Friday, November 25, 2011

Of Lighthouse and Advent

One of the many tourist attractions in the beautiful town of Sablayan in Occidental Mindoro is its centuries old lighthouse. Lighthouses have many uses. It gives signals to navigating sea vessels or ships to avoid dangers and to convey messages. But while it gives light to distant targets, it’s too dark at its foot. Its watchman is more concerned with distant occurrences than what is happening right at his very nose. Few people are aware that the word “govern” and “government” comes from the Latin “gubernere” meaning “to steer a ship”. The groups where we belong can be very much compared to a travelling ship for our “captains” could make it land in a safe port or fatally towards an iceberg. A certain individual can also be compared to a lighthouse if he only sees his enemy’s foolishness but not seeing his own (Like the foolishness of not knowing the English word for “Parola”!).

We tend to look at things distant from our groups, more so those we consider “not with us”, but failed to act on negative things happening inside our very own backyard. No question that the Lord is telling us now to be constantly on the watch and be on guard (Mk 13-32) on events to come from faraway seas but not to the point that we are neglecting the present situation unfolding right at our very own doorsteps.

On November 27 we will be celebrating the First Sunday of Advent as we begin a new liturgical year. To re-emphasize, Advent is a season for waiting, waiting in anticipation. We wait because we are holding on to a promise that the Lord would return. While waiting, we try to fulfill the tasks and responsibilities He has entrusted to us like making our backyard free-of-dirt caused by stray animals which just littered around it; spread the red carpet of spirituality on our doorsteps; and clean our nostrils so that we could smell foul odor lingering in the air, all in preparation for His anticipated coming right at where we stand. Even though no one knows when He will come back except for the Father, this is the only thing certain: He is already here in time and space where and we act as His responsible disciples, be He from Seven Seas or just from our lawn. We shouldn’t be caught moonlighting or having an extended recess when the Emmanuel finds us.

We do not have to fetch the Lord from the Airport so the luxury vehicles in our possessions are useless for His coming. His flock will be more pleased if you put stickers on those pick-ups signifying that your office owned them and only for official use as provided in the Commission on Audit (COA) Order on the use of government-owned vehicles. In economically tight times like this, luxury vehicle is something that government officials do not really need but can’t do without. They received luxuries along with the cars!

The command is this, “Stay vigilant and be responsible.” Our utmost responsibility, as civil servants and opinion leaders is to acknowledge God as our King and Master specially during times when “He is away” (meaning, when we are doing things that doesn’t concern much about our spiritual growth like when we are in our workplaces or doing economic activity or job), when He placed us in-charge, in times when He entrusted everything to us, like in Jesus’ short parable about the travelling master and his servant. Over and above our mentors or tormentors, curers or cursers, is the ultimate truth that the Lord is our Master. We should serve and be involved with Him rather than them.

People who are well prepared for Advent do their duty of working for the common good and not their (or our earthly masters’) vested interests but even in places where the Lord is seemingly not there.

Like inside my Bravado or Navara if I have one, this Advent season going to Sablayan…

(Photo : Google Images)

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