Mystery of Faith


The headlines of these past weeks were disheartening. Most of the news reported were about death or destruction: a patient shoots his doctor then himself; a plane from Taiwan crashes leaving 40 people dead while the world is still stunned by the specter of an entire Malaysian airline passengers’ demise; the raging conflict between Israel and Hamas escalates in Gaza resulting to almost a thousand lives lost. Tragedy is a constant ingredient in the drama of human reality! We breathe the scent of evil in the air. Yet we know that there are also many good things happening daily.
Jesus in his gospel uses simple parables as pedagogical devices to show us how the things of daily life speak to us of God. When he spoke of a field where the master sowed wheat and later that night an enemy sowed weeds, he wanted to highlight the tension and conflict of good and evil in the world. God’s patience allows both good and evil to thrive.
Sadly, some people just focus on seeing the dark side of life. They get depress and lose hope. Indeed the world’s disasters loom big. The national scene is somber as the country continues to be entrenched in progressive squabble about our coffers being mismanaged by our leaders. On top of all these is the interplay of our own personal and emotional struggles we go through. Among the news item that caught my attention was an item tucked within a section of a newspaper. It concerned a sixteen year old girl from Alcoy, Cebu who hanged herself because she got fed up! She wrote a suicide note which read, “Ingat kayo pa at mga kapatid. I love you. I’m sorry. Dili na nako makaya” (Take care pa and to my brothers. I can’t take it anymore).”
World Health Organization reveals that depression is the Number One cause of illness and disability for both boys and girls aged 10 to 19 years. In this age group, and suicide ranks number three among causes of death. Worldwide an estimated 1.3 million adolescents died in 2012. A psychiatrist from Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center for Behavioral Sciences confirms that indeed “teens are at risk of committing suicide because they encounter various emotional struggles.”
As I see it, depression strikes everyone like a virus. According to studies there is a group of neurons in front of the brain that seems to be strongly linked to depression. Interestingly, this area of the brain is also known as the “me-center” of the brain because it is the active area when one “thinks about oneself or worrying about the future.” Hence there is truth in the saying: “selfishness is the fantastic way to be miserable.”
Moreover, I think that our culture of convenience has contributed much in making our young people soft. It places no premium on sacrifice or renunciation anymore. It has succeeded in convincing them that life is about living comfortably; that the measure of life is being happy. Hence suffering is something to be avoided! This throwaway culture has taken away the meaning and value of suffering and sacrifice. Thus when they experience pain and pressure, they give up.
Faith allows us to see the bright side of life. It allows us to find strength in a power greater than ourselves. It gives depth to ones character and allows plenty of hope and optimism. When Jesus tells the parable of the hidden treasure, he invites us to see the hidden God present in our lives. When he compares the kingdom of God like that of a merchant who found a precious pearl, he challenges us to make the effort of seeking him hidden behind our struggles, our sufferings and our sacrifices. Faith gives us an amazing ability to cope up. It is faith that unravels the many mysteries of life. When we believe, we will find ways to rise above the challenge.

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