January 26, 2008
“…He came home…” (Mark 3:20)
I am writing this as I get ready to leave for Tagaytay this morning where I am scheduled to conduct a retreat over the weekend.
Tagaytay is one of those places that I just love to visit. The cool breeze. Breathtaking sceneries. Reflective silence. Not to mention the delectable Tagaytay specialties like the Mushroom Burgers and Buko Pies.
Some people ask me why I chose to stay in Manila when I am the kind who delights in a simple life.
“Why not settle in Davao, your home province?”, some would often ask me. Whenever confronted with this question, I simply shrug my shoulders and smile.
Sometimes, I find myself asking the same questions. Why did I decide to settle in Manila? Why did I barter the simplicity of the province with the stresses of the city life? Why slug it out in the rat race of the Metropolis when the slow and non-competitive life of the province is much more attractive?
I found the answer sometime ago when I was on a preaching engagement in Dumaguete. Dumaguete is a beautiful place. Your typical province where there are no traffic jams and road altercations. Everyone seem not to be in a hurry, and people have the time (and the energy!) to smile. People in Dumaguete often joked that because of the proximity of the places inside the city, you get to one place faster than your test messages.
But it was in this place when I confronted the question: Why am I in Manila when the province is a more attractive place?
Friend, the answer is simple: Metro Manila is my home.
Years ago, I read in one of Bo Sanchez’ Kerygma editorials, that home is not where it is convenient or comfortable. Rather, home is where God calls you to be. Where God is, there is your home too.
A long time ago I have been convinced that despite the disadvantages of living in Metro Manila, this is where God calls me to serve Him primarily.
This is where I am primarily called to preach. Where I am primarily called to evangelize. Where I am primarily called to write my books. Where I am primarily called to witness to my faith. Not Tagaytay, or Davao or Dumaguete. But Metro Manila.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus decided to go home.
“…He came home…” (Mark 3:20).
And his stay there was far from comfortable and convenient. There, his relatives tried to seize him because they said he was out of his mind (v. 21). The Scribes even accused him of being possessed by demons (v.22). But instead of leaving and going to where it is safer, where he is accepted and where there are no criticisms, Jesus stayed on and preached.
Why? Because at that time, that was where the Father has called him to be.
How about you, dear friend? Where is God calling you to be right now? Where are you called to witness? Where are you called to make a difference?
Perhaps it is in an office where you are ostracized because you refuse to join the gang whenever they choose to watch lewd shows in town. Or in a company where you refuse to comply with the boss’ instructions to give a bribe to that government agency. Or in a family where your new found convictions about your faith is disfavored by most.
Friend, God is telling you today to stand firm and have courage. He is where He wants you to be: Home.
There is simply no place like it.
Have a blessed weekend!
I remain, your friend in Christ,