The Gospel and the Government

What if a survey was done among our leaders on what books they read?  Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out what book has become their roadmap to life – the one they keep on going back to when they are losing or winning, afraid or confident; when they are at the cups of making critical decisions?  As a general rule, we become the kind of books we read.

What about the Bible?  Unfortunately, despite the lip-service we give the Bible, many still perceives it as a “religious” book.  They view it as nothing more than a piece of literature we need experts (priests or theologians) to decode to us, or a reading material appropriate only on some specific occasions such as the Lenten season.

With elections coming around, candidates for various positions often use the terms ‘ang inyong abang lingkod’ or ‘kayo po ang amo ko’, referring to their persons in order to get our votes.  Imagine, those whom you may have shaken hands will be serving you!  But the big question is, will they really?

Applying Jesus’ understanding of a servant, one self-confessed “public servant” today have a lot of explaining to do.  If they are really serving people, why is it that their houses are only getting bigger while the people’s are getting smaller?  Why do their bank accounts in many instances, balloon astronomically while the ‘kaban ng bayan’ gets wiped out?  Why do their vast possessions multiply while the citizen’s constrict to meagerness?  How do we explain why many of our political officials broadcast their achievements, such as “this road is constructed on the goodwill of Honorable Congressman So and So through the funding of our beloved and benevolent President Such and Such?  Since when did servants crow about their services and expect their masters to say, “Thank You”?

It takes more than mouthing politically correct words like ‘ipagpatuloy and daang matuwid’ that makes one truly a servant.  It is not what he says, it is the kind of spirit that he has in doing his task.  The servant knows his work and does it well, all for the country’s satisfaction.  It is not ‘ako muna, bago bayan’, if we apply the principle to our political officials.  It is not enough for them to see that his country fully served, he does not stand around waiting to be praised and thanked and admired.  The satisfaction they get is the thought that they have done their duty well to the people and country.

Our government tries to leapfrog the economy, however, the country still remains mired in poverty.  Current leadership dreams to make our nation part of the “First World” – with moist eyes we would like to believe, but some press has written that we are just becoming “Fourth World”.

 

How do we usually judge if a country is stable, even progressive?  The population is growing and active, with more youth and people of working age.  It’s land area is sufficient for varied industries to tribe and prosper.  The gross national product is healthy, people are enjoying political, economic and cultural connectedness to one another.

These are just some indicators according to economic and political analysts.

All these could and more if there is wise leadership at the top; if there are officials who can be trusted by the people.  If sensible men and women sit in the halls of power whose shared vision for the country is large and wide and whose practical bent of mind gets things done with minimum political infighting.

What our country needs at this time is not simply popularity in poll surveys but moral and well-seasoned leadership – if we want a government we really can be proud of one that is good and decent because its high officials do not confuse ends with means, and are themselves upright and competent, honest and compassionate.

How I wish that our political leaders would find time to reflect on the Scriptures, so that their biblical expositions as time goes on are clear and fearless, speaking into their conscience and challenging them to action, to discern spiritually, and apply to their personal lives and national situation the power of the Word seen in their lives.

How I wish those who aspire to leadership of any kind would embrace the Bible as their spiritual and moral guidepost to effective governance because it is a rich field to mine for active service.

As citizens of our country and of heaven we do not wish to be less than what God intended us to be, so we need to be vigilant with our government.  On the part of the government, it should exercise care and caution that in no way will mar the image of God in both the led and their leaders.

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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