Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Last two minutes

By Fr. Jerry Orbos - Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE story is told about a priest who patiently waited in line to have his car filled with gas in preparation for a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly but there were many cars ahead of him. Finally, the attendant motioned him to come forward and told him: “Sorry Father, it seems as if everyone waits until the last two minutes to get ready for a long trip.”

The priest replied: “I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business.”

In today’s Gospel (Mt. 25, 31-46) Jesus reminds us to prepare for the final judgment, when the Son of man will separate the goat from the sheep. The basis of the judgment will be the deeds we did to others: “Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.” Let this be a warning for those who treat others unjustly, and a consolation for those who go through life lovingly.

I am amazed at how some people could be so unaware or uncaring about the final judgment. I mean, they just continue stealing, lying, manipulating other people, especially the poorest of the poor with no thought about eternal life or eternal punishment. Money has become such a powerful force in our country and in government. Pera-pera na lang ang lahat. Money has become the bottom line. It is really sickening to see the rich and the powerful victimize and terrorize the “little ones” in our midst. To whom can they run to? The very institutions that are supposed to serve and protect them are now also corrupted and demonized.

It’s not as if everything is dark. There is light, and there are agents of the light in our midst. Just now, I received a phone call from a former seminarian, a famous and respected architect and environmentalist who just gave up a $100-million contract because it meant cutting down 300 century-old trees in Subic. Here is a man who has a conscience and strong convictions. He told me that in spite of pressures and even death threats from higher people in government, he is turning down the offer from a Korean company because he believes that it will not be good for the country and for the future generation.

Many of his colleagues are telling him that $100 million is a lot of money (it is!), and that it would be foolishness on his part to turn it down. But our friend said he is standing his ground. I told him that we are all fools in the world anyway, so better to be a fool for Christ, than to be a fool for money. The bottom line, he said, is that he will stand before the Lord someday, and on that day, he will be able to say that he did his very best for other people, for our country, and for the earth. Mabuhay ka kapatid! We are behind you. We are all proud of you!

For now, we respect our friend’s request not to be identified. In time, he will be revealed, and his light will shine. For that matter, many evildoers can still hide or cover up their misdeeds for now, but in time, for sure, they too will be revealed and they will be exposed to the light. Don’t forget: Light is more powerful than darkness. Agents of the light, be strong! Agents of darkness, beware!

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