Rebuilding the Culture of Death: Everybody’s Task By: Bishop Medroso, D.D. August 24, 2007 Cebu Midtown Hotel
I. Introduction: A Focus on the Philippine Situation <ul><li>July 10, 2007, Tipo-tipo, Basilan – 14 members of the Philippine marines were beheaded allegedly members of the Abu Sayaf. Since then more lives were lost due to the on-going conflict. </li></ul><ul><li>War is a tragedy to human life. It often catches national attention; arouses outrage. </li></ul><ul><li>Growing number of street children, poverty, drug abuse and addiction, purging and summary executions, even corruption are indications of subtle, yet equally tragic desecrations of human life. Since these are subtle, they often slip through our national conscience and common moral evaluation. </li></ul>
<ul><li>But the more sinister and disturbing fact of all is the practice of ABORTION in a country that boasts of its being a Christian and Catholic. All the more disturbing is the insistent and untiring efforts of some legislators to legalize the act. </li></ul><ul><li>The aforementioned scenario points to the need to rebuild the culture of life in our society today. </li></ul>II. Rebuilding the Culture of Life <ul><li>Rebuilding the “Culture of Life” must follow a plan. </li></ul><ul><li>Human life is at the same time temporal (for this world) and eternal (destined for heaven); personal and communal. </li></ul>
ii. Jesus is the perfection (par excellence) of God’s plan for human life. He feeds the hungry, cures the sickness of the people, preaches the message of the Kingdom of God. But He also enjoins his disciples to work for food that lasts to eternal life, or to store treasure in heaven. He is always in communion with His Father (in prayer), but also in communion with his brothers and sisters, and takes care of their needs. iii. Human life is destined to share in the life and glory of god.
<ul><li>Christ: the Corner Stone in the rebuilding of the culture of life </li></ul>i. Through the obedience of Christ, overflowing grace and the gift of justice live and reign for man and woman (cf. Romans 5: 12 – 19); ii. Jesus ministry and person are dedicated to restoring the fullness of life man, woman and the world; iii. Paschal Mystery of Jesus is the model, the sign and the hope of our earthly pilgrimage.
<ul><li>Eucharist: The Memorial of Christ </li></ul>i. The Church’s charitable activities and the faithful’s genuine expressions of love for the neighbor all point to the continuing involvement of Jesus, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the history of the world; ii. Charitable activities of the Church find their deepest expression and fuller meaning in the celebration of the Eucharist, whereby Jesus’ offering of self for the forgiveness of sins and sanctification of the world is celebrated and remembered;
iv. We do not simply receive Christ in the Eucharist in a passive way; through it and in it, we are led to participate into the dynamic life of the Blessed Trinity. Just as the bread and wine are transformed to become the “Body and Blood” of Christ, our communion of the sacred species transforms us to become “One Body and One Spirit in Christ”. iii. The Eucharist is the memorial of Christ;
<ul><li>The Eucharist is the means towards Rebuilding the Culture of Life </li></ul>i. “The substantial conversion of the bread and wine into his body and blood introduces within creation the principle of radical change, a sort of ‘nuclear fission’, to use an image familiar to us today, which penetrates the heart of all being, a change meant to set off the process which transforms reality, a process of leading ultimately to the transformation of the entire world, to the point where God will be all in all (cf. 1 Corinthians 15: 28)” [Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis # 11, pp. 23]
ii. The Holy Spirit is the power behind the dynamic nature of the Eucharist, it’s the same Spirit that we invoke today “to enkindle the hearts of the faithful with the fire of His love” so that all of us will participate in the task of rebuilding the culture of life. III. Everybody’s Task 1. To the Laity, St. Paul has this to say, “Stay sober and alert, the opponent, the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour, resist him, solid in your faith”. And St. John adds, “Beloved, do not trust every spirit, but put the spirits to the test to see if they belong to God”. The apostles stress the need for vigilance and discernment.
2. The Ordained Ministers. The Holy Father in “Deus Caritas Est” urges us to facilitate the institutionalization of the Church’s charitable activities. Charitable activities should not only be “seasonal” and “occasional”. 3. To the Youth. Follow the examples of Blessed Lorenzo Ruiz, Pedro Calungsod and Mother Ignacia del Espiritu who did not conform themselves to currents of the world, in stead showed the relevance of chastity and authentic Christian witnessing even to point of death.
4. The Legislators. Let not money, power or popularity cloud your conscience and moral judgment. Please stop passing the so called, D.E.A.T.H (Divorce, Euthanasia, Abortion, Teen-age and Homosexual Marriages) Bills, which many sectors consider as anti-family and anti-life. 5. Civil Groups. Be agents for dialogues and catalysts for change. 6. Christian Families. Let the families be haven of peace, and a genuine cradle for life.
IV. Final Words <ul><li>The future of the culture of life is in our hands! May the Holy Family of Nazareth help us in our task. </li></ul>