MAKATI City, Oct. 5, 2013—As an estimated 2,800 people rallied against the pork barrel system at the heart of Makati’s business center, a priest gave a special St. Francis of Assisi message to politicians: Admit your involvement in the pork barrel scam.
“What’s wrong with our country [is] nobody is admitting. It is so obvious that a big amount of money is involved, but no one is confessing to stealing the money. That is what is wrong with our country,” said Fr. Jun C. Sescon, Jr. in a mass celebrated for the Sto. Niño de Paz Catholic community yesterday, feast day of St. Francis of Assisi.
Non-repentance causes suffering
Sin, according to Fr. Sescon, is not the only thing gone wrong in the country, but a lack of repentance.
“There is something worse than sin. That is non-repentance…It is understandable if you commit mistakes, but it is not understandable that you would not admit that you did something wrong. That makes life messy. That is what is causing our suffering.” he added.
With more legislators and high-profile government officials like Senators Loren Legarda and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos joining the long list of those being implicated in the Napoles pork barrel scam, Fr. Sescon, chaplain of the Greenbelt chapel, was quick to remind the public not to “just look at our politicians”, but first and foremost, to examine their personal realities of non-repentance.
“Let us also look at ourselves. In our own little ways, we also refuse to say, ‘I’m sorry’. We also refuse to say, ‘Pardon me for the wrong I have done’,” he said during a mass at the Sto. Niño de Paz Community-Greenbelt Chapel last night.
St. Francis’ repentance
Fr. Sescon said St. Francis of Assisi, whose feast day the Church celebrates every October 4, provided a timeless example of repentance or turning back to God.
“He was not perfect. He began life as a party-goer. He was a spoiled brat. He wanted the fine things in life…The turning point of St. Francis’ life was when he repented, when he returned to the Lord,” he said of the saint who remains one of the most popular saints of the Church and whose life inspired Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio so much that he took on ‘Francis’ as his papal name.
In closing, Fr. Sescon reminded everyone of Christ’s mercy, “Today, the Lord is telling you and me, ‘I understand your weakness, I understand your shortcomings, I understand when you go overboard…I’m waiting for you.” [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]