Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Good vs. Evil

(The eternal battle Rev. 12:7-17)

     We cannot avoid it, sooner or later we will realize that in the world, within us or outside ourselves, there is the battle between good and evil, truth and falsehood.  But naturally we must be on the side of goodness and truth since this is the way that leads us to the eternal reward.  The devil is the tempter, a main protagonist of evil that works hard to bring the most he could to the fires of hell.  Since he has been eternally punished by God because he wanted to be above God and rebelled against God’s commands, out of jealousy he wants to tempt as many humans as he could so they may also undergo a similar fate as he, Satan or Lucifer and his company of devils, the eternally condemned.  Jesus tells us in Jn. 8:44, “the devil is a murderer and the father of lies.”
    “And now war broke out in heaven, when Michael with his angels attacked the dragon.  The dragon fought back with his angels, but they were defeated and driven out of heaven.  The great dragon, the primeval serpent, known as the devil or Satan, who had deceived all the world, was hurled down to the earth and his angels were hurled down with him.  Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, ‘Victory and power and empire forever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the persecutor, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down.  They have triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the witness of their martyrdom, because even in the face of death they would not cling to life.  Let the heavens rejoice and all who live there; but for you, earth and sea trouble is coming because the devil has gone down to you in a rage, knowing that his days are numbered… Then the dragon was enraged with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her children, that is, all who obey God’s commandments and bear witness for Jesus” (Rev. 12:7-17.  Such is the battle raging in our present world—ever since time immemorial.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Irenical approach

In the present question of dialogue among Christians the above-mentioned approach which is tantamount to the ‘friendly’ approach is the one mostly applied.  Its name originates from the Greek word ‘eirene’ which means peace.  This “Irenical” approach does not mean that the Catholic waters down the truth, but he learns how to present it so that it will be better understood and more easily received.  The facts speak for themselves.  The fact that the Catholic Church has grown in number in spite of opposition and various trials and happenings argues in its favor.  After all, in this free world, no one is forced to this or that faith denomination or religious group.  Each one must freely choose where he or she believes the truth is.  On our part however, we should help out that persons may be freely aided to seek and encounter the truth.  After all, that’s what Jesus really wants us to do so we may together find the “truth that sets us free” (Jn. 8:32).   

The complete paragraph was quoting the words of Jesus in Jn. 8:31-32: “Jesus then went on to say to those Jews who believed in him: ‘If you live according to my teaching, you are really my disciples; then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  Jesus talks about the freedom to do good, not the license to do evil.  That is what freedom really is.

In this multi-faceted world, a world of so many opinions we must do our part to exert effort to search for the truth amid the many diversities of words and thoughts.  Yes, amid the confusion of so much unhappiness.  Let’s seek for that touch of divine truth that will finally bring us the needed consolation.  We must not forget the words of our divine Master—‘everyone who searches, always finds’ (Mt. 7:7).  Christ convinced people not just by mere words but mainly by His life and works that show God’s accompanying power.  Towards the end of St. Mark’s gospel you read how God shows the powerful signs or miracles of His approval.  “These are the signs that will be associated with believers: ion my name they will cast out devils; they will have the gift of tongues; they will pick up snakes in their hands, and be unharmed should they drink deadly poison; they will lay their hands on the sick, who will recover” (Mk. 16:17).