VeritasPH

The Word, The Truth

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Dear Rina,

Thank you for flying all the way from Dallas to join me this afternoon. You brought so much joy to me when you agreed to pin this medal on me during the ceremony.

Yes, I have a medal, but it is not a cause for congratulations. And indeed, I have a certificate from Rome, but let it not mesmerize you. This certificate is not a document of appreciation. The medal is not an award for achievement. It is presented to my confreres and me to serve as a constant reminder of our commitment to serving the sick and the poor. Every time we feel its weight and its cold metal against our skin, it should rekindle our commitment, reminding us that unless we serve the poor and the sick, this medal will turn into a millstone, threatening to drag us towards damnation.

The certificate we received is not a diploma for recognition or appreciation either. It simply signifies our belonging to a spiritual family within the Church, a family whose salvation will depend on the grace of God and our response to His calling to serve the least among us – the sick, the poor, the lost.

The real heroes who deserve recognition are the disabled, the lonely, the sick, and the homeless. Through their lives, they complete the passion and suffering of Christ for the world.

This certificate and medal do not assure us of blessings from God nor secure us a special place in heaven. On the contrary, they might make attaining heaven more difficult for us.

For those of us who have received much, much is expected. And if we do not give generously, it could lead to our downfall.

Despite knowing that this diploma and medal may mean more service to give to the poor and the sick, we will not retreat. We accept the challenge, standing tall as knights deserving of the title. We pledge to fight the battle against unnecessary human suffering and resolve to incorporate Christ into everything we do, especially in addressing the suffering around us.

In our battle against unnecessary suffering in the world, our task is not to rationalize suffering but to empathize with those in distress. Christ did not come to explain the causes and reasons for human suffering, but to demonstrate how we should handle it. How should we suffer? With Christ. How should we assist the sick and the poor? By empathizing with their pain and making it our own.

Each man’s joy is my joy. Each man’s grief is my own. Even as the certificate turns brittle and yellow with age, even if the medal should tarnish with the years, we vow to continue serving the sick for it is only in self-giving that we can truly be called Christians. The poor need our care and our loving touch of concern more than they need medicines.

I thank God for calling us to serve. Please pray for us that this medal may not become our millstone of damnation. That our certificate may genuinely transform us, not only into members of the Sovereign Order of Malta, but also disciples of the Lord.

A MEDAL OF SERVICE
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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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