WHO ARE THE DESCENDANTS OF ISHMAEL? According to Genesis 16:11 of the Holy Bible, an angel of God appeared to Hagar, the maidservant of Sarai, wife of Abram, and gave a pronouncement on the future of Hagar’s son, who will be called Ishmael.
The angel told Hagar: “ ` You are now with child and you will have a son. You shall name him Ishmael, for the Lord has heard of your misery. He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers.”
God, after renaming Abram “Abraham” and Sarai “Sarah” and confirming that He will make Abraham the father of many nations, had this to say about Ishmael: “And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and he will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation...” (Genesis 17:20).
God however made it clear that His covenant was not with Ishmael, but with Isaac, Abraham’s legitimate son with Sarah (Genesis 17:21). Do you know who among the nations or peoples of the earth today have become the descendants of Ishmael?
WHY IS DUREZA’S PROPOSAL TO DISARM PRIVATE GROUPS IN MINDANAO BEING SNUBBED? I am bothered no end by the seeming snub that met the proposal made by Presidential Assistant Jesus Dureza for immediate disarming of armed groups in the region after some 46 people were abducted and later on murdered by armed men Monday.
While almost all dailies, national and local, and radio and TV outlets around the world carried Dureza’s plea for immediate “disarmament” in Mindanao, stressing even that any solution other than disarmament will not work to establish peace and order, not one police and military official, and even civilian authorities, commented on the matter.
It was as if there was a conspiracy of silence among our responsible and ranking officials about disarming private groups in Mindanao, a silence so thick that one could even bounce off from it.
The question here is this: are the police and the military and the government itself that powerless to implement an immediate program of disarming private armies in Mindanao? Are they afraid of something, or someone, on the matter of disarming armed men in the region?
ROTARIANS HAVE NOT GIVEN UP ON MINDANAO: While kidnappers and murderers were busy eliminating political opponents in relation to the May 2010 elections in Mindanao, it is heartwarming to note that civic organizations like the Rotary International (RI) and Physicians for Peace Philippines (PFPP) continue to do everything they can to help people in the region.
Just a few days ago, members of the Rotary Club of Intramuros, Rotary Club of Ermita and Rotary Club of Pasay Gil Puyat of RI District 3810, and Rotary Club of Zamboanga City Central and of the PFPP, trooped to Ipil in Zamboanga Sibugay and started a project to provide a water system that would assure potable water supply to residents in the area.
PFPP Executive Director and District 3810 Past District Gov. Lyne Abanilla, vice president for classified advertising of the Manila Bulletin and current three-term chairman of RI Public Image Resource group for the Philippines and Indonesia, led the group in putting up the water project, using money donated to RI by Zamboanga City businessman Cesar Lim, who is also a Rotarian.
Dr. Art Platon, the Visionary President of the Rotary Club of Intramuros, told BATAS INTERNET RADIO Wednesday that they will return to Ipil next September to perform a massive medical-dental-surgical and prosthesis mission for the poor and the needy.
AGONY OF JESUS, AS THE FIRST SORROWFUL MYSTERY: After the Joyful Mysteries and the Mysteries of Light, the Holy Rosary of Roman Catholic Christians deal with the so-called “Sorrowful Mysteries”, which depict the parts of the life of Jesus that culminate in His death on the cross.
The first of these “Sorrowful Mysteries” is the “Agony of Jesus”, which is the story of Jesus agonizing at his impending crucifixion and death on the cross, and which is found in Matthew 26:36-45, Mark 14:32-42 and Luke 22:39-46 of the Bible.
In this story, Jesus is portrayed as being sorrowful and troubled, knowing as He did what was going to happen to him in just a few hours, even prompting Him to say “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.”
Certainly, this is a powerful picture of Jesus in his human attributes, especially when this is viewed in the light of His subsequent statement, which shows Him placing completely His trust and confidence in the Father with the words “My Father, if it is possible, may this cub be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
The question is, if Jesus is the Son of God, why would he be troubled, and why would he say that, if possible, “this cup be taken from me”?
The answer, I believe, is that, it is necessary to show that in his human attributes, Jesus could agonize just like ordinary men, so that humans will not really despair when problems come to them, no matter how great those problems maybe.
There is a solution to the agony that everyone feels, and the solution is precisely what Jesus did: placing complete trust and confidence in the will of God.