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  • Nico Quintos

The New Jersey Housewives, from the reality TV show, have become somewhat famous for their explosive reactions, including flipping tables when upset.

Sometimes, we also would like to flip tables, perhaps because of frustration, anger, our own situations, or the current state of the world.

Jesus Himself flips tables in the temple. But His actions fundamentally differ from the anger impulses we often see today. Jesus' overturning the tables in the temple was a deliberate, prophetic gesture against those who treat the temple as a marketplace rather than a place of worship.

Jesus' act of flipping the tables was not just about expressing frustration. It was about cleansing, renewing, restoring, about setting things right. He flipped the table of deception, corruption, cheating, lying, and injustice and, in its place, set a new table—the table of justice, love, and sacrifice. At this new table, He offers neither doves nor sheep but Himself as food, inviting us to partake in the feast of the Kingdom of God.

We all have tables of sin, selfishness, pride, and complacency that need to be overturned. What tables do we need to flip in our own lives?

Flipping the table in our lives means letting go of habits, mindsets, attitudes, and sins that separate us from God and one another. Flipping the table in our lives means embracing a new way of living that reflects the love and sacrifice of Christ.

Flip the tables of our old selves and set a new table of love, sacrifice, and service, a new table where there is room and a seat for God and others. NQ

  • Nico Quintos

Time is one of the most precious gifts of God to us. Yet, it's all too easy to forget its value. We are often caught in the illusion of permanence, living like our days on earth are without end. This disconnect between the reality of our finite existence on earth and how we spend our time leads to a life filled with missed opportunities and misplaced priorities.

As a priest, I have the privilege to pray for and pray with the dying. A common regret of the dying is the wish that they had spent more time with their loved ones, that they had spent more time with what truly matters. Whether it was the long hours at work or the misplaced priorities that kept them away, the realization often came too late.

After 40 days in the desert, Jesus emerges, proclaiming, "This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel." Jesus calls us to an awareness of the present moment. He urges us to recognize that the time given us is not just a passage but a sacred opportunity for fulfillment, for conversion, for transformation. Jesus' message is a wake-up call, reminding us that our time on earth is short and that we must live with purpose and intentionality.

Living as if time is unlimited can manifest in various ways: procrastination, neglecting our health, strained relationships, and an absence of spiritual life. We delay our repentance, thinking there will always be "more time" to turn back to God, to mend broken relationships, or to pursue our true calling. This mindset can lead to a life filled with regrets, as we realize too late that the time we thought we had is gone.

Acknowledging that our time is limited should not lead us to despair but to a deeper appreciation of every moment. It invites us to live more fully in the present, to cherish our relationships, to pursue what truly matters, and to deepen our relationship with God.

How are we using the gift of time? Are we investing it in ways that bring us closer to God and one another? Are we making time for prayer, for acts of kindness? NQ

  • Nico Quintos

My doctor uses a medical app to schedule and communicate with me. I have the patient version of the app on my phone, and all my records and test results are accessible through it.

A day before my appointment, I usually receive a notification to respond to a few questions--questions about how I feel physically, emotionally, and mentally. Through the app, my doctor asks me if I'm stressed or anxious about something and what practices I do to cope with stress, whether I do breathing exercises, take a walk, or meditate.  

The approach to health and wellness has significantly evolved to embrace a more holistic perspective, which is good. Medical practices now try to consider the entirety of a person's being—physical, emotional, mental, and even spiritual well-being. 

We go to doctors as we should. Humans are composed of body and soul, and Jesus, as we know, became fully human, incarnate, God in the flesh. He took on our humanity without losing his divinity. Jesus is fully God and fully human. So, caring for our bodies, a God-given gift, is necessary and prudent.

But in our pursuit of healing and wellness, it's crucial to reflect on deeper questions: While we place our trust in contemporary medical practices, do we also invest in our faith in Christ and the power of His sacraments? Do we consider turning to Jesus in prayer for healing, for wellness? 

The Gospel (Mark 1:40-45) tells the story of a leper who comes to Jesus, imploring Him to be made clean, to be healed. Jesus stretches out His hand, touches him, and heals him.

This encounter highlights the leper's faith in Jesus' power to heal. This faith drives him to seek out Jesus despite the societal barriers and the stigma associated with his condition. His plea, "If you choose, you can make me clean," reflects a recognition of Jesus' authority over illness and his submission to Jesus' will. This act of faith is a powerful reminder for us, especially in a world where reliance on scientific advancement often overshadows spiritual trust. The leper's approach to Jesus encompasses physical wellness, as well as spiritual surrender and trust in God's will. 

Jesus' response to the leper is equally significant. By choosing to heal the leper, Jesus demonstrates God's will is indeed towards our wholeness and well-being. His compassion breaks through the barriers of societal norms and legalistic restrictions of the time, showing that God's love and healing are accessible to all, regardless of their conditions or social standing. Jesus not only heals the leper physically but also restores him to the community, highlighting the holistic nature of Christ's healing ministry.

I challenge us to expand our understanding of health beyond the physical and recognize that we must also attend to our spiritual well-being. In times of illness or distress, do we only seek the expertise of medical professionals, or do we also turn to Jesus in prayer, trusting in His power to heal and transform us? Do we participate in the sacraments with the faith that Christ is present and active in our lives, offering us grace that nourishes and strengthens?

The sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Reconciliation, are profound encounters with Christ, where we experience His healing touch and His mercy. Just as the leper reached out to Jesus in faith, we are called to approach the sacraments with hearts full of trust in God's grace, which restores us to spiritual health, makes us whole, and deepens our union with Christ. NQ

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