Monday, July 01, 2013

'Gates of Hell' - A short reflection with Genesis 18:16-33 (Monday of 13th week of OT)

In Dan Brown's fourth novel, 'Inferno' he described Manila, the Philippines' capital as the 'gates of hell'. Dan Brown's fictional novel, tackles a story of a woman who joined a humanitarian mission to Manila.
"When the group settled in among the throngs in the city of Manila--the most densely populated city on earth-Sienna could only gape in horror. She had never seen poverty on this scale." The novel also described Manila as suffering from "six-hour traffic jams, suffocating pollution, and a horrifying sex trade, whose workers consisted primarily of young children..." A few church workers from abroad have expressed the same sentiments when they make a visit here. But Manila is not just about all these. One of the things that I like about Manila is the faith of its people, they have rich devotions and they take it seriously though a lot of catechesis is need to deepen their faith. After having travel to about 17 countries now, I can say that every country has its own 'gates of hell' (saying this based on the book of Dan Brown).

Ok, why am I blogging about this?? The 1st reading for today taken from Genesis 18:16-33 (the intercession of Abraham for Sodom) is my reason for reflecting on this issue - 'gates of hell'. As I mentioned above, everywhere we find immorality, injustice, sufferings, sicknesses, war, racial tension, poverty, disasters, natural calamities which can be due to the consequences of human greed, etc and these can be a description of the phrase 'gates of hell'. We can all take cue from the reading today, we see Abraham praying to God to have mercy on the inhabitants of the city of Sodom. His prayer is bold and persistent. And what do God respond? "If I (God) can find...50, 45, 40, 30, 20, 10...I will spare the whole place for their sake." Let us then pray for our country, let us all pray for the world. Let us pray for conversion of hearts for as the responsorial  psalm rightly says that "the Lord is kind and merciful." - "...He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion..." (Pls read Ps.103 for a beautiful meditation on God's kind mercy, forgiveness and love). 

Join in the singing with the video below on Psalm 103.