Hapag

July 14, 2021 – Wednesday 15h Week in Ordinary Time

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/071421.cfm)

Surely we are all now familiar of the painting called “Hapag ng Pag-asa” painted by Joey Velasco. Surely you have seen it. How could you have missed it? Like the Last Supper painting, Hapag is a painting of Jesus having meal (breaking bread) with street-children, instead of his disciples. As it grew into popularity, Joey Velasco made a documentary-video “Kanbas ng Lipunan” to revisit those street-children on the painting, listen to their stories & their reaction about the painting.

One of them,  “Emong”, as he saw himself on the painting, somehow  said: “while nangangariton on a very hot day, We saw Jesus walking along our dirty & noisy street. Seems tired, alone weary & hungry. So, niyaya namin sya kumain. We invited Him to eat into our corner. Shared our pagpag (left-overs) with Him as He also shared us His little bread. Then we talked & shared about our stories, journey & struggles. Then, menasahe namin sya. We also laid down to rest & sleep for a while. That day was our salu-salu & we have Jesus with us.”

Easy for us to see the painting of Jesus having salu-salo with street-children AS the Lord lovingly reaching out to us poor & needy people. Emong’s take on the painting however provides a much wider perspective. It is not only God reaching out to us, but it  also we, like the poor street-children is reaching out & responding to God, who needs also our acceptance, welcome, care & hospitality. The street-kid Emong reminds us that God’s blessings & grace of salvation work with our response & participation. God has everything to offer us always for our salvation & He do need our child-like response & participation. Great indeed to be helped by the Lord. But it is much greater when we help the Lord in His work of salvation. There is Pag-asa/HOPE whenever God & people/the Lord & us collaborate with one another.

And In our Gospel today, Jesus particularly  praises innocence & challenges us to have an innocent childlike attitude & view about life now & here after.  Why? Because, common sense tells us that mature people tends to deduce, judge & conclude positions, while innocents tend to induce, imagine & propose possibilities. Mature people tend to critically denounce, while innocents tend to pronounce & proclaim with wander. Even in our mature & old age, we should never lose & forget our ability to be childlike – open to live & view life not only from our own perspective, but also  wandering about God’s better work, will & plans for us.

Like Moses before the burning bush, we can only experience God’s presence in our midst, if & we start again & anew to be curious & wondering about what is going on & happening with us now along with what God is doing & offering us now. Somehow we do need at time to be palaboy, wandering aimlessly in like Moses & Emong, so that we may see, respond & contribute in the mission of Jesus Christ.

The Lord Jesus is always reaching out to us. He has a message to tell us.  He has God’s grace to offer us now. All we need now is like Emong, the streetchildren, & Moses, to reach-out, share & do our part – taking care, responding & helping our Lord Jesus to do his mighty works & renew the face of the earth.

Lord, like the little ones, make us see what you see in us, what you are offering us, what we can offer & help you to do you will, especially during these pandemic times. Amen.

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