Fiery Words and Effecting Change
I was happy to know that Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of the Diocese of Caloocan is the new CBCP head. I admire this bishop since beside from being outspoken in matters of morality he has a track record of really catering to the needs of the poor and concretely offers the Gospel in the realities of his sheepfold. He recently echoed the call for a Gospel that dares and moves. A preaching that does not challenge the evils of the status quo is not faithful to the Gospel.
The Gospel should always move us and inspire us. There is a reason why the Holy Spirit is seen as flames of fire. Whatever God touches, He transforms: water into wine, death to life, bread and wine into His Body and Blood. In the same way, wherever the Word is said there must be change. In the creation narrative of Genesis, whenever God speaks reality obeys. It is only in the human heart, where personal freedom is sacred and center, that the Word needs permission to have His effect.
The Gospel then is a catalyst of change, and for the better. We all knew it the moment we have accepted the Gospel. We were set on fire and we were inspired to do good. Yet in all our good intentions we sometimes veer away from how the fire of God sets things on fire. Unlike the fire of the burning bush which burned without destroying the plant, our human zeal sometimes consumes and corrupts. Such is the case of fundamentalism and radicalism.
If we are to be fiery like God, let us set the world on fire without causing destruction. In the midst of a very political atmosphere, sometimes the preaching of the Church causes division and hate rather than communion and understanding. The fire of our preaching of the Gospel should inspire hearts to love, for in loving change is born. Love however is born of freedom. A fiery preaching that scorches freedom will not result to good change but a fiery preaching that inspires freedom leads to love, and from love, towards change.
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