By Apolinario Villalobos
Instead of being negative to the realities about man’s fallibility such that he keeps on sinning after the almost regular repentance, we should look deeper and seek the reason or reasons for it. There are two issues about man’s existence – whether his fate is pre-destined or dependent on his free will. But first we have to accept that the cycle of sinning and repenting is happening. We cannot just play blind, dumb or worse, be hypocrites.
God’s omnipotence is such that He deemed it necessary for man to work hard for his existence. That is why life is floating on temptations – a reality from which we can never escape. So what is wrong with the truth that indeed, we commit sins again and again but we try our best to show our intention to repent, also, again and again?
The activities or the things that go with life such as the businesses that flourish during religious festivals are part of the phenomenon of existence. God knows that we have to work and earn in order for us to live. So what is wrong with the tons of candles being sold to the faithful to be lighted during processions and vigils? What is wrong with the t-shirts sold to be worn by the faithful to identify themselves as members of certain religious groups?
What I am driving at in my observations (blogged: The Vicious Cycle of Repenting and Erring), is the hypocrisy of some “religious” who swear to heavens that they are sure of salvation and even go to the extent of despising others who cannot join religious activities. Also, the gull of those who visit churches in the guise of fulfilling a vow but in reality would like to brag to others through selfies that they have indeed, “been there”. And, for those who flog themselves, well, I have plenty of friends who do such penance, and after a week, they “celebrate” their “redemption from sin” by going into drinking binges for days…one of them even go back to his sideline of selling illegal drugs, and still another one continue with his habit of beating his wife. Most especially, I am not alone in these observations because even the Catholic Church keeps on reminding the faithful about their behavior, even radio commentators and TV anchors are one in their reminders about the excessive practices.
I just want to emphasize that nobody is free from sin. Whatever righteousness we do and show to others can help us lighten our load, but not totally free us from such. Hypocrites of today should take the cue from the new pope himself, Francis, who confessed to a priest. The pope has been humble enough to accept his sins, but did not confess directly to God as expected of him, instead, he whispered all his misdoings to a priest. Is the pope’s gesture not enough to open our eyes so that we can accept the realities of man’s vulnerability? The ultimate show of humility is Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet. He bowed to them as He did it, to show that there is nothing wrong with being humble in anything that we do, including the acceptance of our shortcomings as man. This could be all part of God’s omnipotent plan for mankind – that by the time we die, He will know who among us are consistent enough in repenting and really mean it, until our time of reckoning finally comes, so He allows the vicious cycle of sinning and repenting to happen. I am not being judgmental because I, too, am a sinner. I am just being observant and loud about it, because I cannot stand hypocrisy.