Unity? PNoy must reconcile with the church!
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila () - April 27, 2011 - 12:00am

With the Holy Week or the Lenten Season finally over, I certainly hope that we Filipinos have learned something from listening or reading all those spiritual messages, especially from the Catholic Church. Mind you, those messages did not come directly from our bishops and priests, but rather they are based mostly on Scripture, hence it is divinely inspired or to put it more bluntly, it comes from God. One such important message from our Lord Jesus Christ is a new commandment, “Love one another as I have loved you.” I don’t have to give you a theological explanation as to what that means and I can only hope that we put this teaching into practice.

I was in retreat with the Opus Dei during the Holy Week and amongst my readings, I came across a teaching about loving one another as an act of emptying ourselves to those we love. Indeed as the evangelist John wrote in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish, but might have eternal life.” This was God’s way of showing his love to us, with our Lord Jesus Christ emptying himself through his passion and death on the cross.

Hence if each and every single person is loved by our creator, then we as Christians are duty bound to expand this love, not just to our immediate families and relatives, but to people whom we don’t even know. If we Filipinos who reside in this place that is historically called “Asia’s only Christian nation” could love one another as commanded by our Lord Jesus Christ, then nothing can stop us from becoming a strong nation under God.

This brings me to the Easter message that Pres. Benigno “PNoy” Aquino III came up with, which made headlines in The Philippine STAR last Sunday. It was a message of hope that our nation would rise from the darkness of corruption when our people work together, urging them “not to waver in their faith in God and must continue following his lessons.” What the President was in effect asking was for Filipinos to learn to love one another.

How I wish that PNoy wasn’t just reading this Easter Message written by his ghost writers or that at least he truly meant what he was saying because I fully concur with what he said that if only we the Filipino people would unite and work together, then we could be at parallel with the best nation in ASEAN. But then, how could that happen when in this country, our individual motto is “Everyone for himself”? Indonesia, the most populous nation in ASEAN, has a better motto than what we have, “Unity in Diversity.”

Actually our Philippine national motto is, “Maka-Diyos, Maka-Tao, Makakalikasan at Makabansa” (for the Love of God, People, Nature and Nation) which means that we Filipinos love God first and foremost, we love one another as a people and we love our country. It is a perfect motto, except that our problem is, we Filipinos do not embrace the doctrines of the Christian faith.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. The materialism of affluent Christian countries appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ that says it’s not possible to worship both Mammon and God at the same time.” He also said, “If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today.”

So if we cannot live under the teachings and principles handed down by our Lord Jesus Christ, perhaps we should then follow what Gandhi pointed out as man’s seven social sins, which are, “Politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity and worship without sacrifice.” We hope to start with politics with principles as a good example.

It’s more than obvious to me that we Filipinos are still “trapped” in the vicious cycle of the seven deadly social sins as enumerated by Gandhi. When President Aquino was elected into office, he brought a fresh new hope that things would finally change 25 years after the EDSA revolt. Alas, we are now more than 10 months into his Presidency and PNoy’s popularity has dropped significantly. Let me say that this discontent is from those who voted for him, not from those who didn’t vote for him.

As we already pointed out before, PNoy should immediately do drastic changes before it is too late. Talking about unity, PNoy should unite with the Catholic Church, instead of saying that he would support the RH bill recently renamed the Responsible Parenthood Bill regardless of what the Catholic Church says. If PNoy truly wants unity, he should reconcile with the Catholic Church first, after all, whether he likes it or not, lay people like him are part and parcel of the church. More importantly, he cannot deny that the church has a huge influence on the Filipino people.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

CATHOLIC CHURCH CHRIST EASTER MESSAGE FOR GOD GOD LORD JESUS CHRIST LOVE
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