The voice of God and People

Today, the leaders of our country are dealing with problems of illegal drugs, criminality, corruption, rebel groups and terrorist attacks. To make matters worse, politicians bicker, quarrel and grandstand each other. There is also the unsettling disagreement between the Catholic Church and the state authorities regarding controversial policies such as the re-imposition of the death penalty and the extra judicial killings being blamed on the administration’s relentless “war” against illegal drugs.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration is just on its ninth month since its landslide victory in the May 2016 national elections. He has 5 years and three months more to complete his six-year term. Duterte’s method to fulfill his campaign promise of solving the ills of the country – illegal drugs, criminality and corruption – gained mix reactions from all sides, including the Church and the media. Notwithstanding Duterte’s foul mouth that hinges on profanity maligning some personalities and institutions including the Catholic Church, public approval of his leadership remains strong, as gauged by social weather surveys. The hundreds of thousands that gathered in Luneta for the pro-administration rally last month compared to the motley crowd at the EDSA Shrine during the same day is also an indication that his administration still enjoys a large mandate of the people. Do the words ‘Vox Populi, Vox Dei’ (The voice of the people is the voice of God.) ring a bell in your socio-political mind?

Even as the Church remains to be the guardian of our Even as the Church remains to be the guardian of our moral values and Christian doctrine, the state is regarded as the protector of its people and territory. Let us heed what is written in the scriptures. Saint Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles (those not of Jewish blood or origin) in his Letter to the Romans titled “Duties toward State Authorities” said:

“Everyone must obey state authorities, because no authority exists without God’s permission, and the existing authorities have been put there by God. Whoever opposes the existing authority opposes what God has ordered; and anyone who does so will bring judgment on himself. For rulers are not to be feared by those who do good; but by those who do evil. Would you like to be unafraid of those in authority? Then do what is good, and they will praise you, because they are God’s servants working for your own good. But if you do evil, then be afraid of them, because their power to punish is real. They are God’s servants and carry out God’s punishment on those who do evil. For this reason, you must obey the authorities- not just because of God’s punishment but also as a matter of conscience. That is also why you pay taxes, because the authorities are working for God when they fulfil their duties.” (Cf. Rm. 13: 1- 6)

Let us also call to mind that Jesus himself recognizes the authority of the state when he said: “Give to Ceasar what is Ceasar’s, and to God what belongs to God.”

Let us pray that the Church and the State find the wisdom to work in harmony with each other for a common goal – peace, order and prosperity for our country.

 

Sunday Mass Schedule Effective March 2011

6:30am - Filipino
8:00am - English
9:30am - English
11:00am - English

12:15n.n - English

3:30pm - Filipino
5:00pm - English
6:30pm - English
8:00pm - English

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