‘You have been told, O man, what is good and what Yahweh requires of you: to do justice, to love mercy and walk humbly with your God’. (Micah 6, 8 )
Today, Ash Wednesday, the Holy Catholic Church begins Her forty-day journey in preparation for the victorious resurrection of Her Lord, our Lord. Lent is a season of preparation, a journey of purification and a time for reflection.
In repentance and penance, the faithful are called upon to reflect on the forty-day fast of the Lord before His public ministry which brought Him to the pinnacle of the mission- the crucifixion.
To prepare is to cleanse ourselves, in spirit and in truth, for us to become worthy followers of the Risen Lord. This is the message of Lent— self-sacrifice. Many of us, Catholics, will observe the call for fasting and abstinence. These are external signs and symbols. Is this all that God wants us to do?
The prophet Micah has a very simple message for us for our preparation. He says there are only three things that Yahweh (God) wants of us and from us: justice, mercy, and humility.
Lately, we’ve been fed by the media with a lot of stories that ignite some fires of indignation and anger deep within us. We riled at the thought that we’ve been robbed and abused. The recent investigations and inquiries brought before us had become a staple for angst to some of us. They opened a lot of canned worms. They rubbed salt to our gaping wounds- as a people, as a nation.
We had mixed emotions when one of the most decorated generals and accomplished soldiers took his life because he wanted no part for his family. His was a story of a scandal brought about by another scandal, and may be another scandal. Some had become indignant, others had become less forgiving, and still others praised the man.
Days (or maybe, hours) from now, we will be divided again— what with the impending impeachment process of the ombudsman. What is the reason? The ombudsman lost the public (our) trust because she failed to act on the scandals brought before her for examination and action. Her acts were scandalous enough to classify as betrayal of our trust- a constitutional offense, but a fundamental flaw and neglect, first and foremost. It will be a divisive exercise that will all boil down to numbers.
What is a scandal? And what can we possibly do?