When God made a three-point shot

NEW BEGINNINGS - Büm D. Tenorio Jr. - The Philippine Star
When God made a three-point shot
The 252-year-old St. Polycarp Church in Cabuyao City.

Does God play basketball?

The answer is yes if we base it on 3 Points ni Father (Homilies-Year B), the new book of Cabuyao City parish priest, Fr. Mardie Maligat. The book is the second installment of the cleric’s engaging homilies, which he wittily crafted using three points to deliver each of the homilies straight to the heart.

To experience the “sermons” of Fr. Mardie when he delivers them inside the 252-year-old church dedicated to St. Polycarp is to hear the voice of God. To read his book, which was edited by yours truly with educators Carlito Gatdula and Jester Lava, is to experience God’s tenderness and ardor to His children. It is evident in the book that God is an inspiring God; kind and merciful; both hope and love.

Fr. Mardie walks his talk. In one part of the book, he highlights what “less is more” means. “Less of ourselves, more for our family; less of ourselves, more for other people; less of ourselves, more for God.” Following this assertion, the priest is not keeping a single centavo to himself from the proceeds of the book. Just like the first book he launched last year, the sale of 3 Points ni Father, written in both Filipino and English, is already earmarked for the educational expenses of “Scholars ni San Policarpo.”

The book is likened to a second game of basketball that God plays with the believers. From His stand, He threw the ball to the earth. Fr. Mardie caught it; he dribbled the ball — straight to the ring. Three points! The score, which is well documented in the book, is not in numbers but in words — the Word of the Lord. Every page of the book is resplendent with hope, joy and love — all that is characteristic of the divine.

Every story is a tad longer than the stories in Didache or Our Daily Bread but with the same enriching, inspiring effect. At times, reading 3 Points ni Father is like reading Chicken Soup for the Soul — only, all stories in Fr. Mardie’s book come with a joke as introduction. Yes, a joke or an anecdote, because God also laughs. Reading the book, you would think God is also a funny God; and His humor is self-deprecating. Someone once defined to me the meaning of a good-read book: you laugh reading it then you ponder on the meaning of life. That’s 3 Points ni Father for you.

The intelligent and inspiring priest knows how to care. My grateful heart will always remember that on my mother Candida’s death bed, he was there to give her extreme unction. He returned to her hospital room a couple of days after to hear her confession and give her communion. He even said a Mass during her wake. My family and I always attribute the peaceful passing of our mother to her readiness to face her Creator because Fr. Mardie was by her side.

“Death leads to life,” Fr. Mardie wrote in one story. His three points for this particular story are as follows:

1. From stone to heart. He mentioned in this story that the commandments of God are not only writ in stone but written in the hearts of people. “Our covenant with God should not be based on obligation and fear but on how deep we love Him.”

Fr. Mardie with Marina Chavez (left) and Aurora Hain.

2. From disobedience to obedience. “Jesus has shown us that true obedience is not based on whether or not we will gain from the good that we sow. We do good because true obedience emanates from the heart.”

3. From death to life. “When we allow death of selfishness and death of self-entitlement, we fully understand kindness and life.”

The language of Fr. Mardie in the book nurtures and challenges the heart and mind. When the faithful are in doubt, his words silence their fears. He dribbles the Word of God to their senses and the Word keeps them warm, unharmed. When the faithful experience security and plenty, Fr. Mardie’s homilies keep them all the more rich, enriched in more ways than one. They will sleep filled and full. They will wake up with hope in their hearts — because God is hope.

It is clear that 3 Points ni Father is the promise of God that He and only He is the Savior — the only hope for salvation of mankind. Bar none.

So play basketball with God. And make that three-point shot.



(Help send a child to school by reserving a copy of the book. Please call 049-543-0679 or 0963-7589652 for inquiries.)

International Bazaar: Shop global, help local

I n t e r n a t i o n a l B a z a a r F o u n d a t i o n treasurer Alice Guerrero, president Consul Betty Ang, chairperson Pamela Manalo, adviser Rose Villamor and executive director Nora Salazar.

Christmas is about giving. And what better way to celebrate the season of joy than with the holding of International Bazaar, whose proceeds will go to the college education of many college students, elderly homes, abused children, members of distressed communities who want to start a livelihood?

Get dizzy as you indulge yourself shopping for the best and yummiest products the world has to offer at the 57th International Bazaar on Nov. 19 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. There are 42 embassies and consulates plus 35 local outlets participating in the one-day bazaar with the theme “Shop global, help local.” From wine to wedges, steaks to saris, cheeses to chocolates, religious articles to recreational devices and everything your heart desires — the International Bazaar has them all. Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. As is the experience in the past bazaars, the stalls are almost empty before lunchtime.

The International Bazaar Foundation, Inc (IBF), in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Diplomatic and Consular Corps of the Philippines, and Spouses of the Heads of Mission (SHOM), is in charge of the famous bazaar.



(For your new beginnings, e-mail me at [email protected]. I’m also on Twitter @bum_tenorio and Instagram @bumtenorio. Have a blessed weekend.)

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