Sunday, December 03, 2006


Today's Gospel (Lk.21:25-28, 34-36) is scary! It speaks about the 2nd Advent - the coming of Christ in very dramatic fashion at the end of time, preceeded by "signs in sun and moon and stars.... the anguish of perplexed nations, the forces of the universe shaken...."

I can think of two different interpretations of this passage:

1. the "external" one with the "outside" world, and

2. the "internal" one "within" us.

The "external" signs are easy to recognise - natural calamities, man-made destruction, political and economic decisions that rebeverate across the world, etc. etc. And...I'm not going there!

But there is a more subtle one. The Power of One. I believe that the savvy business people out have known this was/is the real threat for a long time now. So, we - the individual, the consumer, the original "power of one" are "urged" in all manners and ways to "shop till we drop, party till the cows come home, and to continue to spend, eat and be merry!" We are hoodwinked from the real deal, and either knowingly or otherwise we become mere lambs, nodding our heads and lulled into following these orchestrated trends dutifully and faithfully every "season". Notice how any celebration is preceeded by a "shopping season"? And continued with an "eating and drinking season"? A "giving season"?

And, more importantly, besides these "unscrupulous businessmen" who else may the perpetrators be? The usual suspects would be: unfair government, bigoted religious leaders, etc. But wait, there is another species, more potent, more real. Me. What if I myself was the culprit? The enemy within? Being at different times, the Victim or the Victimiser? As a person? As a husband? As a wife? As a son, daughter? As employer? As employee? What if I - "the power of one" woke up suddenly from this deep sleep? I'd fall off my bed, bang my head and get a painful awakening! Maybe it's this "rude awakening" that today's Gospel talks about.

As Anthony de Mello writes:

"When you wake up, you will know what to do or what not to do. Some mystics are very strange, you know. Like Jesus, who said something like "I wasn't sent to those people; I limit myself to what I am supposed to do right now. Later, maybe." Some mystics go silent. Mysteriously, some of them sing songs. Some of them are into service."

and John Lennon paints another picture here:

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Imagine: if we - all 26 million Malaysians, 5.5 billion resident dwellers of this world of ours were to wake up! Imagine!