Pepang continues to unleash its havoc long after it has left our shores. Some barangays canceled their Sunday masses because their chapels have still some inches of silt. The cathedral as of this writing has no electricity yet (thanks to PECO), and last week we almost missed an issue (after five years!) due to the persistent brownouts in our office and in the printing press. Here, I would like to thank the Sacred Heart Press people especially Tay Bert and his staff. They were frantically concerned as I was, when last Sunday’s issue was still being photographed and printed last Saturday (it is usually printed on Thursdays), just hours before it will be distributed after the anticipated mass. And I would like to thank also the Candle Light Marines, our "folders", who waited patiently for the printed copies to arrive (they usually begin folding on Friday afternoon) and folded everything in a record breaking speed of just under three hours.
Time and again, we are shown that disastrous calamities create not only victims but also heroes - self-sacrificing men and women who went beyond the call of duty in order to serve. Indeed, crisis makes the man . . . and there were many after Pepang released its onslaught.
Last week the whole world grieved the death of Yitzak Rabin, the man who, in the words of a TV commentator, “changed the course of history.” The Middle East has been a hot bed for centuries. And even since the time when Abraham bore Isaac (whose descendant is Israel) and Ishmael (whose descendants are the Arabs), enmity was already foretold and has since then existed between these brothers. Yitzak Rabin changed all that when he dared to trod the way of peace. However, he will not see with his own eyes the work he has so daringly started, for he has gone the way of all peace makers - a victim of violence. It is a great irony of this world that the people who pave the path for peace, have become victims of violence themselves. Why? because, though the world desires peace, it is not willing to pay the price - the price of justice - for the world is selfish, rap in its ego, and thinks of no concessions and remains unyielding, for everything is just mine, mine, mine. Peace is elusive, for man at the start is selfish. For this, the peace makers shall forever be haunted down.
Jesus, who became our peace and reconciliation said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” Yitzak Rabin now rests on the bosom of Abraham as a son of God, not because he has Jewish blood, but because he was a peace maker.
Permit me to conclude. Last week we started reflecting on vocation, and we begun by defining it not as a profession but as a way of life and a mission to accomplish. Let us not think of vocations solely in terms of being married or unmarried, and being religious or laity. There are people who take their professions and careers not as sources for living but as a manner of living, a mission to accomplish, a way of life. It is in this sense that careers and professions become vocations.
Politics can become a mere profession by making it primarily as a source of income, as our politicians usually do despite those pre-election rhetoric on service. But there are people who make politics a way of life, indeed a mission to accomplish and a call to be answered. They translate their life’s principles into policies, their convictions into daring actions. Rabin was one.