HomeCommentaryBALIK-TANAW | Faith and Freedom: Embracing Our God-Given Liberty

BALIK-TANAW | Faith and Freedom: Embracing Our God-Given Liberty

In celebration of Philippine Independence Day, we’re reminded of the brave sacrifices made by men and women who gave their lives to protect our freedom. Today, we are motivated by their bravery and dedication to the freedom of these heroes. Through centuries of opposition to the colonial oppression of Spain and Japan, and recently up to the present, American neo-colonialism, our experiences call for our commitment to the unrelenting pursuit of liberty.

As we prepare for the reflection, “Faith and Freedom: Embracing Our God-Given Liberty, ” we are urged to think about ways in which, we may use our spiritual beliefs to address challenges of poverty, corruption, social justice, and territorial disputes. To honor the remarkable heritage our predecessors have left us, we strive to sustain their goals and aspirations until genuine independence is attained. Faith, freedom, and the future of the Philippines.

Looking at the Scriptures, Ezekiel 17:22–24 provides direction, emphasizing the need for moral leadership and God’s power in creating nations. This verse urges us to trust that God will raise up morally upright leaders in the midst of corrupt and sinful generations. As a moral compass for navigating the challenges our country faces, Psalms 92:2–3 calls upon us to remember God’s love and faithfulness at all times. This declaration calls for responsibility and exhorts us to conduct moral lives in every area. Furthermore, Mark 4:26–34 and 2 Corinthians 5:6–10 demonstrate the power of small, faithful acts that bring about significant change. When considering the territorial dispute, inequities, and social injustices, these passages serve as a source of inspiration for making morally sound judgments that lead us toward justice and peace.

The Bamboo and the Storm

My grandmother used to tell the story of “Bamboo and the Storm” whenever we went to see her in the war-torn province of North Cotabato in the Southern Region of Mindanao. A thick grove of bamboo in an impoverished town bends but never breaks during a storm; this narrative is a fable about our tenacity as a people. The story of a bamboo grove in a poor community demonstrates the resiliency of our country against wars that threaten our sovereignty, poverty, social inequities, and corruption. It emphasizes the village’s commitment to morality, sense of community, and spirituality and demonstrates how people can overcome obstacles with faith and tenacity to build a brighter tomorrow characterized by justice, integrity, and prosperity.

Call to Action

As we reflect on the recent celebration of Philippine Independence Day, it is crucial to prioritize safeguarding our freedom. We must act fearlessly in honor of our ancestors who fought against colonial oppression. We must fight for justice, and peace, and preserve the rights of every Filipino. Like the resilient bamboo that withstands the wrath of the storm, we too must resist societal evil, inequalities, and corruption in order to create a society that respects each person’s rights and dignity. We must hold fast to our values and beliefs when faced with adversity. We must all cooperate in order to remember the sacrifices made by our ancestors and to ensure a good future for the generations that follow. Let us carry with us the unwavering assurance that, guided by our Faith and Freedom in Embracing Our God-Given Liberty, the Philippines will navigate through the tempests and emerge stronger, more united, and resolutely committed to righteousness, justice, and enduring peace within our beloved land.

- Newsletter -

Gospel reflection of Ms. Hazel Corro-Navarra, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, for the 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Balik-Tanaw is a group blog of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR). The Lectionary Gospel reflection is an invitation for meditation, contemplation, and action.

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