will we pray for?
Pajarillo, FSC, Director, Brothers’ Community
Homily for December 12, during former President Aquino’s prayer
vigil at DLSU-Manila
our Scriptures, the prophet holds a singular place of honor
or dishonor. To be a prophet was to claim to be the mouthpiece
of God, and the consequences for daring to proclaim the Word
of God were twofold: either you told the truth and were revered
or you lied and you were stoned to death by an angry and betrayed
truth always went against a corrupt and immoral leader, and
a corrupt and immoral nation; the lies always favored the
incumbent, and an unrepentant nation. Because you might be
killed for it, telling the truth as a prophet called for a
lot of personal reflection, discernment and prayer. There
could be no margin for error; there was no second chance.
death to false prophets by public stoning was demanded by
Jewish Law and the tradition founded on Mt. Sinai. Hence,
it was not simple to be a prophet; you put your life on the
line every single time you spoke up. Thus, as a rule, prophets
who told the truth and escaped stoning were not popular with
kings and rulers, or with the nation when it fell from the
ways of the Lord. In both secular and sacred history, where
there were prophets, “uneasy lay the heads that wore the crowns”.
Singson’s revelations nearly two months ago has set off a
lot of public pronouncements from genuine prophets, as well
as false prophets. While we can no longer stone false prophets
among us for lying, we the people remain their ultimate judge
under the Philippine Constitution. As followers of the Way,
we are called to hear and evaluate their pronouncements by
putting these to the acid test laid out by Scriptures.
leads us to the readings for today. We recognize the prophecy,
we see it as the authentic Word, when former President Corazon
Aquino calls on us to pray.
first reading, from the book of Chronicles, echoes her own
call - to paraphrase it, “We, the Lasallian Family, upon whom
God’s name has been pronounced, must humble ourselves and
pray, seek the face of God and turn from our evil ways.” If
we do this, according to the first reading, God promises three
things: 1) God will hear us from heaven; 2) God will pardon
our sins and 3) God will revive our land. The 1st reading
continues, “If we pray, God’s eyes shall be open, and God’s
ears shall be attentive to the prayer of this place. Much
more, God will choose and consecrate this house and God’s
name will be here forever. God’s eyes and God’s heart also
shall be here always.” Above all then, we are called to pray
and turn to God, who in turn will hear us.
are we to pray for? First and foremost, for ourselves and
our conversion. We recognize the prophecy, the authentic Word,
when President Aquino says that the Makati businessmen - yung
mga plastic daw kasi gumagamit ng plastic na cuchara at tenedor
- should think of ways to help the poor. That prophecy is
also addressed to us in the academe - our mission and vision
as University declares univocally our option for the poor.
academic programs are supposed to integrate pro-poor and highly
moral values; we declare that compassion lies side by side
with academic excellence. Without compassion, we say, academic
excellence is nothing but another tool for oppressors to maintain
the status quo of injustice and structural violence we already
have in our society. Our co-curricular programs include charity
wards at our hospitals, micro-lending schemes, extensive scholarships
for the poor and marginalized sectors, and our budgets for
poverty reduction, community extension programs and social
action shows that we put our money where our mouth is.
the life of discipline of Christ demands more. It always demands
more. To give not only of our excess but of our substance.
The graduate that De La Salle is genuinely proud of - and
many of them end up in the business, industrial, and manufacturing
sectors - is one who genuinely cares for the poor and is in
solidarity with them. And so this is the call today, this
is what we pray for: we pray continuously for our personal
and institutional conversion. And for God to lead us on as
disciples of Christ, wherever this position may bring us.
else are we to pray for? The Psalm (Ps. 72) prophesies about
a nation’s leadership. A godly leader for a godly nation.
The Psalm echoes our prayers for the ruler to be given good
judgment, and that his son be endowed with justice - or sons
and daughters, as is in our case, (the number of wives and
concubines is not mentioned).
our ruler is endowed with good judgment, the Psalm goes on,
the mountains will yield peace for the people, and the hills
will yield them justice. Peace and justice for us in the lowlands,
peace and justice for our brothers and sisters in the armed
struggles in the hills around us. Profound peace and justice.
Wagas na Kapayapaan at Katarungan para sa lahat. For,
for far too long already has the blood of countless Abels
cried out to us from the ground.
God declares that the poor shall be rescued when they cry
out, and the afflicted who has no one to help him or her will
finally be saved. The lives of the poor will be rescued. Sa
wakas, Kaginhawaan para sa lahat. We hold God to the Promise,
and God is no liar. But first we must have a ruler with good
we are on the right track that Scripture prescribes when we
pray for President Estrada, his maybahays, and their
many children. Like Mike Velarde who prays for sinners, we
pray for the President. We pray that President Estrada have
good judgment, and do what is best for the country, whether
or not he is judged guilty in the Senate. For the battle at
hand is not about Erap alone, or his guilt or innocence. It
is a battle for our soul as one people and one nation under
our Lasallian Family Statement last October is just as unequivocal:
he must leave the office of the Presidency. The loss of moral
ascendancy to lead is the loss of the mandate of heaven. We
recognize the prophecies; we sense that the heavens have spoken
and the earth beneath us cries out for justice. Estrada has
lost the moral right to lead us. Our land is cursed, our fields
are barren, our wells dry up, we are shamed before all the
nations. We must abrogate the covenant with him. Like Daniel,
we see the writing on the wall. Erap has been weighed and
Erap has been found wanting. Tinimbang siya, ngunit kulang.
also pray for the Vice President to have good judgment in
these times, for even as we stand here today, history is being
forged by our people - in the Senate, but more so on the streets.
If and when she is called upon to serve the people of God,
may she heed the prophets and be godly in her turn. For where
Estrada is, she may yet one day be, but just as Estrada is
judged by Heaven today, so will she also be in God’s time.
She will have but one chance. Not two, not three. One chance.
She must not gamble. For Yahweh who led us out of Egypt will
be with us for all time, Emmanuel is God-With-Us. God promises
us fullness of life. And God is not a liar.
Lasallians, on the Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe, the patroness
and defender of oppressed peoples on the brink of death, let
us heed the call of the prophets today - to pray to God -
for ourselves and for a nation that stands under judgment.
And let us pray for the President to have good judgment that
we may have peace and justice finally reign in our land. Let
us heed the prophets and be prophetic ourselves, let us give
witness to the Truth, well aware we could be stoned for our
efforts. Let us today dare to be mouthpieces of God.
these hallowed halls, 16 Brothers and more Lasallian Family
members, including members of the Cojuangco family, died under
the oppressor’s bayonets more than 50 years ago. In this very
place where innocent blood was once shed, we are once again
called to fight for and defend our country. Let us be worthy
of that calling. They offered their lives. We can do no less.
the Christmas season bring hope, joy, and peace to us
Chorale performs on Christmas eve
DLSU Chorale invites the members of the Lasallian Community
to celebrate Christmas with a Mass at the Most Blessed Sacrament
Chapel on December 24. The Chorale will perform at 7 p.m.,
before the Misa de Gallo.
operations for typhoon victims
Center for Social Concern and Action donated P10,000 to CALARIZ,
a federation of fisherfolks from Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal
last November 30. CALARIZ secretary general Cornelio Casipit
received the amount for the federation members who were affected
by typhoons Reming and Senyang.
260 families in the evacuation center of Barangay Sta. Ana,
Taguig also received goods from the relief team last December
viewing is available at the COSCA Conference Room, 2-6 p.m.
from December 13 to 22 for those who are interested to monitor
the Senate impeachment trial. The place can accomodate 15
to 20 persons.