Friday, November 01, 2013

“Dust You Are and To Dust You Shall Return.” (Gen. 3:19)

This is an opportune day to remember an elementary reality, to become conscious of a simple yet profound truth – without the trimmings of the world, without the standard vain thoughts and pretentious impressions that usually accompany some famous and well-known people. Every now and then, it is necessary to remember the truth that respects no one, that excludes nobody. There is nothing like knowing what everyone really is, what he or she eventually becomes – without the least regard as to who and what is someone here and now.

It is good for all to look great, to stand tall, to feel on top of the world. It is all right for these and those individuals to know much, to get much, to have much. It is not really bad for some men and women to have authority, to wield power, to rule people. These are all on-the-ground phenomena from sun up to sun down. But over and above anything else is the elementary and glaring truth that everybody should remember – and remember it well: Just as what has a beginning has an ending, so too, what starts living eventually undergoes dying. This could be fearful. This could be sad. But this is the bare truth.

There are three most plain and evident truths about every human being that is now on planet earth, irrespective of their race, color and creed. Especially those wallowing on wealth and wielding power. They usually think and feel that they are giving in “Cloud 9” – world without end. Amen. But the said naked truths provide otherwise: One, they are born in time. Two, in time they die. Three, to dust they will return. This is the standing composite law of nature to which all men and women are subject – without any exception.

There is no human being – and this means every human being – who is not born in the course of time. And there is neither anybody – and this also means everybody – who does not die in due time. This is why it is said and rightly so that it is not really news when someone dies – this is natural, this is ordinary. What is truly news is when somebody does not die at all – this is weird. To say the least.

So it is that nothing less than the Sacred Scriptures – whose focus is Divinity and whose preoccupation is humanity – has the above cited immutable truth and non-negotiable reality. From the influential Pope to the least member of the Church, from the almighty President to the poor and miserable Filipinos: From dust they came and to dust they will return -- no ifs, no buts.

It is good not only to have “All Saints’ Day,” but also “All Souls’ Day.” There are no less than two whole days to be reminded to think well, to do good, to act properly while there is still time to do so! Amen?