MANILA, April 8, 2004
SPORTING CHANCE By Joaquin M. Henson - As Easter Sunday draws near and the Lenten season is about to end, we take a step back from our daily routine to reflect on how our lives are coming along. The holiday break is a perfect opportunity for us to examine ourselves and determine if we’re making a positive difference as human beings.

God created us in His image and likeness. And it is in His name that we give glory and praise to the Lord. All things come only from Him. The Son of God came down from heaven to give up His life that we may be absolved from original sin and liberated to enjoy eternal life. Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice was His message of love to mankind.

Today, we see a world that is in turmoil. The evils of society are conspiring to make us miserable. As God’s children, we must be resolute in fighting what is wrong, what is unjust and what is hideous. We must not despair even as the battle for righteousness appears to be never-ending.

Terrorism, corruption, selfishness, graft, envy, the arrogance of power, the loss of respect for human life and greed are among the evils that confront us in our Passion. Jesus suffered on the cross. We are suffering from the decadence of man.

But if each and every one of us prays for deliverance, if we believe in the Resurrection, if we believe in the goodness of man and if we reach out to God, then there is hope. In our small way, you and I can make a positive contribution in turning the world around. We can start with our own personal affairs, our families, our communities, our friends, our co-workers and of course, our enemies. If we do good, we will receive good a hundredfold.

As we reflect on our lives, consider these 10 thoughts.

• Forgive those who have hurt you and ask forgiveness from those you have hurt.

• Give up something you like and offer the sacrifice up to God during the Holy Week break. Remember He gave up his life for us.

• Share a blessing in your life with those who are less privileged.

• Make someone happy. It doesn’t take much for you to put a smile on someone’s face. A thoughtful gesture, a kind word and going out of your way to lend a helping hand are your options.

• Pray for world peace and visit a church to pay homage to the Lord. Catholic families observe the custom of visiting churches today. What is important is that we pray as a family because the power of prayer is insurmountable. Let us also pray that we vote in leaders who are guided by principles and God’s teachings in the coming elections.

• Meditate on your life. Where are you headed? Are you making a positive influence?

• Do that something thoughtful you’ve been putting off because of lack of time. It could be visiting a sick friend or calling up a relative whom you’ve lost touch with or writing a letter to someone overseas.

• Spend quality time with your loved ones. The extended holiday break gives you the opportunity to bond with your family. There will be time for fun and there will be time for prayer. Doing things together with your family is vital.

• Reach out to someone and try to touch his life. It could be a co-worker whom you’ve been at odds with. It could be someone who speaks badly of you behind your back. It could be the lonely mailman who delivers your letters. It could be someone with whom you’ve had a bitter misunderstanding. Reconciliation will be more significant if it’s done to praise God.

• Dedicate the rest of your life to God. It’s a commitment to do good in the Lord’s name.

Despite the hardships of life, there is much to be thankful for. God gave us the gift of life which is precious and beautiful. Let us pray that we live the rest of our lives as Christians in God’s mercy.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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