Sunday, July 09, 2006

And The Sun Shall Shine…

It rains a lot where I am. We often kid about the sun as a shy, extremely shy maiden. In the Philippines, we would refer to such a maiden or even a young man for that matter as “mamahalin ang ngiti.”

A few days ago, amid heavy rain, I read something on line that felt like the warm embrace of a lovely Philippine morning sun. These were words spoken by Archbishop Angel Lagdameo of Iloilo, current President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

The Archbishop said, “A subtle dictatorship is enslaving the Filipinos…A painful experience of Filipinos today is that even if we freed ourselves from foreign oppression, there are still Filipinos who enslave their fellow Filipinos.”
Darkness has enveloped our country for so long. When people are afraid to speak out, it is dark. When leaders are afraid to speak out, it is darker. When everyone is afraid to speak out, the country falls into the curse of total darkness.

The truth is light. It makes those in darkness see and find their way. The truth spoken by an ordinary person has the power to crack the awesome edifice of an official lie. This is what so many ordinary and vulnerable Filipinos have been doing for the longest time. Individuals and groups have continually and fearlessly spoken out the truth. Many have been harassed, imprisoned, threatened and a number have unfortunately lost their lives.

Whenever a truth-teller dies, a light dies and more darkness grips the land. Ordinary persons appreciate leaders who lend their powerful and credible voices to the truth.

The voice of a man of God should be the voice of truth, for God is nothing less than Truth. The voice of Christ is the voice of Truth. Thus, Christians uphold, defend and protect the truth at all cost. Speaking the truth or speaking for the truth is a sacred act. The truth whenever spoken, lets God’s light shine and dispel the darkness of fear, slavery and selfishness.

The Cha Cha being pushed by the Administration is another lie. People have begun speaking against this lie. Archbishop Lagdameo in Iloilo, Bishop Vicente Navarra in Bacolod, Bishop Teodoro Bacani in Manila have all spoken against it.

More and more voices, should speak even as they push the so-called “People’s Initiative” in order to gather millions of signatures to support their lie.
Lying is big business in the Philippines today. They lie about elections. They lie about classrooms. They lie about the budget. They lie about the economy. They lie about violence and murders perpetuated by the Police and Military. Mendacity is official. Officials do it all the time.

I pray for Archbishop Lagdameo to continue what he has begun. I thank him too for bringing back the sun. Surely, Christ the Prince of Truth will further sharpen his tongue to proclaim the truth in season and out of season, for that is what a servant of God is. Archbishop Lagdameo, thank you for a bit of sun!

Fr. Roberto P. Reyes
GOMBURZA, June, 15, 2006


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