Tags and labels

Are you a doctor? …. Umm, a what? A lawyer?… Or an engineer?… How about… A priest? Wow! 

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But… 

But… What if you’re not?… Hehe…. I mean no title at all? 😉 

How would you like be regarded to? How should you like other people treat you? How would you like them to call you? 

One day a little man was boarding a jeepney going to a town to attend a wedding. He was just on a usual t-shirt with a bag. It so happened that the mother of the bride was on the jeepney too, with her groceries. This lady was talking to her friend- seatmates about the occasion. Since the man did not know the place, he asked the lady about the location of the church. The lady politely answered the man.  

The jeepney has then reached its destination. But since the lady needed somebody to help her take her groceries, she asked the man to carry some of the “baggage” from the terminal to her house. Well, perhaps there were few meters away. And in the province by that time, tricycle and other transport services were not that typical yet. People in the vicinity had to walk from end to end and if there were heavy belongings, they carried them on their shoulder…. Ehem… I do not know how the man carried the groceries of the lady. It was not specified if the groceries I am referring to are groceries that we have from the supermarket. You know, some 5 plastic bags would do… They can be hand-carried anyway… What if she has with her, a sack of rice, a pile of canned goods, a sack of sugar, and any other else? Knowing that people had to travel from one town to the other to purchase their groceries that would be sufficient for days! And thinking that she too was the host of the wedding!… Hehe… 

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To cut the story short, everyone was all ready for the wedding mass. The bride, the groom, the families of the couple, the priest, visitors, everybody!…. And suddenly, before the mass started, the mother of the bride, nearly fainted!  

I like you to guess why!… Perhaps, you may say, “maybe because her daughter would already be taken away from her after the wedding”… Or maybe “it was hot inside the church?!”

Hmmm… Nope!…. You know what?… The priest was the man whom he asked to carry her goods!… Hehe… 

(I am not sure if this was the experience of Fr. Elmer based in our diocese. Or is it another priest? I am sorry, I cannot remember.) 

How do we label each person? Do we regard him according to his degree? According to his status? According to his achievement? According to his wealth? To his dress?… 😉 

Ok, what if you are that man? 

Many times, we treat people this way. Glenn, a former officemate, laughed to the bone when I shared my own story. And this was not a typical occurrence, but I really did it to catch people’s reaction. He calls this act of mine as “fishing.” Hehe…  

There are times when I am in the mood of fishing, I go to church in an unironed aged faded clothe, jeans, and slippers. I intentionally sit beside some well vested church-goers. I mean some richy rich. Of course they feel yucky of their seatmate… And they feel so uneasy! You know… Hehe 

It was in Guadalupe Shrine, Makati. Preparation of the gifts came – time when we also contribute our blessings. This lady in her dangling goldy earrings, bracelet, and signature bag, with beautifully painted face, stared at me from head to foot! Then back, upwards! Hehe… Why?… She saw me hand a bill 5 times the value of hers! O well, seemed ironic… Can you imagine a yucky man offered such?… Hehe… 

I once did the same in another church. (Please allow me not to disclose what church… hehe) But this was a different incident. After the mass, I approached a priest whom I know for years. Long had we no longer had acquaintance. I anticipated, he would utter, “oh Paul, kumusta?!” (how are you, Paul?!)… But it was not, as expected. He rather asked “why are you here?” And viewed me head to toe also!… Hehe… Why?… I was in a stained clothe, jeans, and slippers! With an uncombed hair!… ;-)…  

A text message from my paternal grandfather priest, Fr. Lolito, reminds us:

There is a nobler ambition in life than merely to stand tall in the crowd, and that is to stoop down and lift mankind a little higher.

God sees us as a person. No matter what shirt we wear. No matter what title we earn. Regardless of our color, belonging, and designation. Everyone has equal dignity before His eyes.

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2 Comments

  1. felicissima said,

    April 2, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    hi Ce..hehe..how are ya? 😉

  2. ce said,

    March 31, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    I remember ur “fishing” story. Kinda weird though. But it’s You. Ü hahaha

    Reality Bites! No doubt.


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