Sunday. June 5, 2011.
6pm Mass. At a small church in Imus, Cavite.
Lately, I felt really lazy to go to church. Not that I don't have the faith anymore but I don't think priests nowadays are the best instrument to disseminate God's words.
The reproductive health bill (RHB) which is a rampant topic in print media and televisions are also part of the Sunday's homily in a church near my tita's house where I am staying right now. For me, every people is entitled to their own opinion and not all Catholics attending the mass are anti-RHB so priests should also respect that and not let us [pro-RHB] feel that we don't deserve to be there since we are against them.
So this week, I decided to let alone pray instead of attend the mass. But then, my aunts asked me to come with them and since I have no choice but to follow, I attended the mass thinking that maybe the priest will be different and the homily is not about politics. When the homily started, I was readying myself for the same RHB homily that the same priest always delivers. Thankfully, that didn't happen. But he lectured us on the faith of Muslims to Allah as compared to Catholics on God. He said, 99% of the total population in Malaysia are Muslims. Their dedication to their religion is incomparable to us. They wake up at as early as 5am to say their prayers. They carry big handkerchiefs which are not used for their sweat but for worship. When I was taking up History 2 at the University of the Philippines Los Banos, I came to appreciate the Muslim culture since my professor, Ms. Pena who was taking up Islamic Studies at UP Diliman that time was telling us some things which made us understand that religion. And because of this very few knowledge on Islam culture, I was disappointed at the officiating priest, Fr. Erwin dela Cruz (if I'm not mistaken) when he chanted the Muslim prayer as "Allalalalalah bili-bili na kayo balut penoy" for the morning prayer and "Allalalalla taho taho" for the noon prayer. I almost walked out of the church for hearing such mockery against other religion. Take note: it was from a priest - a known person who disseminate the goodness of the Lord. For him-to-make-fun-of-other-people's-religion is not a good example to the kids who are listening to his words. What did the others do upon hearing that? They laughed with him - the priest! If a Muslim heard that, they will surely get mad at him. Having a priest like that should make a Catholic think twice if this is the appropriate religion for him/her... just like what I am feeling right now.
I don't know if praising their virtues and gestures towards their religion after the mockery would make me feel good about his sermon. Even though he gave those uplifting words towards Muslims while scolding at us, Catholics, which he quoted as not-Catholic-enough and not-Catholic-by-heart for lacking the commitment to be one, I still see him as someone who don't deserve to lecture us on goodness for he is not the right example for that.
We might have different religions, call God in different names such as Jesus, Buddha, Allah, but still I think we are just worshiping the same person. So, who are we to mock other religion?