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chainI was awakened early this morning, at around one o’clock, when suddenly a rushing strong whirling wind entered my room that seems to be uprooting the entire house from the ground. My imagination immediately gave me ideas of how would it look like if the whole house is uprooted, where am I going to run and how would I do that if I am already in the sky. Then I thought of the heavy chains that hangs on every corner of the house. They could keep the roof intact.  Then despite the unknown danger, I smiled. I remembered that I have jokingly asked Mau yesterday regarding the purpose of the many chains that hangs from the roof gutters of each house that you can find here in EUNTES. Innocently I asked “was it to contain the house if ever a tornado would pass by?” Then he laughed because it wasn’t really placed there for that purpose. He said that it was placed there in order to guide the water coming from the roof to the gutter then down to the ground. Its purpose is to make sure that the water flows straight to the ground and intact.

During breakfast, I was told that nearby houses were uprooted and flown a few meters where they used to be constructed and some roofs were also blown up by last night’s tornado.

What a coincidence, I said to myself. The theme for today’s reflection that my retreat master gave me yesterday is about commitment. He raised the question of up to what extent would I be committed in religious life.

I know for a fact that religious life is not a life full of red carpets and glorious days. Storms will always be there and they would come and go. The question is not on how I could prevent the storm from coming but rather how am I going to face them, how am I going to face the challenges of religious life: community, problems in the ministry, family, money, personal desires, psychological problems and the likes, frustrations, aging, health, etc. etc. And I know that it’s not just the question of how am I going to face it but also where will I go or where will I be after facing or going through the storm. Moreover, I guess its not just a matter of preparedness or alertness but also a question of how am I well rooted so that when a sudden rush of whirling wind comes, I would never be blown away in the sky.

Am I truly rooted in Christ? Is my commitment rooted in Him or is it only rooted in my personal desires? Do I have those chains that holds the roof to the ground just like the retreat houses here are constructed? How am I really committed in life? in the mission? in the congregation? in God? Perhaps I have those chains that holds me to the ground, but does it also makes the grace, the water from God flow straight to where it should really go?

As I start this new day of reflection, Lord, help me to see what am I really looking for, help me to learn to stay whenever I am afraid and whenever I am about to flee. Please give me the courage to stand beside and with the people rather than to stand only on my own personal interests and security. May it be that my commitment to you and to your people be a witnessing to your being a faithful God with an unending love. Amen.

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