Embrace your work

We can make a difference not only through the dreams we are pursuing, but also through our day jobs.

What’s your passion?

I read a blog post today that said, in my own words, that the number of artists that the current economy can support is tiny.

Maybe that’s the reason why it’s easier to get a day job today than become a best-selling author or a thriving artist. Sure, there are people who made it, but for every one person who has made it, hundreds or thousands of others haven’t. (Or at least, not yet.)

But that’s not a reason for us, dreamers, to be discouraged.

One thing I realized today is that we can make a difference not only through the dreams we are pursuing, but also through our day jobs.

Our day jobs also keep us humble and help us not to take our dreams for granted.

The hardships, the difficulties, and the daily grind in our day jobs also help us prove to ourselves how much we want our dreams and how determined we are to achieve them.

Most importantly, our day jobs teach us to serve the people who depend on us — our customers, bosses, coworkers, investors, and other stakeholders. Service is also the key that will unlock our dreams.

Service is also the key that will allow us to love and to make a difference with our drams:

“Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, ‘If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.’” — Mark 9:35

Oftentimes, we learn to serve through our work.

May your life-changing dreams come true. In the meantime, embrace your work. 


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Behold, your mother

As Catholics, we are called by Jesus to welcome Mary, our mother, into our homes and into our hearts. And she will lead us to obedience to the Father and trust in her Son.

Today, we celebrate the Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of the Church.

As Catholics, we venerate (not praise or glorify) Mary. We give her the highest honor and respect given to a human being. But who is Mary for us Catholics?

Mary is our example of obedience. She teaches us to obey the will of the Father despite the uncertainties she would be facing when she said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”

Mary leads us to her Son. Whenever we ask for her intercession, she does not lead us to herself. Instead, she always leads us to trust in her Son and in His kindness and mercy just like what she did during the wedding at Cana when she said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Mary is our Queen Mother, the gebira, who intercedes for the people to the King, who is her Son, like how she interceded for the couple in Cana. She is also the Queen Mother is always found at the side of the King. “On entering the house [the magi] saw the child with Mary his mother.”

Mary is the New Eve. Through the old Eve’s disobedience, death entered into the world. Through the new Eve’s obedience, Jesus came into the world freeing us even from the grasp of death. Through Mary, the promise of the protoevangelium was fulfilled: “I will put enmity between you [the serpent] and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel.”

Most of all, Mary is our mother, whom Jesus entrusted us to and entrusted us with.

“Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” — John 19:27

As Catholics, we are called by Jesus to welcome Mary, our mother, into our homes and into our hearts. And she will lead us to obedience to the Father and trust in her Son.


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The antidote for insecurity

When we learn appreciate the gifts God has given us, when we learn to answer the special call He has given to each and every one of us, we will no longer compare ourselves to others. We will no longer feel insecure. We will also begin to see ourselves the way God sees us.

Today, we celebrate Pentecost Sunday. It is a commemoration of when the disciples received the Holy Spirit as we read from the first reading and the Gospel reading.

But today, I’d like to focus on today’s second reading:

“There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” — 1 Corinthians 12:4-7

Yesterday, I was feeling insecure (again). As much as I try to avoid comparing myself to others, I couldn’t help it yesterday. I was feeling insecure with a neighbor and a really good friend who are able to provide jobs to others.

On this blog, I always talk about loving others and making a difference. But many times, I doubt if there’s really any difference that I’m making.

On the other hand, my neighbor and my good friend are able to make an impact in the lives of others by giving them jobs. They not only impact other their lives, but also the lives of their families — our family’s lives included.

I couldn’t shake the insecurity off until I attended anticipated Mass yesterday and heard the second reading and the priest’s homily.

I felt as if God reminded me through the reading and the homily that we receive different gifts and different calls from God.

We have been given different talents and abilities, different circumstances, different personalities, different ways to make a difference, and even different timing. 

Maybe the difference I am making is not in the material sense, but the spiritual (I hope). Maybe my friend’s time of making an impact has come, but my time is yet to come. Maybe I will never be able to provide jobs, but maybe I can make connections, especially connections with the Father.

I still have a lot of maybes, but one thing is sure, God loves us equally, eternally, but in different ways. He has given each of us a different call and a different gift — with each gift not any more or any less than another.

Most importantly, the gifts He gives us work toward the benefit of His one body, that is, the Body of Christ, the Church. He has given us different gifts but one purpose — to love and to build up His Church.

My friend who recruited me to his team has given me a job that allows me not only to provide for my family, but also to write every day for God and His people. It has allowed me to serve His Church without thinking about where our next meal would come from. It has also allowed me to pursue my dream of becoming a writer and artist for God while being able to pay the bills. My friend has made a huge impact in my life and, hopefully, the lives of the people who read this blog.

We don’t all have to be preachers, entrepreneurs, doctors, writers, artists, or even priests to build the Body of Christ. We don’t even have to be the best.

We simply have to be the best version of ourselves and be faithful to what God calls us to do. And many times, what God calls us to do are the things that are right in front of us. We just have to do them faithfully and in the best way we can and in the most loving way we can.

And when we learn appreciate the gifts God has given us, when we learn to answer the special call He has given to each and every one of us, we will no longer compare ourselves to others. We will no longer feel insecure. We will also begin to see ourselves the way God sees us.

His Holy Spirit is the antidote for every insecurity. Ask for His Spirit and you shall receive it.

"How much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?" — Luke 11:13

Your time will come.


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Awaiting the day

At the end of John’s account of the Gospel, the evangelist writes:

“There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.” — John 21:25

Not only would the world never be able to contain the books that would be written, it would also never fully comprehend that things that would be written.

Even right now, we cannot fully comprehend the things that are already written in the Bible. We cannot fully comprehend the words, the teachings, and the deeds of Jesus. We cannot fully comprehend the wisdom of God and the ways He works in our lives.

That is why we await the day when He comes again. We await the day when all these things, including He Himself, will be fully revealed.

In the meantime, we await that day with faith, with hope, with joy, and with love for God and our neighbors.

How are you waiting for that day?


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Loving Jesus above all else

To love God is to feed His lambs and to tend His sheep. To love and to follow Him is to take care of others.

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus simplifies what it means to love Him above all else:

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’” — John 21:15

To love God is to feed His lambs and to tend His sheep. To love and to follow Him is to take care of others.

Loving others is uncomfortable as following Jesus is. Loving others with the kind of love that requires our time and effort — the selfless kind — takes us away from our comfort zones. It requires us to stand up and get out of our houses and take care of those in need.

It’s not easy. But what can we expect? Following Jesus also isn’t.

But loving our brethren who are visible is how we love God whom we cannot see. At least, not yet.

Do you love God above all else? Take care of His people.


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