“The suffering Christ among the victims of the typhoon Yolanda and earthquake”
There is no denying that Christmas is near. I know what does it means, that Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality and the genial flame of charity in the heart. But looking around, there are brethren in Bohol, Tacloban, Samar, Ormoc and Cebu, which devastated, crushed by agonizing phenomenon. Then, how could I set the mood of the season, that the fact of death toll still rising and how could I empathize a soul who are “walking around in the daze” wondering what just happened and how to get supplies of food and water.
At some point, many of us will struggle with the question, “why does God allow suffering?” It is a question that I as a believer should be willing to face openly. Of course, that’s a worldly question as we see it today which is not how God intended it to be. Earthquakes, floods, tornadoes and typhoons are acts of nature. So, I cannot blame to anyone else why it happened and besides we’re all victims here. For those who died, I cannot judge them because death is a reality in life. I believe that the suffering Christ is one of those survivors. He felt their pain, heard their cries, and He is also homeless, hungry and thirsty. According to Fr. Dennis Ruiz, OAD and chaplain of the Chapel of Holy Relics in Tabor Hill, in one of his homilies which I like most when he said that Christmas is not on December 25. Today is an appropriate day to celebrate Christmas. It is the time to open our hearts to those in need. Do not wait on December 25, our brethren are crying for help and these are suffering Christ. I knew some individuals who initiated and responded immediately the call to feed the hungry; sheltered those homeless families; and quenched their thirsty body.
Sometimes the struggle is what we need. What happened to Bohol, Tacloban, Samar, Ormoc, Cebu and other places which devastated by calamities are a vocation to strengthen our “Spirit of Bayanihan” and to unify us Filipinos as one nation. As priest-to-be, I pray that this phenomenon may also reform the Politics in the Philippines. I am pretty sure that those who help and responded will be blissful and on Christmas Eve, they will celebrate the season with most meaningful Christmas in their lives because they embraced Christ in His most difficult moments in His life on earth. Those survivors who received the gifts will sing and praise God for the miracles that happened in their lives. Have a Merry Christmas to all!
Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!
Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.
St. Thomas of Villanova House – OAD Aspirants
Tabor Hill, Brgy. San Jose (Talamban), Cebu CIty
Tel. no. (032) 344-6100
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