Another mundane weekend or so I thought.

There has been a time when I was so fired up in love with my religion that I was almost a fanatic. The logic can sometimes be incomprehensible to anyone except for myself. It was to a point of what the new generation would label me as OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

Through the years, writing has been my way of escape and expression. Like a journal, it can be somewhat therapeutic. I wanted to write all about it. I wanted to write about it but not in the way of “hallelujah” or “praise the Lord” in every sentence. I want to write about it the human way. How do I live in reflective of the Gospel – no holds barred. I want to tell it as it is. The joys, and the struggles in all the reflections.

It must have been all the past experiences combined that I sometimes walk around being too conscious of my every move. I try to swiftly get myself settled down at a particular pew in church every weekend and it was no exception yesterday. There seemed to be a mold to conform to.

Mid way mass, I remembered someone once telling me that the evil one have no place in a holy place such as the church. But yet, a statement came to mind.

“I must either be an ungrateful b*stard or God’s love is conditional”

This is in reference to all the obligations required for one to be considered a practicing faithful.

I am not sure if it is me or some of you out there may also experience the same feeling. This guilt of skipping a week in attending church. Is it because all the blessings and graces God have so generously bestowed upon us that we feel obligated to at least be in His presence on a weekly basis?

Perhaps it is the church’s “modus operandi” to keep everyone locked in? It treats you so well that you have no other choice but to “return the favor”?

Is this the case?

I was pondering this fact and then, the Gospel seemed to answer my inner thoughts.

The Samaritan woman at the well…

The priest pointed out that Jesus was not judgmental in his approach with the Samaritan woman. Though Jews and Samaritans have a long standing hatred, Jesus offered the woman “living water”. He did not care if she was a sinner (in human standard), a divorcee, a lesbian, a murderer, or anything of that sort. Jesus engaged and interacted with her anyway. Jesus loved her anyway.

The priest then continued pointing out that we are like the Samaritan woman, coming to church with our “buckets”. He hoped that we do not leave the church with an empty bucket but a bucket that fulfills our search. Perhaps peace, acceptance, love, hope, or whatever that we are seeking. The question to ask was, “What is in your bucket when you leave this place today?”

My concern earlier vanished. It does not matter the obligations. It does not matter how others perceive me.

All that matters is if I am recharged spiritually to endure the week ahead.

Did I fill my bucket up with manna that will last?

It then became a case of I am not there because I need to return a favor, but instead I am in need of a recharge. To be still and allow myself an hour in God’s presence just so that I can walk away with a bucket filled with the goodness that I seek.

I wish the same for you my friend. May your bucket be filled with “living water”…


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