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  • Nico Quintos

In the art field, artists, writers, and musicians have put to death in their works old forms of expression to give birth to new ones. Pablo Picasso in painting, T.S. Eliot in Poetry, and the Beatles in music.

In transportation, the passing of some means of transportation paved way for new and better means. From Horse-Drawn Carriages to Automobiles, from Sail to Steamships, from Railroads to Airplanes, and now, Electric Vehicles are introduced.

In our personal growth, some old structures, attitudes, and patterns of behavior have to die before we can assume a new way of living. 

Jesus says: "Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit."

The concept of needing to die to live more fully speaks to the necessity of letting go, of surrendering those parts of ourselves that are barren and unfruitful so that we may be transformed into a new creation, abundant in grace and goodness.

Just as the seed must give up its form to bring forth a new plant, so too must we allow certain structures, attitudes, and behaviors within us to "die." These may include our excessive attachments, self-seeking attitudes, our prejudices, our fears, and any number of habits that keep us from loving God and our neighbor fully.

But what does this process of dying to oneself look like in practical terms? It can take many forms, but at its core, it involves a sincere examination of conscience, a willingness to repent, and a commitment to change. It may mean challenging our preconceived notions or making sacrifices for the sake of others. It requires humility, courage, and, above all, trust in God's grace to bring about the transformation we cannot achieve on our own.

This dying to self is not a one-time event but a continual journey. Each day presents new opportunities for growth and new challenges to our willingness to let go and trust in God's plan. It is precisely through this process of dying and rising, of Good Friday and Easter, that we become more like Christ, who Himself was the grain of wheat that fell to the ground, died, and produced the abundant harvest of redemption for the world.

What needs to die in me so that I can bear more fruit? Where am I being called to grow, change, or let go? Pray for the grace to surrender those parts of our lives that are unfruitful, trusting that in dying to ourselves, we will rise to new life in Christ. NQ

  • 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

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