In our life experience there are souls who are so remarkably generous that we wonder why they are like that and where they get the inspiration. My Mom in her younger years is one such person. From the time she was a classroom teacher until she became a school principal, she would give unselfishly to others that sometimes I thought she may be overdoing it. Things from home she would use in her classroom, while she would at times bring us to school to help her decorate during Christmas and other important school events. Dad would be doing artwork for her too. I sometimes felt jealous that she’s doing more for others than for us. Today as I reminisce those moments, I thought it’s not that Mom cared for us less, it’s just that she cared for others too. She’s such a bubbly and energetic woman who felt so grateful for the Lord’s goodness to her family that she shared it to others. And I realized that when one appreciates life, the best way to express one’s gratitude is to give generously to others. This generosity even goes beyond the giving of material things, it can even include giving time and sharing of our talent to others.

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 1: 39-45), Mother Mary’s deep appreciation for the gift of the Savior in her womb is expressed in her going out of the way “in haste”, to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who herself was in the sixth month of her pregnancy. After Mary greeted Elizabeth,

“…the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.”

Mary was so grateful that aside from going out of her way to take care of Elizabeth for about three months, she was able to express her gratitude by way of the Magnificat (v. 46-55). Mary is such a great model of humility because it manifested in the way she showed generosity to Elizabeth, that she served for quite some time, even while she is pregnant herself.

Every new day that we wake up from sleep there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be grateful for the gift of life and family. This gratitude should extend beyond us by way of sharing and giving of ourselves to others. The Blessed Mother showed us how she served others and how she submitted fully to God’s will for her life.

Let us pray that during this season may we realize how blessed we are to be given that opportunity to share and to be of service to others. Like Mary, may we remain humble and grateful, so that in being so, may we reflect the Lord’s goodness to others by being generous and by serving others without counting the cost.

Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.’ (Lk. 1: 38)

Being Worthy of His Coming

As I was seeking inspiration to write this reflection, the rookie draft of the PBA is on the TV screen. You can see the anxieties not only of the applicants but also among their parents, friends and supporters. For those who were drafted in the top of the order, the anxieties will remain as these rookies will be monitored if they meet the expectations of their respective team and followers.

The people in today’s Gospel are filled with expectations. They kept on asking the question: “What then should we do?” If we look back, we remember that in the first Sunday of Advent, we were told of how the “end of days” would be like, then on the second Sunday, the Gospel exhorted us to “prepare the way of the Lord”. The third Sunday of Advent is also called Gaudete (“Rejoice!”) Sunday, which provides a break midway through this season which is otherwise of a somber nature, and signifies the nearness of the Lord’s coming. While the liturgy all throughout Advent is one of intense expectation and preparation, we take a break to remind us that this season is one of joyful anticipation of the Second Coming of Christ.

True, we are all facing different challenges and concerns in our day-to-day living but the Lord reminds us to rejoice:

Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged! The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in His love, He will sing joyfully because of you, as one sings at festivals.” (Zep 3:14-18a)

Realizing fully this promise is made by God, we ask just like what the people of St. John the Baptist’s time asked, “What then should we do?” We should examine how we are in our earthly pilgrimage; we take moments to reflect deep into our hearts. We know that this is relevant because the promise isn’t made by an ordinary mortal like us but by the Supreme God Himself. For sure, without our cooperation in this plan of salvation, we won’t be able to claim His promise.

St. John the Baptist’s call to repentance didn’t talk about religion, nor about fulfilling certain rituals. What he was preaching was practical and clear: we are asked to share, not to exploit others, and not to mistreat others and “be content with your pay.” Thus, we are reminded that rejoicing doesn’t mean being greedy and excessive, not to steal from others, and not to be abusive with others. Oftentimes we see people being ecstatic and jubilant when they worship but when their faith is tested, they often give way to indifference and apathy. They think that their faith is enough without allowing themselves to be used as instruments of God’s goodness and compassion. They aren’t willing to undergo pain and suffering even for those they love. And yet God asks us to go beyond those we know and the familiar!

Reflect today then on what you should do to be worthy of the Messiah’s promises. While it’s true nobody can ever claim to be worthy of such, this attitude of humility will make you embrace the faith that only through God’s grace can you be allowed into His presence at the end of time. We have to act on our faith and show others how much God loves them. Let us be mindful of those who are in need this Christmas. For now, let us cherish the idea that His redemption is near, it is time to rejoice and not fear.

Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.’ (Is. 12: 6)

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