Saturday, August 31, 2013

There Never Was a Good War or a Bad Peace

The expression of our title once coined by the famous Benjamin Franklin contains really much food for thought. It is true we are not supposed to go to war except only for self-defense. Violence is not supposed to be applied for the sake of forcing others to do what we want. Besides in wars there is an irreparable loss of human lives. That’s precisely God’s 5th commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” The more mature and educated societies do not have recourse to war to obtain their goals. Why? Because you cannot pay equitably for the loss of one life. Hence the more educated and mature ways for obtaining peace and progress is through open and peaceful dialogue with honest efforts at obtaining reconciliation and understanding between one another. They used to say in a local dialect: “Way di makuha sa sabot-sabot” (“You can obtain your aims through mutual understanding”). Peace is what Jesus taught us by word and example. Surely that is what we are to do: to aim for peace in all sectors.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The promise of Jesus

Surely the promise of Jesus will not fail, after all the trials and difficulties in the world.  Because He speaks as God’s Son, immortal, all-knowing, and almighty.  “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he put this question to his disciples, ‘Who  do people say the Son of Man is?’ And they said, ‘some say he is John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’  ‘But you,’ he said ‘who do you say I am?’ ‘Then Simon Peter spoke up, ‘You are the Christ,’ he said, ‘the Son of the living God.’ Jesus replied, ‘Simon son of Jonah, you are a happy man! Because it was not flesh and blood that revealed this to you but my Father in heaven.  So now I say to you: You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church.  And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it.  I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven’” (Mt. 16:13-20).

We know as we see the Catholic Church’s course through the ages and centuries that it has been by God’s power and mercy that she has reached till our present century after all the trials of past events and persecutions, and the challenges that tested her virtue and mission. After all she only endeavors to follow the ways of the Divine Master and Founder whose main teachings are basically truth and love, yes, Jesus the Savior of the world.  It would be fitting to remember past history in the advice of Gamaliel, a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin who advised the Jewish leaders to cease harassing the Christian groups. He said: “What I suggest, therefore, is that you leave these men alone and let them go.  If this enterprise, this movement of theirs, is of human origin it will break up of its own accord; but if it does in fact come from God you will not only be unable to destroy them, but you might find yourselves fighting against God” (Acts 5:38-39).    “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31).

Monday, August 19, 2013

Media history

(Catholic Mass Media in Mati)

The need for mass media involvement through press, radio and TV communications became inspired because of the need to spread God’s word since Jesus Christ had left those final words of instruction: “Go therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you.  And know that I am with you always, yes, to the end of time” (Mt. 28:16-20).

            Thus many people involved and inspired by God’s Holy Spirit worked for the establishment of the various means of communications in the media, such as the radio, TV and the press to bring God’s message to God’s people, and to all those who hunger for God’s word as a source of light and life.  “Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4). 

            In the late 1980s we had the humble beginnings of what is now: DXHM-AM/DXDV-FM Mati radio, TCTV Mati television.  The CBCP Monitor is a publication from the Philippine Catholic hierarcy as a whole while the Davao Catholic Herald is an initiative of the Davao Archdiocese, both including news items in connection with Catholic missionary projects or activities in the Philippines and abroad.

The tri-media (press, radio, TV) combination has worked sufficiently well in helping to disseminate God’s message via the media channels of communication.  We are hoping always to give first place to God, in the media social communications as well as in our lives, so that as we do the humble service to God’s word via the media, our lives may likewise proclaim: “To God belongs all the glory!”

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Christian sense

Some may be inclined to ridicule Christians because of being in this or that denomination, whether Catholic or any other Christian denomination, whatever that be.  Yet as the Latin proverb attests—contra factum non valet argumentum (translate as: you cannot argue against facts), which means we are to consider and picture respectfully the Christian believers who are so out of firm conviction based on reality and reason.  Why would so many, especially the Christian Saints and martyrs die for their faith in Christ if it were absurd or ridiculous?

            Besides, the lives of Jesus and the Saints are all attested to by facts, and the big bulk of the Christian populace have not been forced into accepting the Christian beliefs.  It has rather been born from reasonable conviction and mature motives.  While it is true there is such a thing as freedom of religion, it is also true to say: there is no such thing as a freedom of error or falsity.

            We all must honestly seek for the ‘truth that sets us free’ (Jn. 8:31-32).  Meaning to say, you are not free to strive for something which is nothing and is precisely what error and falsity is, being the opposite of truth and rightfulness, they are tantamount to nothing.  Isn’t the opposite of reality and truth, nothingness?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Humble and patient

Surely there is need for humility and patience as we strive to do God’s will in the midst of this changing world of ours with all the different characteristics of the people we meet or deal with.  What more support and consideration do we need than the very word of God speaking to us through St. Paul’s letter to the Hebrews (Heb. 10:36): “You will need patience to do God’s will and gain what he has promised.” 

“Only a little while now, a very little while, and the one that is coming will have come; he will not delay.  The righteous man will live by faith, but if he draws back, my soul will take no pleasure in him” (Heb. 10:37-38).

“You and I are not the sort of people who draw back, and are lost by it; we are the sort who keep faithful until our souls are saved” (Heb. 10:39).

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Solutions towards peace

Amid the various propositions for achieving peace we must listen to the words of Jesus who once affirmed: “The truth shall set you free” (Jn. 8:32).  That means we are to see His example and teachings and follow them to guide us to the truth.  We cannot just remain in the present jargon of multifarious opinions, not knowing which one of these is the truth. 

 And why Jesus, therefore?  Because His statements were not just mere words but always supported by deeds and facts.  As one Latin proverb says: “Contra factum non valet argumentum” (you do not argue against facts).

People will believe if our activities are not just mere words but always concreted in actions since it has been commonly said: “Actions speak louder than words.”  Let us not be just content in speaking but in doing as well actions that may benefit our world.  That means, actions or activities based on and inspired by genuine love of God and our neighbor–our fellow men and women.