The WORD in other words by Fr Simon Boiser SVD – Germany
Tuesday 12th Week in Ordinary Time
The German church, where I celebrate Filipino Masses, is not only used for liturgy. It is also rented for cultural events like theater. Often Filipinos celebrate their Mass at the church basement to give way for the artists to do their theater practice in the church. One day, many devout Filipinas complained about a “desecration” of the altar. Dancers were seen sitting half-naked on the altar and standing on the pews. The tabernacle was used as a theater decoration. It was a scandal for the shocked Filipinas: “They have no respect for the sacredness of the church! They have insulted our faith!”
What is sacred to me in life? What or who is worth so much to me that I feel easily offended when it, he or she is disrespected: my family, my parents, my freedom, rights, or my faith? We often protect what or who is dear and valuable to us. That is the reason why people put their money in the bank or safe, lock their doors and cabinets, and put fences around their prized possessions. The same is valid for things we consider sacred. We do not allow it to become desecrated.
In today’s world of moral relativity and religious indifference, it has become difficult for many people to draw boundaries between the sacred and profane. There is an urgent need for discernment of spirits to distinguish between good and evil, or what comes from God and from the evil one. Jesus reminds us to value and protect what is holy. This can be the Word of God, the Eucharist, or anything we consider sacred. We should not entrust the sacred things to people for whom they are not meant.
It is not easy to follow the path towards the sacred. It is a narrow road full of obstacles, which only a few dare to venture. Being a Jesus disciple is not following the rest of the majority, who are often superficial and vulgar. Commitment to a sacred kind of life means protecting it from defilement and going against the tide.