If only Filipino Christians could mobilize for change
What great faith do we Filipinos exhibit to the world, that not even heat, hunger, exhaustion, or even the dreaded virus could stop millions among us from hearing mass in honor of the Black Nazarene (the “Traslacion” having been canceled). If only our numbers could be mobilized to effect significant change in our society.
This perhaps should lead us to reflect on what kind of Christianity we exactly practice. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself has spoken of His mission as that of bringing good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and to set free the oppressed. We who call ourselves Christians must have the same mission, to whom, in the day of judgment, God will ask us, when I was hungry, did you give me food to eat; water to drink when I was thirsty; or clothed me?
This, however, we often understand to be simply alms-giving. While the poor need immediate help, they will remain poor, hungry, and naked unless we Christians address the root causes of their hunger and poverty, the unjust social structures that perpetuate their dehumanizing conditions.
As Pope Francis said when he visited our country, the concern for the poor is the touchstone of the Christian faith. He challenged us Filipinos to break the bonds of injustice and oppression that give rise to glaring and scandalous social inequalities, and to reform the social structures that perpetuate poverty and the exclusion of the poor.
If we Christians do not work for justice in our country, our alms-giving, as exemplified by our politicians, will just be an instrument to perpetuate their unjust and dehumanizing condition, an opiate for them to forget their true condition, a means to cover their exploitation.
Most sadly, we and our church leaders have utterly failed in this respect. Sadly, in contrast to the call of Pope Francis, no thanks to some of our church leaders, many of us are purely concerned with our personal supplications to our Lord Jesus Christ, remaining apathetic to and unconcerned with the prevailing injustice in our society.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.