REFLECTIONS: Waking up for the common good, our common home

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By Rev. Fr. Virgilio H. Delfin

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/05 February 2022)  “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’” (Isaiah 6:8). The social media becomes the venue for words, ideas, opinions and support of the various candidates beginning February 8, 2022 for the nationally-elective positions and on March 25, 2022 for the locally-elective positions. We are a predominantly Christian country whose faith is rooted in Jesus Christ and as baptized, one of our missions is to speak and stand for the truths and teachings of God. We are all called to speak in behalf of God on all life’s issues to make his presence visible to everyone; to make him truly Emmanuel, God-with-us. 

I would like to challenge every registered voter who believes in God and who gains the courage to speak in behalf of their favored candidates, “Do you also speak in behalf of God?”. “Do the family history and track record of the candidates you are supporting truly match the teachings on integrity of life and person that our faith demands?” “Do we take responsibility of our being diploma holders (for professionals) and teach those who only obtained lesser education most especially the poor and allow them to weigh things properly so that they can truly make a sacred and fully discerned decisions and choices?” Or “Are we still in the stage of being clannish possessing the consciousness of the cockpit arena culture, taking our sacred election rights, duties and responsibilities as game of thrones, making us spectators of what is happening and cheering the circus transpiring before our eyes without thinking that our decisions and actions affect our present situation and of the children of the next generations?” Or “Do we view our elections only as a secular event unable to connect this sacred duty to the holistic development of peoples?”

If we take these things for granted, we are truly doomed as a people! It is a pity and a heart-rending situation that many professional Filipinos of faith are departing from the basic prayer and discernment and choose to be oblivious to the demands of the common good and the urgent call to protect our common home by choosing worthy leaders for our country.

When Jesus told Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people” (Luke 5:10), he was also speaking to each baptized believer. The Lord gives us all the chances to live our lives in congruence with his love and mercy for us to be sustained in the journey. But sad to say, many of us are stranded in our selfish opinions and motives thinking only of our own interests not even knowing what is meant by the demands of the common good and the protection of our common home. If we catch people, we catch people for God but if we haven’t caught even ourselves because of our selfish and proud attitudes, refusing to listen to God’s voice, then what a pity for all of us as a people? Many desire holistic and sustainable development for our country and people. But many are also oblivious to it.

As Pope Francis said, “A plan that would set great goals for the development of our entire human family nowadays sounds like madness. We are growing ever more distant from one another, while the slow and demanding march towards an increasingly united and just world is suffering a new and dramatic setback” (Fratelli Tutti, n. 16). 

We are on the crossroad between prosperity and oppressing poverty. In fact, those in extreme poverty are already staggering in number. Farmers are complaining of the high cost of farm inputs and the capitalists-controlled prices of their harvests. Laborers are complaining of their inability to obtain stable jobs. The cost of fuel and commodities are staggering. But many are still oblivious to them and refuse to enter into prayer and discernment to make the best choice for the common good and for the preservation of our common home. We are like the biblical story of Noah, the rains are already around but we still bicker with one another defending our one-sided opinions and motives until we will drown into the flood of our selfishness and stupidity. May we wake up from our wicked slumbering and evil-hypnotized situation to the detriment of the common good and of our common home. May God’s mercy be upon us! Amen.

Rev. Fr. Virgilio H. Delfin, CPA, is a priest in the Diocese of Malaybalay and the president of San Isidro College. This piece was first published in the author’s Facebook account as Reflections: Speaking in behalf of the Lord, Reflections on the fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

IMAGE: The promotional banner for the presentation made my Cagayan de Oro Abp. Emeritus Antonio Ledesma on the 5Cs of Good Governance, which outlined a strategy to engage the selection of candidates for the 2022 elections. He presented the talk during a pastoral conference of the St. John Vianney Seminary in October 2021. Courtesy of Diocese of Malaybalay at 50 - Official FB account.

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