I was not yet born when the radio was invented, but I know, from historical accounts, that its invention was met with mixed reactions. Some people were thrilled and excited to hear the voice of someone in Manila or even New York over a machine that was plugged into an electrical source. People were incredibly proud of it.

On the other hand, there were those who saw the radio as a destroyer of family life. They suggested that with the radio, people wouldn’t talk to one another anymore because their ears would be glued to their talking gadgets at home.

From radio, we moved on to television. With the TV, not only do we hear voices through a machine, we can also see images. Now many people argue that TV is the modern world’s destroyer of family life, not to mention values.

But while TV is still with us, technological progress has ushered us into a much faster, more accessible means of communicating: cyberspace and the internet through the computer. Yet, in the face of all this technological progress, the first reading from the book of Ecclesiastes tells us: “There is nothing new under the sun.”

It’s as though it’s saying that what’s happening right now, has already occurred at the beginning of time. Think about it, whether people ride horses or in carriages, cars or airplanes, or even rocket ships, people go everywhere but they don’t seem to be going anywhere. That is the reality of human nature; we can have television, we can have radio, we can have the internet, and yet the values, the workings of the human mind do not seem to change. In the first reading, we hear these words: “There is nothing new under the sun.” Herod’s attitude can still be seen, even in the twenty-first century. We still have leaders who feel threatened in their positions of power and resort to killing those who oppose them. Even if the TV is somewhat behind us, pornography has now invaded our homes through the computers, because the mind that lusts for sex is still there. Before the email, we were complaining that it was taking too long for letters to reach their destinations. Now that we have email, are the mails being sent? No, because we are still too lazy to write our letters. In other words, there is nothing new under the sun. No matter how fast the internet and the email may be, unless there is a change of the human heart and the human mind, we will remain very primitive.

Towards the end of his life, the great scientist Albert Einstein said, “With the coming of the atomic age, everything has changed on the face of the earth, except the human mind.” We must have a change of mind, we must have a change of heart.

I request you to say this short prayer to Jesus, in the silence of your heart, “Lord, change me even if it is so difficult. Lord, change me even if I am not ready.”

Lk 9:7-9
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