PALO, Leyte- Palo Archbishop John Du underscored once more the Church’s teaching that true transformation happens if God is within the person wanting it. The prelate reiterated this point in his homily at the Pontifical High Mass today on the Feast of Our Lord’s Transfiguration here co-celebrated by Naval Bishop Filomeno Bactol, Catarman Bishop Emeritus Angel Hobayan and a little over a hundred clerics. Du said the gospel and the feast day of the transfiguration of Jesus is “teaching us so many things but above we have to be humble so we can see the power and presence of God in our life.”
“Change is going to happen if He lives in our heart,” he stressed, saying further that change should be for improvement and betterment, not just simply transforming.
While man strives for change, he should not ignore the Ten Commandments God conveyed to Moses in Mt. Sinai, according to Du. He recited some of the Commandments, such as “Thou shall not kill, Thou shall not bear false witness against your neighbours and Honor your mother and your father.” The social and mainstream media these days are flooded with news on the unprecedented number of killings allegedly of suspected drug pushers who fought back during police operations and summary executions.
This has caused the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and the Commission on Human Rights to slam the administration of Pres.Rodrigo Duterte for the apparent pro-death stance in the intensified war on drugs. Pres. Duterte, even during his election campaign, was already vocal in his desire to eradicate drug trade in the country. His crusade was built up when he assumed post and allegedly went overboard to the point of allowing shoot on site of persons suspected as drug personalities resisting arrest and putting the lives of arresting police officers in danger.
The people’s long standing call out for “change” is now a battlecry of Mr. Duterte with warning of getting killed to those who refuse it. A man who aims for change “finishes the race, the good fight but keeps the faith until he accomplishes (his goal),” as Christ demonstrated for his desire for man to change. “A courageous man falls but never fails,” Du exhorted describing Christ’s heart as fearless due to his love for humanity. “Move on” he exclaimed with reminder that the faithful should keep the sense of gratefulness to those who help them.The prelate, who was among the survivors of the supertyphoon Yolanda in 2013, however, said that one who aims towards change should have love and gratefulness in his heart as well. Meantime, Du will be setting the stage for the National Social Action General Assembly in September this year, according to the vicar-general Msgr. Rex Ramirez. The archdiocese accepted the hosting of NASAGA in gratitude to the help extended by various parishes in the country through the social action commissions to the residents in the archchdiocese after it was ravaged by Yolanda in 2013, he added. Through the multifarious aids given to the Yolanda survivors, many changes for improvement took place that transformed affected into resilient ones. (EILEEN BALLESTEROS)