Messengers of hope
Luke 1:5-25 (NRSCVE)
|Photo from The Peace Alliance.|
Note: This reflection also came out today, 19 December 2016, in PCPR's BalikTanaw. For more reflections similar to this, please visit pcprbaliktanaw.wordpress.com.
When an angel came to Manoah’s barren wife to tell her that she was to bear a child, she went to her husband, excited, to tell him of the news. In contrast, when the angel Gabriel visited Zachariah in the temple to tell him that his elderly barren wife would bear him a son, he was doubtful until the angel took his voice from him. Back then, in Israel, a barren wife is a disgrace and since honor and name are serious matters for them, even more important than riches, we could only imagine the shame that they were experiencing, and their peacelessness. That is why, when the angel delivered the Good News from God, Manoah and his wife, and Zachariah and Elisabeth were more than happy, they were relieved. Finally they could show their face in public and join in the affairs of the community.
When President Rodrigo Duterte proclaimed that peace is one of his priorities, many doubted like Zachariah, after all, this has been the promise of so many presidents starting with Cory Aquino. Many were hopeful that because Cory owed her newfound power and authority to the sacrifices of the progressive people who fought for freedom, she would listen to them. Unfortunately she answered the people’s pleas with the Mendiola Massacre early in her presidency, where several farmers were shot at the doorstep of Malacañang! Her sham agrarian reform caused so much peacelessness to farmers, which led many people to believe that her rise to power was just about protecting the interest of her family with their Hacienda Luisita as the epitome of her fake agrarian reform dubbed CARP. The poor continued to suffer and increase in number, the workers remained exploited, and the farmers, landless. The gap between the rich and the poor dramatically widened. Will we ever experience peace? Many asked.