Saturday, October 29, 2011

Reflections Brought About by Chancery and DZVT Ashes

Right after the deliberate burning of the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose’s two prominent entities or ministries, her Chancery Office and radio station DZVT, everyone in our place (including netizens from our province) instantly, at least figuratively, turned into fire and crime analysts and investigators. Different and contrasting theories and opinions that do more harm than good subdued the air like those ugly and suffocating smoke from a forest fire. They just added fuel to the flame and in a way continue the suffering of the people of God here in Occidental Mindoro, the believers of Christ. He is the same Christ who, according to the Apostle’s Creed, “…suffered under Pontius Pilate”.

A mere ocular scanning of the crime scene in the Chancery Building in Seminary Compound in Mabini St. Extension you would notice the crucifixion figure of Christ, about two feet tall, still hanging on the wall undisturbed despite of the horrific and evil devastation. The first time I saw t its aftermath and seeing that huge crucifix from a distance reminded me that the Passion of Christ did not end in Golgotha but continues to dwell among us. It continues to exist in our present history and in every hour of our life as a believer. This very tragic occurrence is a concrete example of our encounter with evil regardless if it dwells from the inside or outside of certain realm. This twin attack on the local Church - or its heirarchy, the priests, the nuns and the laity - placed us all, people of Occidental Mindoro, in what I can call as “Foot of the Cross” situation. Every one of us under its shadow, are telling what we really are. There are many of us made a mockery out of the event, playing games for fun and for other gains and use the situation as an opportunity to attack their enemies or to condemn known religious and political personalities. But let us not forget the majority who truly, physically and mentally suffer with the Church. The members of the Pamayanang Kristiyano, or the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) who truly agonize with Him and his Church during high-magnitude chaos like this. The former are those UNDERNEATH the Cross while latter are ON the Cross. Situations that make this tragedy and human suffering go on.

We have learned from Jesus that after (suffering from) the Cross comes Resurrection but we, clergy and lay especially those from the BECs, have to be united. It is written, “When anyone is united to Christ, there is a new world. The old order has gone and a new order has already begun” (2 Cor. 5:17) for God is not a God of burned things and ashes, of dead things but of renewed things.

Bishop Antonio P. Palang, SVD,DD is bound to issue a Pastoral Statement tomorrow from the pulpits of every churches and chapels in the diocese. Hope this will bring enlightenment and we will be informed of the official stand of our local Church on this issue to avoid speculations and shed light on the matter.

Though we all admit, human as we are, that there are tragedies which we are all powerless, especially those that are natural, this one is man-made and sure enough we will be able to conquer this particular tragedy and suffering. Our particular Church, the men (ordained or not) and women of faith in our province, are called to generate solidarity now more than ever and accept it, no matter how painful are they. This cross of tragedy and scandal that we are presently experiencing as a people is not only a cross or a problem to be investigated and to be solved but a cross to be picked-up to our hardened shoulders like a heavy yoke, a yoke that teach. Incidentally, our Gospel tomorrow is (Mat. 23:1-12) focused on our roles as teachers. Experience is the best teacher, remember? And if I may add, Benjamin Franklin once said, "Those things that hurt, instruct."

Somebody has to have a closer look to his flock and (re-)know his sheep individually and properly wield his authoritative rod of guidance and correction…

(Photo from 4Bp.blogspot)

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