May 23, 2024

(Editors’ note: The Midland Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on March 16, 2008)

Today is Palm Sunday, the start of the Holy Week.
It also marks the day when Jesus, riding a donkey, triumphantly entered the city of Jerusalem, met by a large throng who welcomed Him with open arms, waving palms in their hands.
The Son of God has come to redeem mankind from sin, but all of Christianity, then and now, has this notion that Jesus would be saving them from hardship and poverty as well.
Before Christ, John the Baptist was thought to be the redeemer, but he told everyone who gathered at the river where he was doing baptism by immersion, that he was merely God’s messenger, and in time, the true Savior, as His Father promised, would descend to earth in the image of man.


But the very same people who chanted Hosannahs and Allelujiahs to Jesus would eventually betray and exchange Him for the criminal Barrabas.
Even the designated Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, was taken aghast , and washed his hands off the entire affair.
It is said that all Filipino politicians are descended from Pilate, who love washing their hands clean at every opportune time.
Unlike Jesus, who after His Agony in the Garden, washed the feet of His apostles.
Pilate washed his hands to avoid responsibility, while Jesus washed the feet of His disciples as a sign of humility.


When Jesus died on the cross and later ascended to His Father’s kingdom, He took along a thief who died beside Him.
Other than the contradiction in the terms that he was a “good” thief, it is not known exactly what kind of thief he was – if he was a pickpocket, a burglar, a plundering government official, or had any dealings with crime.


The church says that the greatest reward that Christians can have is to be in Paradise and see God in all His glory.
Except for Jesus, no living person can ever see God.
And perhaps the only evil being who has seen God – in all His wrath and anger – was the fallen angel Lucifer, when God banished him from heaven.


But the third Divine Trinity, the Blessed Mother, appeared to a girl named Lucia in Fatima, and since then, there have been many sightings of Mother Mary – Her face either etched in the sky, or floating atop a tree.
These sightings however are unconfirmed, but no one doubts Her apparition in Fatima, or in Lourdes, France, where Catholic pilgrims go for miraculous cures.
But God Himself has not come down to earth since the Creation, and even when He spoke to Moses, all Moses saw was a ball of fire before he was handed the tablet of Ten Commandments.


So, does God exist?
Yes, He does. God exists in the hearts of those who do good to others, who love Him with all their hearts and minds, and love their neighbors as they love themselves.
God exists in the hearts of innocent little children, for “theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.”
God exists in the hearts of those who do His work and spread His word, sans expectations of material reward.
God is not just in us, He is, because He created man in His own image, but we see Him only in ourselves if we heartily do His bidding. Otherwise, we are blind to His existence.
Have a pious week and a joyful Easter!