Christ is the answer. What’s the question?

Published April 11, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin



Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD
Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Once a young man visited a seminary. On the bulletin board was a big poster which read: “Christ is the answer.”

Wondering what it all meant, the puzzled visitor scribbled the following below the poster: “What is the question?”

If  “Christ is the answer,” what’s the question is he answering?

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Today is EASTER SUNDAY, the greatest feast in the whole Christian world. Easter answers the question: After suffering in this life, what? It also answers such fundamental questions like: What’s the meaning of life? Is life meant to be nothing but a vain struggle for a modicum of joy and satisfaction terminated by death? In the words of St. Paul, are we here in this world to “eat, drink, and be merry and tomorrow we die”?

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Jesus, by his Resurrection, is showing us that life is not a meaningless puzzle that ends in death.

Christ’s rising from death is the Father’s seal of approval on his life and work. As St. Paul puts it, “If Christ has not risen, in vain is our preaching and your believing in it” (Read 1 Cor 15,13).

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Because Christ has risen from the dead, the spirit of all his followers should be one of joy and victory.

But how can we be joyful when the coronavirus pandemic is threatening our life and has caused the death of hundreds of thousands all over the world?

Or, how can I be happy and not worried when my creditors are running after me over my huge debt?” Or, should I not worry if I’m on the verge of losing my job? Or, this lump on my neck is diagnosed as terminal cancer?

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Tough questions. No matter how serious our problems may be, we can still maintain our composure and not despair or abandon all hope. As someone said: “The world is on its knees now. Our faith and character are tested. Have faith in God and the high heavens. We will rise again.”

As regards unpaid debt, I know of some people who through prayer, sheer diligence, and financial restraint were able to gradually wipe off their obligations.

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Admittedly, there are situations that are beyond human control. The unexpected death of a loved one, an incurable sickness, a devastating typhoon, to mention some. In such cases, let’s do the best we can to remedy them and if we cannot, accept it with faith in God. As the German theologian Reinhold Niebuhr puts it: “God, grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference (between the two).”

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Pope Francis said, “They think that being Christian means being in perpetual mourning.” The jovial Pope adds that “an ambassador for the faith must never look like someone who’s just come back from a funeral.”

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There’s one important thing to remember: DO YOUR PART. The great Saint Augustine said: “Work as if everything depended on you and pray as if everything depended on God.”

During these difficult times, let’s pray to God to end this catastrophic tragedy but that’s not enough, let us also follow faithfully and perseveringly the restrictions on the lockdown, quarantine, social distancing, and contact tracing.

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JOVIAL FILIPINOS. We Filipinos cannot be faulted as a humorless people. Despite our multifarious problems, we can joke and laugh at our faults and foibles. In this way, our humor helps us cope with our present woes.

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For instance, in this time when wearing the face mask is a must, husbands are happy because, with  masks covering their wives’

mouths, they are protected from nagging. And since house quarantine is imposed, wives miss their favorite shopping.

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Another joke goes: The wife of a congressman was awakened by a noise downstairs.

“Get up,” she told her husband, “I think there’s a thief in the house.”

Only half-awake, the congressman replied, “I know. But there are also some in the Senate.”

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7 LAST WORDS. The SVD Mission Communications Foundation, Inc. (MCFI) deeply regrets that the “7 Last Words” was not aired last Good Friday over ABS-CBN. All our staff could not report for work after the lockdown, community quarantine, and curfews were imposed.

We thank our donors, sponsors, advertisers, preachers, and sharers for your understanding and magnanimous support. Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD, executive producer.

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