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Why we need to reform

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WORD ALIVE

By FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

When Mt. Pinatubo erupted in 1991 causing great devastation to Zambales and Pampanga provinces, many considered it as God’s wrath over two “cities of sin” located within those provinces.

* * *

The Mt. Pinatubo tragedy may be compared to the ones mentioned in the gospel of this 3rd Sunday of Lent. One of these was the ruthless murder ordered by Pilate of some Galileans while they were offering their temple sacrifices.

The other incident was a construction accident where 18 innocent people were crushed to death by a falling tower in Siloam (Lk 13,1).

* * *

Like the people in the gospel, we may be tempted to feel that the victims of destructive calamities were punished for their sins or meted divine retribution, gaba in Visayan parlance.

But Jesus warns us that it is not for us to judge people and their sins. No one but God really knows what is in the human heart.

* * *

Rather than judge the victims of tragedies or their perceived causes, we should learn from their experience by reminding us that we, too, will face eternal damnation unless we’re sorry for our sins and reform. “You will all come to the same end unless you turn away from your sins,“ Jesus says.

* * *

In our present milieu, we ask: “Why must we reform? Why bother to change or get rid of our negative traits?

The simple answer is because sin and evil deeds are obnoxious before God.

* * *

On the individual level, selfishness, greed, insensitivity are the cause of others untold sufferings and anguish. Consider the cold-blooded slaying of suspected drug dealers and other offenders; did the perpetrators ever think of the misery they inflicted on the orphaned families?

* * *

There is the wife who constantly nags her husband. This is her way of getting his attention. In the process, however, she drives him away.

A  husband who’s philandering can be the cause of quarrels and conflicts which sometimes end in marital break-up.

* * *

Aren’t these wrongdoings what God is warning us against not only in today’s gospel but also in his 10 commandments? The trouble is that we prefer to follow our will rather than God’s commands—“Do not kill… steal…commit adultery…”

* * *

God’s commands are not there to curtail our freedom or meddle in our personal life but rather they guide us to do what’s good for us and our country. For instance, where there are unabated corrupt practices, disunity, kidnappings, and injustices, there’s not only evil but also the country’s perdition.

* * *

The story is told about a commanding officer of a ship who saw, through a foggy night at sea,  what appeared to be the lights of another ship heading directly toward him.

 He instructed his signalman to contact the other ship by light with this message:  “Change your course 10 degrees to the north.  I am an admiral.”

* * *

“Message received,”  came the reply, “but you must change your course to the south.”  This infurated the admiral.  He signaled back, “I am a battleship, so change your course to the north or else…”         To which came the reply:  “I am a lighthouse.  Change your course…..or else!

* * *

If you do not change your course to God’s course, you are headed to perdition.

* * *

LENTEN LAFF. A corrupt policeman always extorted tong (bribe) from traffic violators. One week-end, he attended an LSS (Life in the Spirit Seminar). When he returned to his post, he no longer asked for tong but “love offering.”

* * *

7 LAST WORDS.’ The SVD Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. will telecast live on ABS-CBN, Channel 2, the “7 Last Words” on Good Friday, April 19 at 12 noon-3 p.m. Come join us at the Divine Word Shrine in Christ the King Seminary, E. Rodriguez Blvd., QC and reflect on Jesus’ words before He died  on the cross.

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BY THE WAY…we sent out solicitation letters for advertisement placements and donations for the TV program. May we hear from you?

Call Brian Deguito at tel. 723-3343 or e-mail me at belsvd@gmail.com.

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