The prophet and the profit?

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By Carlos Legaspi Jr.

Questions that Matter

Thursday, November 28, 2013


IN ANCIENT pagan times, the village elder is the one who tells the village about the new leader and anoints the new village chief. The prophets of the Old Testament were the ones who were appointed to anoint the King into his throne. In the British tradition, it is the Archbishop of Canterbury or his representative who will officially declare the King and would lay the crown upon the king’s head. In this country, usually the president or the head of state stands in front of the Chief Justice to take the oath of service in the presence of the representative of the Holy Father, the Papal Nuncio. Why do we have these “people of God” around during such occasions?

In the pagan times, it is an affirmation to the villagers that the leader, usually the one who had hunted the most or who has protected the village from barbarians, is the chosen one and the gods had favored his leadership. No one shall ever question to whom the village elder had laid his hand upon.

The early Jews, had to hear the voice of Yahweh from the prophets. Once the prophet speaks of the new leader, they would approve it for the voice of the prophet is the voice of God. The leader is then anointed in the presence of the prophet with all the religious leaders around and in the assembly of the tribes. The leader is proclaimed and is accepted by all of Israel. The leader should be prayerful and should be the one to unite the divided tribes and kingdoms. The Jewish King is a direct representative of Yahweh, thus, he surrenders his personality for the good of the community.

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In Europe, one could be king by inheritance of authority or title. The monarchs of Europe were anointed by the Archbishop and would implore the aid of the Divine Providence in running the community. The king is anointed to lead the people with the blessing of the Supreme Being.

In the Philippines, the presence of the papal representative during the inauguration of the president is both a signal that the country bows down to honor and dignity of the Catholic Church and that the representative gives the blessing of the Almighty and the Holy Father to the leader.

Where do all these lead us to? The leader of the nation should always be reminded that the Church or religion, as a social institution should be considered in coming up with a decision. The leader should listen to the voice of the people of God. He or she should not use them to advance his or her interests.

When a leader becomes too hard-headed, the Church reminds him of his moral obligation. But when he continues to defy the church, it is God who will give him justice. Natural calamities are often sent to remind leaders and the people that there is a supreme being over them. It is a good reminder for everyone to acknowledge the Power of God.

St. Ezekiel Moreno, St. Lorenzo Ruiz, St. Pedro Calungsod, Blessed John Paul II, Mons. John Liu and John Su, Sir Faraon Lopez, pray for us.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on November 28, 2013.

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