International Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually on October 5 since 1994, commemorating the signing of the “Teaching in Freedom” document in 1966. The main purpose this celebration is to appreciate, assess and improve the educators of the world and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching.
October is the month set aside for us to remember our indigenous peoples. It is not because they are a special people, but rather because we do share with them a common humanity; their survival will also be our own survival. They are among the least of our brothers and sisters. According to Matthew’s Gospel, when the Final Judgment comes, we would hear the Master saying, “What you have done to the least of my brothers and sisters, you have done it unto me” (cf. Mt. 25:31-46).
September is declared as Children’s Month. This is probably to emphasize the importance of children in our nation’s life and future. But actually, every month should always be a children’s month. Caring for children is something that we do every day. Any nation that does not care for the young does not have a future at all.
September 8 is celebrated by the Roman Catholic world as the birthday of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Mary’s birthday is not mentioned in the Bible, but nevertheless this is part of the Roman Catholic traditions. Obviously, different religious traditions have varied perceptions about Mary.
(Following is an excerpt from the theological declaration on Christian faith and white supremacy prepared and signed by a diverse group of theologians, activists and ministers in the US in response to recent developments, like what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, wherein the city council decided to remove the Robert E. Lee memorial that ignited a scourge of white supremacy, terrorism, and nationalism that resulted in the violent death of Heather Heyer, and 33 other people were beaten and injured. I would like to share this declaration because I sense that there is also a similar discrimination in our society in terms of ideology, political affiliation, social class, gender, and ethnicity).
A distinguish Chinese theologian, C.S. Song, has written a very fascinating booklet entitled, “The Tears of Lady Meng.” It is an attempt to formulate a people’s political theology using a folktale. The story of Lady Meng is one of the so many folktales about the Great Wall of China.
To claim as the only Christian nation in Asia, yet the second most corrupt in the region is a great contradiction. Thus, many Filipino Christians felt disillusioned by this startling reality. Why is it that there seem to be a big gap between Christian faith and practice in our country today?
August is designated mission month in my church. It is a time to affirm and celebrate the church’s basic nature and characteristics as God’s mission in the world. This is what makes the church different from any human institution for it has been set apart for a holy purpose of making God’s love known in the world.
The Marawi Crisis is still going on. Actually, armed conflict in Mindanao is not something new; it has been there through all these years, although sometimes it’s lying low. Perhaps, the cure applied to resolve it has been ineffective or no serious attempt to really put a stop to it. Now, we see once again human faces of fears and uncertainties, even as thousands of civilians flee from their homes in order not to be caught in the crossfire.
No doubt our country today is gripped in fear and anxiety. Our socio-economic and political situation is very much unstable. In the countryside, where armed conflicts are going on, people are in fear for their lives. The Marawi crisis is still going on. And there is a nagging fear that it might spill over to other parts of the country.
The recent devastating earthquake in Eastern Visayas, particularly in the island of Leyte, reminds us of the July 16, 1990 killer quake here in the City of Baguio that took thousands of lives. There are many explanations about earthquakes. Volcanologists were saying that the July 16 killer quake was tectonic in origin; meaning, it was caused by some changes or deformations in the earth’s crusts.
There is a beautiful parable in the Old Testament that would speak powerfully on the issue of leadership. This is the Parable of the Lamb recorded in II Samuel 12:1-15.