Someone shared the story about a manager who challenged his employees during their beach party that whoever can swim across the crocodile-infested river will receive $1 million cash, or if he/she won’t succeed, the next of kin will get it. Right away someone was seen swimming fast tailed by crocodiles and as soon as he made it to the other side and panicking he asked who pushed him. It was his wife who was at his back. It’s said that there’s always someone behind one’s success.

Jesus went through the storms of persecution, contradiction, and criticism but he continued unfazed doing his mission. He courageously stood in the court of Pilate, straightforwardly answered his adversaries’ questions, unperturbed by the jeering of the crowd. He was a prophet not for perks or profit, not to be pushed by public opinion and expectations of the crowd and those in power because he was pushed and driven by love of his Father, doing his will.

With or without criticism, let us not be pushed by favor or fear in doing our Christian duties and responsibilities, sharing our faith, responding to the needs of our neighbor, obeying and serving the church. Like Jesus, let not condemnation or cheer be the measure for doing good and right, standing for truth, practicing our Catholic faith and devotion, being kind to someone derided by others. What people say about will someday fade, but what’s important is what God sees in our mind and in our heart.

As we walk with the Lord this coming Holy Week, let’s discern and ask ourselves: What am I pushing for? Is it my personal advantage, self-serving agenda, security, honor, ambition, pride, arrogance, and superiority? Or is it my desire to change my ways for the better and for good? My patience, charity, forgiveness, service to my neighbor, honor, and respect to my parents and family? Obedience to God and the Church?

What or whom are you pushing for? Is it for good or bad? If you think you have the power or title to push some guys around, remember that they too are entitled to their right, respect, and dignity. We all have our own limitations, mistakes and liabilities, welcome to the imperfect human race.

On the flipside, someone said that exercise not only changes your mind, but it also changes your mind, your attitude and your mood. A Saint was asked what anger is. He said; “ It is a punishment we give to our self for someone else’s mistake.” No matter how stressed you are, remember how blessed you are. Once you see the joy in life, your health will change, and you’ll discover how truly amazing you are. Grow through what you go through. The happiness in your life depends on the quality of your thoughts. Never speak from a place of hate, jealousy, and anger, evaluate your word first before it goes out your lips. Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction, break that habit and talk about your joys. Be careful whom you vent to, for a listening ear is also a talking mouth.  Sometimes it’s best to be quiet. You can’t please everybody, but you can love everyone. Don’t change yourself to please others, be yourself. Keep life simple and keep a smile in your face. Amen on that folks!!

St. Faustina wrote Jesus’ words; Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to the Fount of My Mercy. ( Dairy 699).

Pray the Divine Mercy every 3 p.m. Daily recite the Chaplet of Mercy and the Holy Rosary for peace in our families and in the world.