Weekly Reflections: “As a thief comes at night”

By REV. LUNA DINGAYAN
www.nordis.net

“The Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night. When people say, ‘Everything is quiet and safe,’ then suddenly destruction will hit them!” — I Thessalonians 5:2-3

Marcos burial

“As a thief comes at night,” this is how some described the Marcos burial held recently. I was in Ilocos Norte conducting continuing theological education for church workers when one of the participants mentioned that Marcos’ remains were already buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. We were, indeed, caught by surprise for we knew that the Marcoses and their followers were still conducting novenas at that time.

After almost 25 years of waiting for a more favourable political atmosphere the Marcoses were able to get finally what they wanted, that is, to bury the remains of the Dictator at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, a big contradiction in terms, just to say the least. Thus, some are saying that Marcos was really a thief in life as well as in death. Sometimes, the way a person died and buried speaks a lot of the kind of life he lived.

Hollow and cheap grace

Of course, the Marcoses and their avid followers were trying to rationalize that they secretly buried Marcos’ remains in order to prevent violent rallies and traffic congestion. They do believe that Marcos burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani would put an end to the Marcos issue, and the Filipino people would now be united and move on. And hopefully, all issues on Marcos will be buried with him once and for all.

But then some are also saying that the Marcos issue cannot just be buried with the Dictator unless genuine repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation will come about Genuine repentance is a prerequisite for genuine forgiveness; genuine forgiveness is a prerequisite for genuine reconciliation; genuine reconciliation is a prerequisite for moving on. Forgiveness without genuine repentance and reconciliation without genuine forgiveness is a hollow and cheap grace.

Question of justice

Again, some are saying that the Marcos burial issue is just a personal issue between the Aquinos and the Marcoses. It is not something that concerns the whole nation. The Aquinos blame the Marcoses for Ninoy’s assassination. Thus, the Aquinos could not allow the Marcos’ remains to be buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

While there may be some truth in this claim, it is not the whole truth. The Marcos issue is a justice issue that concerns the whole nation and its future. It is a question of justice that requires compensation and restoration.

Final judgment

The Marcos burial is not really a big deal for me, for I know and I do believe that there is going to be a final judgment. And ironically, it would also come “as a thief comes at night” like what the Marcoses and their followers did in burying the Marcos’ remains. Apostle Paul said in his Letter to the Thessalonians, “The Day of the Lord will come as a thief comes at night. When people say, ‘Everything is quiet and safe,’ then suddenly destruction will hit them!” (I Thess. 5:2-3).

The Supreme Court is not the Final Judge on how well we have live the life God gave to us; it is God and God alone. The powers-that-be could perhaps deceived and continue to deceive people. They could perhaps escape the wheels of justice in this world with their power and influence. But definitely, they cannot escape God’s judgment and grace in the fullness of time.

The Book of Ecclesiastes says, “God is going to judge everything we do, whether good or bad, even things done in secret” (Eccl. 12:13). # nordis.net

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