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Immaculate Conception, President Duterte, ABS-CBN

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WORD ALIVE

By FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

The message of President Duterte on the feast of the Immaculate Conception last December 8 was very inspiring.  He said, “The Blessed Virgin Mary’s exemplary life of piety and virtue honored today by our Catholic faithful nourishes the spirituality of our people as they in turn become agents of compassion and justice in our society.”

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Let me, however, make some personal observations on the President’s message in connection with his resolve not to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN which will expire in March, 2020. Isn’t the President’s resolve against ABS CBN contradicting his message that our people should be inspired by the Immaculate Conception “to become agents of compassion and justice”?

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By not renewing the franchise, does he not think that he would be depriving over 10,000 employees of their jobs who are working here and abroad?  Where’s the President’s compassion?

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President Duterte’s justification for not renewing the franchise  is because ABS-CBN was partisan in the last presidential election, citing that it did not air his political advertisements which were “already paid” but aired instead those of the opposition candidates.

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Granting that ABS-CBN committed a blunder, the President has the right to file legal charges anytime. But is the offense so grave as to warrant a closure of the giant station? To my mind, the non-renewal of the franchise is  not proportionate to the penalty  incurred. According to the universal law and quoting a renowned moral theologian, Daniel L. Lowery, “A just punishment must be proportionate to the degree of personal guilt.”

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May the Immaculate Conception, whom President Duterte highly esteems as a model of compassion and justice, enlighten and guide our President in all his decisions.

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SUNDAY REFLECTION: REJOICE, BE JOYFUL

A friend of mine would conclude his letter with this quip: “Don’t take life too seriously; you’ll never come out of it alive!”

We should paraphrase that, saying:  “Don’t take life too seriously; Jesus Christ saved you.”

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While it’s true that we should not take life and our problems TOO seriously, we should do our part in saving  ourselves. As the dictum goes: “Do your best and God will do the rest.”

That’s the message of this 3rd Sunday of Advent called “Gaudete Sunday.” Gaudete means “rejoice,” “be joyful.”

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During the time of John the Baptist, people did not know who or where the Messiah was.

John the Baptist, Christ’s forerunner, exclaimed in today’s gospel: “There is one among you whom you do not know.” He was referring to Jesus Christ.

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How about our modern times? Would the Baptist address his indictment to us?

Why is it that in our celebration of Christmas  we are so much engrossed with Christmas shopping, gift-giving, eating and drinking, that we forget the reason why we’re doing all this?

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Or, why don’t we recognize him in our fellowmen especially among the poor, the marginalized, those who have no voice in society for whom Jesus said: “Whatever you did to the least of my brethren, you did to me”? If we are keenly aware of God’s presence in them, would we abuse, mistreat, harm, or heinously kill them?

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Advent is an opportune time for us to renew our faith in Jesus. He is the main character, the central figure of all our Christmas celebrations.

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THE LIGHTER SIDE.There are four stages in a man’s life. First, when he believes in Sta. Claus. Second, when he doesn’t believe in Sta. Claus anymore. Third, when he IS Sta. Claus. Fourth, when he LOOKS like Sta. Claus.

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A husband gifted his wife with a bracelet. When the wife asked him why the surprise gift, he replied, “A four-letter word made me do it.” “You mean ‘LOVE?” she asked. “No,” he responded, “SALE.”

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GIVE LOVE THIS CHRISTMAS. Let’s share joy with the less fortunate sick, like five-year-old Genesis Ll., suffering from leukemia, Dante C.,  renal failure patient, M. Maranga, J. Lopez, R.Cayunda who have pulmonary ailments. You can do it by contributing an amount to buy medicines and pay their medical treatments.

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For inquiries,e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com.

 

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