March 29, 2017, 7:04 pm
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07331 UAE Dirham
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.03534 Neth Antilles Guilder
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06246 Brazilian Real
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.28741 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.35935 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45338 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01837 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04141 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01585 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01589 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08644 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.87263 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 185.36634 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14655 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 4.10222 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15507 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46756 Honduras Lempira
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1 Philippine Peso = 265.52206 Indonesian Rupiah
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1 Philippine Peso = 23.5576 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 647.3348 Iran Rial
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1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
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1 Philippine Peso = 112.66121 Paraguayan Guarani
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1 Philippine Peso = 1.13647 Russian Rouble
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.07486 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15525 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.26353 Seychelles Rupee
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.1752 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02781 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01585 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.44332 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.43102 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.96027 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 450.2196 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.17413 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 10.28109 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25482 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.68597 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04577 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.046 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07215 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13393 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60168 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 44.44001 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.54103 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.81074 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01996 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.55999 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 71.67099 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.19904 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 454.62168 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.12378 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05122 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 12.04033 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0539 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 12.12298 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 2.18127 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.98902 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25486 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 103.60351 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 7.225 Zimbabwe dollar

Bumping into a stranger

JESUS came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon.

A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” His disciples had gone into the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” – For Jews use nothing in common with Samaritans. – Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you do not even have a bucket and the cistern is deep; where then can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us this cistern and drank from it himself with his children and his flocks?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may not be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.

“I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain; but you people say that the place to worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Believe me, woman, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You people worship what you do not understand; we worship what we understand, because salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; and indeed the Father seeks such people to worship him. God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one called the Christ; when he comes, he will tell us everything.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking with you.”

Many of the Samaritans of that town began to believe in him. When the Samaritans came to him, they invited him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. Many more began to believe in him because of his word, and they said to the woman, “We no longer believe because of your word; for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the savior of the world.”

***

It was a fairly ordinary day for the Samaritan woman. She must have been simply doing her daily chores–cleaning the house, cooking some food, doing the laundry, and yes, fetching some water. But what should have been a usual routine was interrupted by an encounter with a stranger sitting at the well. Jesus struck up a conversation with her saying, “Give me a drink” (Jn 4:7). The woman was taken aback by such request. She protested, “How can you, a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jn 4:9). Jesus was trying to establish a relationship to which the woman responded with resistance, doubt, and even sarcasm. But as the story progresses we see that the woman’s heart was opened, albeit slowly, and she was able to recognize Jesus as a prophet and then as the Messiah. What was at first an ordinary conversation turned out to be an intimate dialogue, which eventually led to her conversion. Never did she expect that such a typical day of drawing water at noontime could change her life.

One time I commuted to school all groggy and exhausted because of my penchant for cramming. Just a little backstory: I finished writing my final paper at 4:00 in the morning, took a lousy nap, attended Mass at 5:30, ate a quick breakfast at 6:00, and left our seminary by 6:30. Practically I only had an hour of sleep. While riding the jeepney I was praying the rosary in my head, pleading with Mary and Jesus to provide me a seat in the train so that I could doze off if only for a bit.

I arrived at the MRT station in the nick of time. The train glided to a stop, and lo and behold, it was half-empty! So I jostled against other passengers to grab a seat near a decent air conditioner. The train sped off and I thanked Jesus and Mary for an answered prayer.

And yet, just before I began navigating to the dreamland and continued my much needed sleep, the train reached its next stop, and other passengers started hopping in. Then, there’s this old woman, most probably in her late sixties, dragging a huge bayong full of stuff. For some reason I could not understand, she stood in front of me! I was torn inside. Should I give up my seat for this old woman or simply ignore her? With much protestation within, I lifted my worn-out body and offered the old woman my seat. But then she patted me on my shoulder, smiled at me, and with insistence in her voice she said, “Sige lang, anak. Matulog ka lang. Malapit lang naman ako.” Her gentle words gave me goose bumps; the stranger whose presence I wanted to ignore addressed me as “anak.” And how in the world did she know I really needed that power nap? I had no idea. But one thing is for sure, she made my normal, and sometimes stressful, commute a meaningful one.

The season of Lent invites us to be with the Lord in the most intimate way. Many of us would go on a pilgrimage. Some would join every procession there is. Others would attend a retreat. While these spiritual exercises are definitely spaces of encounter with the Lord, he is also present in the most mundane moments of our lives. Just as Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well on that ordinary noontime, he also awaits us at our own “well”–at home, in our workplace, in school, and yes, even in our daily commute. He is there patiently waiting and eager to converse with us.

My story did not end there. It turned out that the woman would not disembark after only “a few stations” as she had told me because…we alighted at the same station.

It was just an ordinary day until I bumped into a stranger at the “well,” in my case the train. It was just an ordinary day and my life was changed. It was just an ordinary day and I met the Lord.

Anthony S. Capirayan, SSP
(March 19, 2017)
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