It is very important to love our neighbors. But to be Christians, it is also very important to love our country. We are not deaf and dumb to the chaos in the Philippines right now. The other extreme is that we know there are problems, we know there are difficulties, we know there is crisis in the country. We know the authority of public officials is diminishing. We know there are unjust taxes being imposed on us.
We know there is something wrong with society and we know there is something wrong with the government. But then we say, “There’s nothing we can do, anyway.”
Cynically, we shrug our shoulders and say, “There is no hope. Even Vietnam will overtake us. There really is no hope no matter what we do. We keep changing presidents but the situation remains the same.”
These are the human reactions of Filipinos confronted with the crisis in our country. One group plays blind, while the other admits complete knowledge but reasons out: “This is a hopeless situation. It is better just to go abroad so life will be peaceful and you will get to taste the good life.”
I want to break to you the news of today’s readings. In the face of the chaos of the flood, the Lord offered a rainbow to mankind. In other words, the Lord offered mankind hope. In the face of the chaos of the temptation of the Lord in the desert, He comes to tell us. “I bring you good news, the kingdom of God is right in your midst.”
It is true that in the Philippines, we are undergoing hardships and difficulties. It is true there are killings left and right.
It is true there are rape incidents left and right. But brothers and sisters, my prayer is that we listen to what the Lord is telling us today. There is hope for the Philippines. There is hope and promise for Filipinos, for our nation.
For as long as there is God, there will always be a rainbow. For as long as there’s a rainbow, there is hope waiting for us. For as long as there is God, we will always have the good news. For as long as there is good news, there is hope waiting for us.
We are fellow Filipinos. We all have one nation. Let us love our country. It is not enough to love our God. It is not enough to love our families. We should also feel we belong to one nation, one country called the Philippines. If we forget we are Filipinos, how can we call ourselves Christians? We are thankful we are Christians. We should also be proud that we are Filipinos.
Noah received a rainbow. That rainbow is not only for Noah, but for every Filipino, for the entire Filipino nation. Christ came out of the desert, from chaotic temptation there, to proclaiming the good news.
The good news is for each and every Filipino and for the entire Filipino nation. Right now as you are listening to me, we are also celebrating the Eucharist. The Eucharist is a celebration of life. It is also a celebration of hope.
Jesus In My Heart