Just a thought for the week’s top trending issues (Philippines)

This week is made interesting, if not sad by two events that made it to the top trends of the week, first Nora Aunor being denied for the National Artist award and the priest castigating a single mom.
Concerned people’s attention were called because of the overwhelming public opinion.Nora was denied for the sole reason that she has some drug issues in the past. While the priest garnered public condemnation for such rude acts.
Nora has served the penalty for her past issue, while the priest has issued his public apology, accepting his fault, likewise his congregation has suspended him as a punishment while in depth investigation is being conducted. What I am sure now is that, these two persons have received already the penalty more than what the proper authority can impose on them.
Now in fairness to them, I guess it wont be fair if we define them as a person based on this particular failure which they committed, and true to anybody else.

For Nora, I guess, the National Artist award should not be denied to her if she deserves it based on her artistic credentials. I guess national artist award has different criteria than that for outstanding mother or for sainthood wherein strict values/moral credentials must be observed, in fact as the famous saying states “all saints have a past and every sinner has a future.” If President Aquino thinks that it is unwise to recognize an artist’s contribution to the industry because of past drug issues, he may consider that there are several famous and well commemorated individuals who have dark pasts as well, Robert F. Kennedy went for a brief rehab for drug use, Ernest Hemingway and Edgar Allan Poe, both famous writers were known alcoholics, Diana Rose, considered by many African-American women as role model likewise was an alcoholic, the famous activist Martin Luther King was said to be with a mistress, and Nelson Mandela was considered for a long time by western countries as terrorist, yet their past failures were put aside, and proper acknowledgement for their contributions on their respective fields were given.
As to the priest, I guess aside from the improper parting of lesson/counseling, I am sure he made some good contributions in the past to the lives of his former parishioners and that he may still amend his ways and do what is expected of him in the future. This failure/mistake of him should not be our basis of defining what he is in totality or much as a basis to condemn the Church as a whole. While exacting standards are expected of priests, we must not forget that they are just humans. The first apostles made same mistakes as well. St. Peter denied Jesus thrice, yet Jesus still chose him to lead his flock. When persecution of Christians in Rome was in its height he attempted to flee, but he met Jesus along the way who told him “I am going to Rome to be crucified”, it was at this point that he realized his mistake and went back to fulfill his mission to bear witness to Christ by dying on the cross. St. Paul was a staunch persecutor of Christians until his encounter with Jesus in the road to Damascus. Thomas the apostle doubted that Jesus truly resurrected. Jesus chose weak and former sinners to be his messengers and witnesses, so that the glory of God may be revealed in them as the Holy Spirit provides them the necessary strength to fulfill their missions after submitting themselves to the will of God. They were weak and sinners, yet upon realizing their mistake they made amends and stood as true witnesses of Jesus and sealed it with their blood. Give then this priest a chance to make amends and be a true witness of Jesus.

What is important is that these people accepted their mistakes and faced the consequences and humbly asked for forgiveness. True for all of us, we must do the same, and not fall into the same mistake of Judas Iscariot who doubted the grace of God to forgive. Much more we should not commit Lucifer’s mistake who never had the humility to accept his sin and ask for forgiveness.
As to all of us, truly it is proper that we should all work together to seek justice for those who are disadvantaged/abused. While I am not a Noranian, at some point I understand the sentiment of her supporters, us to all of us who sympathized with the single mom, we should, and we should act as such every time we see abuses around us.Yet on the other hand we should not end only in seeking justice and making sure that justice is served. But we must complete the cycle. After justice is served, we must proceed to the next step that is forgiveness, and then to the final stage which is reconciliation.It is a common failure that we often stop with the stage when justice is served. The reason why many people return to their past sins is that because we condemn them to eternal damnation without any opportunity for making amends. Many ex-convicts fully rehabilitated wishing to leave their dark past and start a new life, end up forced to commit another crime for the very reason that they are left with no choice; society has forever condemned them, we make them feel that they no longer have place in our society. Nobody wants to help them, for many of us the idea is once criminal/sinner, forever criminal/sinner. It is easy to condemn, but hard to forgive, much more to reconcile.

We must not forget the very example that God has shown to us. He punished our first parent by driving them out of paradise after committing what was prohibited. Yet God did not end by rendering the punishment, He forgave humanity, by sending His only begotten Son, to die for our salvation, so that thru His coming humanity will once again be reconciled to God. God punished humanity, but sent His Son to save us-an ultimate sacrifice made by a forgiving Father and an obedient Son, thru this Humanity was reconciled to God-this is the true cycle of justice and love. God did not wait for humanity, but He extended His hands to offer forgiveness and reconciliation; we too must imitate this example, seek justice, let justice be serve, but forget not to forgive and initiate reconciliation. After all, to err is human, but to forgive is divine.


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