LATEST NEWS TREND – Illegal Drugs, Convicts and Extrajudicial killings
I’ve been away from my home country for more than a year and the appetite to watch news from my home country reached up my senses. For a couple of weeks, watching and reading the news about what tremendous changes are happening in the Philippines is quite alarming and overwhelming yet I’m a bit fed up of it. It’s mainly because majority of the headlines speak of one prevalent subject matter – the ILLEGAL DRUGS and its subordinates. Thousands of drug addicts were forced to surrender to the authorities for investigation and quite a number were sent 6 feet under the ground. Most of the killing records were said to be ruthless and had gone beyond the human rights.
With the newly elected President’s decree on clearing out the list of illegal drug pushers and users, a getting-longer index of people being executed on the spot has caught the eyes of many, specifically the human rights advocates. However, in the midst of these killings where justice was placed on the hands of those who have the guns, there are notable number of those pushers and users who were given another chance to change their path and to make their life story more worth reading. Different forms of rehabilitation are offered to them to help these people recover from the effects of illegal drugs and provide them a fresh avenue to pick themselves up again. They were given the second chance.
I was reminded of significant characters in the bible that were living a sinful life, a life that seemed to be wasted and rising above the circumstance was too difficult. Yet, these people sought for God’s grace and mercy and found it. One of these characters is a woman who took courage to face the ordeal of public and anointed Jesus with her own means – Mary Magdalene The Prostitute (Luke 7:36-50).
In the story, a vivid picture of humility and repentance was portrayed. After years of being a bondage of sin, of immorality and of filthiness, Mary Magdalene found the courage to give herself a new beginning by asking forgiveness from Jesus and clearing her conscience from her sinful acts. She didn’t speak of any word but Jesus knew her heart’s desire. Contempt and criticism from the hypocrites arose on her act of breaking the alabaster jar, which contained a treasured perfume to be used to wash Jesus feet. Even Jesus was put in the center of reproach because He allowed himself to be touched by a sinner, as He is the Holy One. Nonetheless, Jesus let her and quieted the crowd as He told them a story where a lender forgave two debtors of two varying amounts. He told them that, in the story, the one who was forgiven much would love the forgiver much more than the other who was forgiven little. The sin committed by Mary Magdalene was considered to be weighty which people deemed to be unforgivable. But, Jesus looked beyond her sins. He received her and allowed her to anoint Him with her tears and perfume for He knew well her right and genuine motives. There and then Jesus forgave all her transgressions.
Mary Magdalene’s confessions of her sins and repentance is more like the act of those thousands illegal drug pushers and users who surrendered themselves to the authority. The government has accepted them without contempt as normal members of the society and anticipating that they will become productive citizens. They were given a second chance to live their life away from the influence of drugs and from the worst things it may lead them to.
In the middle of the overly publicized news of killings, may it be extrajudicial or judicial; the Philippine has some good news to offer and this second chance scheme is one of those.
I suppose, with right motives and genuine repentance, a sinner can be disdainfully forgiven. If the Heavenly Father, who is righteous, forgave Mary Magdalene. How much more the mortals who were also just forgiven by the Father not to render the same.
Thank God, I’m forgiven.
1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”