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Friday, September 20, 2019

Pacete: Lenten Reflection: What the Bible says

IN THE commemoration of the Holy Week, we do not repeat history. The Christian world simply reflects that there is a God who gave us His Son to redeem the sinners. Let us not just be carried too far away by our liturgical rites. Our faith should be deep but simple. The Holy Bible wants to tell us how it should be.

Our God is a spirit and has no sex. A spirit does not eat, does not talk and cannot be seen. If someone saw God and if President Digong heard God speaking (inside the plane) to him, that could still be possible because God is God. Some politicians expect to hear something from God also. God may say, “Do good to your fellow Filipinos. Do not join politics!”

Is God having a personal name? Baal is the god of the Canaanites. Mardok is the high god of the Mesopotamians. Ra is on top of the hierarchy of gods for the Egyptians. The Israelites called their God Yahweh. That name is being debated upon. That could mean “he creates” or “he is (with his people)”. The Christian world follows the God of the Israelites.

The Christians of Negros and Panay love so much the miracle from the Bible, “the parting of the waters”. The Red Sea parted when the Israelites led by Moses were fleeing the Egyptians. The Jordan River parted twice based on the command of Joshua; and later based on the command of prophets Elijah and Elisha. In our time, who will command so that Guimaras Strait can be parted for Department of Public Works and Highways to build the Panay-Negros Highway? Can our congressmen do that?

During the Good Friday “sermon”, the priest would always say the summary statement of Jesus based on the entire Law of Moses, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” We made this as our Golden Rule, “What is hateful to yourself do not do to another.”

The priests should tell this directly to drug pushers and the drug lords. Those involved in drug selling hit the heart, destroy the mind and corrupt the soul. Drug pushers commission their neighbors to become drug dealers, too. Drug pushing is hateful, yet many make money out of it and they call themselves Christians. There is no hell for people involved in drugs. When they die (or even still alive), they will go direct to Satan’s harem to suffer fornication more badly than hell.

To our political leaders, we would like them to read “the handwriting on the wall”. Its origin could be traced to the Book of Daniel, when the Babylonian king Belshazzar was giving a great feast … he saw a hand writing on the wall. The words were “mene, mene, tekel, parsin”

(numbered, weighed, and divided). It means that his days were numbered and he has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

This could be God’s judgment because the king was persecuting the Jews. He died that very night. This could be a warning to our political leaders who are involved in graft and corruption. Read “the handwriting on the wall”. You may have time to repent and renew. God is forgiving and His Son died for you. Make that change happen in you now. Do not wait for your Good Friday.

We are always told to pray. Yes, we pray. I even pray before doing my thing in the grocery store so that my budget would fit my needs (not wants). Jesus wants us to pray reverently and meaningfully. Jesus warned about idly and endlessly repeating empty phrases in prayers (just like some politicians who keep on repeating their empty promises).

In the movie, “Samson and Delilah”, it is shown there that Delilah cut the hair of Samson and that could be the reason why we tag Delilah as the “treacherous seductress”. To be fair with her, she did not cut the hair of Samson. She offered her bare lap for Samson to sleep … and it was good. When Samson was asleep, she called for the man to cut Samson’s hair. Lesson: Do not trust the lap.

There was already tourism in the ancient world. There were already travelers who visited the “seven wonders”: Great Pyramid at Giza (Egypt), Statue of Zeus at Olympia (Greece), Temple of Diana at Ephesus (Asia Minor), Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Asia Minor), Colossus of Rhodes (Aegean Sea), and the Pharos (Lighthouse) at Alexandria (Egypt).

The Holy Bible is clear that there will be the great final struggle between the forces of good and evil. That could be “Armageddon”. Many scholars think it stands for “hamegiddo”, mountain of Megiddo. The Holy Bible is about the story of God and His peoples. As we rest our minds, hearts, works, and politics … let us reflect on what the Holy Bible says.
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