There was wonderful cooperation at the last BUC (Bishops Ulama Conference) held January 8, 2010 in Davao City, attended by representatives of government, military, and religious leaders of denominations - Protestant, Islamic and Catholic.
When people honestly get together without malice and earnestly seek for solutions, then we could arrive at important decisions that will bring us peace. After all if ego and pride dominate, these are only preludes to failure and chaos.
Let’s examine what wrong ideas there are and discard them. For example, the ideas of hate and revenge that bring wars and anguish to our people; is there no better alternative? If ideas do rule the world (as the Latin adage says: Idiae regunt mundum), let’s get to the better ideas. Life is sacred. You have only one life and could you ever justly compensate for the value of one life?
To counter those wrong ideas we need to propose and live the right ideas and ideals. For example, Benjamin Franklin had said this: “There never was a good war or a bad peace.” Consider the past wars sacrificing millions of lives, just because pride and hate and ambition were dominating people’s hearts. Could you pay for all that waste of human existence? When will we ever learn?
Last Christmas we heard readings from the prophet Isaiah telling of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those who live in the shadow of death a light has shone” (Is. 9:2). Jesus teaches us by word and example the very opposite of what the world thinks. He teaches humility in place of pride, love instead of hate, generosity in place of greed.
“What will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life?” (Mt. 16:26). The Bible, too, is against overdoing the feelings of revenge as St. Paul writes: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not wish evil on anyone. Rejoice with those who are joyful, and weep with those who weep. Live in peace with one another. Do not seek honors, but accept humble duties. Do not hold yourselves as wise. Do not return evil for evil, but try to earn the appreciation of others. Do your best to live in peace with everybody. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but let God be the one who punishes, as Scripture says: Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord. And it adds: If your enemy is hunger, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him to drink; by doing this you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not let evil defeat you, but conquer evil with goodness” (Rom. 12:14-21).