Ningas-Kugon as a mentality is one of the negative traits of Filipinos. Ningas-kugon means having a lack of sustained perseverance to do something. It means easily losing heart or interest while doing a task. We often hear old folks say, “Magaling lang sa umpisa …” or “Sa una lang magaling …” (He is good only at getting started.)

It is helpful to begin by appreciating the good, the truth, and the beauty behind a certain goal. In pursuing a goal, at first, I would be very eager so much so that I would see myself passionate about it and giving it much enthusiasm and effort. But, after a while, when I begin to experience interruptions, difficulties, hindrances, or discouragements, I likewise start to lose sight of the goal. I lose heart leading me to decide to stop doing it. Over the years, I had planned many things that did not come to fruition. I had tried learning to play the piano, to paint, or to follow a diet and exercise program. Nothing of these reached the finish line. I was distracted.

Peter, in the Gospel, was filled with enthusiasm and joy when he saw the Lord walking on the water. He wanted to come to Him and to also walk on the water. Jesus gladly said “Come!” He walked towards Jesus but when he noticed the strong wind, he lost heart and began to sink. Like Peter, we see the good in following the Lord, but when trials and difficulties, interruptions and distractions around overwhelm us, we lose sight of Jesus. As a “priest-in-process,” when I said yes to Jesus’ invitation, I also got off my boat and stepped on the water to walk towards Jesus. Along this journey, there are strong winds that frighten me. Sometimes, I feel my feet sinking in the waters, but the invitation for me is to keep my gaze towards Jesus and persevere in my vocation. Amidst the storms and stresses of life, my only goal, refuge and strength is Jesus!

By: Sem. Paulo O. Magistrado

Today’s Gospel

Matthew 14:22-36

Jesus made the disciples get into a boat
and precede him to the other side of the sea,
while he dismissed the crowds.
After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.
When it was evening he was there alone.
Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore,
was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.
During the fourth watch of the night,
he came toward them, walking on the sea.
When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.
“It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.
At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”
Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”
He said, “Come.”
But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened;
and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him,
and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”
After they got into the boat, the wind died down.
Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying,
“Truly, you are the Son of God.”

After making the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret.
When the men of that place recognized him,
they sent word to all the surrounding country.
People brought to him all those who were sick
and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak,
and as many as touched it were healed.

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Official News Service of the Media Office of Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines

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