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ROUGH CUTS | How Deep Can Our Commitment Be




Vic N. Sumalinog

LAST Tuesday, we attended a mass at the chapel beside our house in the barangay we are currently being isolated because of the pandemic. The mass was the main religious activity in last Tuesday’s feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ.
The celebrant priest Fr. Kim Samone, the assistant parish priest of the Christ the King Church of Calinan, had his homily centered on the purity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her commitment to follow what the angel had told her that she was carrying in her womb the Redeemer of mankind. She was assured by the angel serving as the messenger of God that the choice to carry the life in her womb is a manifestation that God trusted her commitment to bring forth the Lord to the earth and raise him.
Fr. Samone further emphasized in his homily that making a commitment is not just a mere mouthing of the word; that for a commitment to have a “forever” in its meaning it must be done as well. But in doing so, the good youthful priest added that when the commitment is done with it must also consider its attendant necessities in order that its full objective is attained.
The Reverend Samone came up with an anecdote to illustrate an example. His anecdote was about the widow who was able to send all her three children to school and made them successful in their respective fields. The elder two already have families of their own and living separate from their mother. The youngest was single and was still with their mom.
Their mother was turning 80 years old in about two weeks’ time. So the siblings met to discuss what best gift they could give her. The eldest committed to gift their mother a new house and lot so she could now live comfortably as she ages. The second promised to buy her a new car that she can drive in going to church; and the youngest wanted to give her a rooster.
The two elder siblings confronted their youngest why his planned gift was so insignificant. But the youngest was able to convince his two brothers that it will help their mother wake up at dawn for her not to miss saying the rosary. Their mother, according to Fr. Samone, was a very religious woman. And so at her birthday, the two came. The eldest handed to his mother the key to the new house and the title of the properties. The second turned over to the mother the key to the car that was awaiting for pick up at the car dealer’s yard. And as the youngest had committed, he also gave his mother the rooster.
After the sumptuous birthday party, the two went back to their respective homes. After a month they came back to check on their mother and find out how she enjoyed their gifts.
According to Fr. Samone’s anecdote, the eldest eagerly asked his mother how she was with the new house and lot. The mother answered that she was happy living in the new abode. But she further told her eldest son she was moving back to her old house. The statement of the 80-year old mother surprised the eldest son. So he asked why? The answer he got was simple. “Your youngest brother is getting married very soon. I want him to have a house when he starts building his family. So I gave it to him instead.” The eldest son was so dismayed he almost choked with his saliva.
Then the second son was next to ask how his mother was with her new car. Her answer was, “Oh, I sold it. I gave half of the proceeds to the church and the other half I donated it to charitable institutions. The rest I saved it for myself.”
It was the youngest son’s turn to check out his mother on the cock he gifted her. “Mom, am sure you did not miss a single day saying your early morning rosary. The rooster made sure to wake you up during the last month, although I did not hear it cockle this dawn.”
The answer astounded all the three siblings. “Ah, yes, it helped me wake up every morning although getting up early is already a habit of mine that I developed starting when you were still young. And yes you did not hear it crow early today; I have it butchered so I could have it included in the menu that we will partake at lunch.”
In explaining his anecdote to the church goers, Fr. Samone said that many of us, whatever is our religion, make commitments to our God especially when we are placed in a problematic situation. We commit to amend our wrongful ways. However, in most cases, there are unsaid conditions mostly anchored on the attainment of the intention of our commitment. And in many cases, even if the going gets easy, the commitment is flushed down the drain of forgotten memories.
And when the going gets even tougher, instead of fulfilling the commitment the usual tendency is we heap the blame on God instead. “Why me and my family? Why has God ignored my plea?”
Our take on Fr. Samone’s anecdote is that many among us become subservient to our innate weakness. When we make commitments, we tend to precede it with certain conditions that its fulfillment must come only when the reason the commitment is made or achieved.
Thus, it is not surprising that in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is common to hear people saying they are leaving it to God the safety of their lives. But whether or not they have made some commitments to mend their sinful ways or level up their relationship with God after this health pandemic passes, we have no idea.
What we are certain, though, is that in this most trying times, everyone seems to be turning to God for protection. And even if medical science is being looked up as the primary aid in fighting the dreaded virus, all prayers include petitions for the guidance of those who are searching for the most effective vaccine to stop the infection.

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