Thursday, January 23, 2014

Bakala and Goliath

Joyful Jan.23,2014
12:02 am

Marina did not like to sleep and kept reading her Seton Bible History book to me. She started with Hagar, Abraham and Sara’s maid that bore him Ishmael and she did not like to stop until  the story of David and King Saul’s battles.

She is now mixing her milk before bedtime…way past bed time.

Anyway…today I want to write about a lot of things. The funny episode in the Bakala ( neighborhood mini-grocery) and also about the Goliaths in our lives.

After mass tonight, we dropped by the bakala. I joked that nobody gets down with me so I can meet up with my boyfriend inside. Of course, everyone trooped along with me. Now, the Bakala is such a cramped place with lots of merchandise and around 5-6 customers at any one time. Quite a challenge to maneuver it’s tight aisles without bumping chips or bottled pickles with you as you walk or turn.

Thank God, we did not break anything.

As Ruel and Marcelina lined up to pay at the counter..Marina and I were looking at some boardgames…then I asked the store assistant if they have a delivery telephone line. He said no with a bright smile then I heard a somewhat strong voice exclaim in delight…”China?”

I turned to my left and a tall  old Arab in very rich kind of clothing was addressing me. Marina later  said, the person reminded her of her grandpa. I agree. He was fair in  complexion, prominent tall nose and was around 70 years old.

I replied smiling, “ No, I am a Filipino.”… It somewhat confused him. Then, he further asks me…” What is your work?” Normally, Qatari’s do not small talk with people in shops or wherever…that is why, I was seriously wondering what his tribal lineage was…He was not in the usual white disdasha…His, head gear…was somewhat grey, cashmere thick kind but soft looking and   with a certain design on the edges…and his inner  robe was black.  He looked as if he was an apparition straight from bible stories.

He was somewhat not pleased with my reply when I said, I take care of my babies…I pointed to Marina. He pointed at Marina with more confusion written in his face. As if he could not wrap his mind around the fact that we are Filipinos and we look different.

His English was  limited but  direct and clear…he was with 2 maids and  a cute Arab baby of around 19 months old. Nice eyes and curly hair and super thick lashes. I presumed it was his grandson.

Outside, we saw, that 2 vehicles were with their party. A huge landcruiser for his maids and grandson and a sedan for him.

It was quite an interesting episode.

Marina was joking that maybe…the old man had a job offer for me. I jokingly agreed…yeah more like a slave job perhaps. No thanks…my hands are full.

** ** **
The readings for today tell us about battles and wars. Internal and external.  Small or monumental. 

It tells us about the story of a yound lad named David, who dared conquer a giant with a sling and a rock.

It assures us that…God will equip us if we need to go to battle. He will provide our  shield, our helmet, our sword and our strength.

It is important to have wisdom to know what battles to pursue and conquer.

Please allow me to get a direct quote from Father Rudy Horst SVD’s reflection for today:

 Now, Jesus had come into this world to fight and overcome evil, as Mark portrays His whole ministry as an ongoing warfare against Satan and demons. Evil stands on the opposite side of God. Being in the synagogue, a house of prayer, evil had no place. He had to act, and act He did. After all, what He intended to do on this day of the Lord was something good that God must approve of wholeheartedly. And so He put the Pharisees in a dilemma by asking them whether it is allowed to do good or to do evil on the Sabbath. The answer was obvious, but they refused to agree with Jesus. Two religious positions clashed here: the ritual and legalistic approach to God, and the compassionate approach of service. For Jesus, the most important thing was the merciful and loving response to a person in need of help.
       Evil surrounds us; we detect evil even in our very hearts. We rarely confront the devil directly in dramatic situations like in an exorcism. But we encounter all kinds of effects of evil around us. Unfortunately, evil can also look good and often does look good. Let us not be fooled when evil seemingly looks good; it is a power out to destroy. We feel at times like young David in the First Reading, facing the evil enemy Goliath. David did not run away; he faced the enemy with confidence because he came against him “in the name of the Lord of Hosts.” As long as we see evil for what it is and face it “in the name of God,” we can and will be victorious and so continue the ministry of the Lord in our time. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are you afraid of facing evil around you or in yourself? Where should you start to be stronger against evil tendencies?

Lord, the example of Jesus, who confronts the effects of evil without hesitation, encourages me to be more courageous in fighting against evil. Give me the strength to overcome my fears.(TKFDBR)

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