July 18, 2018, 8:09 pm
Facebook iconTwitter iconYouTube iconGoogle+ icon

The first Christmas

GRUMBLING motorists and jeepney drivers should try to embrace the true spirit of the Christmas season. Despite the unrelenting pressure on most of us caused by the Christmas rush, we should learn to value our fellow motorists more, including abusive drivers, and defer to the real Celebrant of the season. Indeed if we strive to reflect on Jesus Christ our daily traffic travails would seem lighter and bearable. Instead of capturing the wonder of it all we are overwhelmed by the innumerable gift-givings marked by a selfish gratification that most of us demand from this celebration. 

On a personal note, this columnist sees the other driver on the street as one whose condition in life needs more patience and compassion and the recklessness he causes only reflects a troubled emotional or personal life. And the now popular adage of a noted American psychologist that “hurting people hurt others” always comes to mind. Those moments seem surprisingly liberating as I have become more open giving way to others and letting major infractions just pass. 

The sense of the miraculous rarely accompanies the celebration of Christmas each year. And yet the birth of Jesus was the greatest miracle in human history. 

This columnist was a real witness to the almost unbelievable physical healings experienced by dozens of people during two nights of the four-day pastors and leaders conference of the Cathedral of Praise in Manila on the last weekend of November. International evangelist Dag Heward-Mills of Guyana is the founder of one thousand churches belonging to the The Lighthouse Chapel International. He figures prominently in international Jesus healing crusades all over the world, mostly in famine-stricken and conflict areas in Africa. He was on his third year bestowing cures and healings to hundreds in Metro Manila. On the second night, a man whose ligaments on the right knee and thigh were nearly shattered in an accident came forward and with tears flowing on his face told everyone that he was completely healed. He started running and jumping on stage! 

A woman who had a malignant tumor in her left chest had been strongly advised to take chemotherapy immediately or she would be gone in six months. She came on the first night, sang vibrant worship songs and, along with a hundred others, trooped to the altar to be prayed over.

She came back on the second night to announce that the lump had disappeared. She collapsed weeping joyful tears in the arms of Pastor Mills. On the last night, a woman in her forties declared that the mayoma in her abdomen the size of a fist had simply vanished. On impulse, Mills tried to put his hand on the lower stomach of the woman to find out for himself if it was really gone. Half-embarrassed, he withdrew his hand to some laughter. Another woman brought her ten-year old son on the third night, who was suffering from regular epileptic seizures. The boy was standing straight beside his mother with a broad smile on his face and with no trace of the punishing and paralyzing ailment that he had since birth. In between sobs she said she came on the second night heavily-burdened with that crisis in her life. There were many others who told of uncommon and miraculous personal healings. I asked and tried to detect if any of them had gone through any training in TV or stage acting or if there was a number of them who had been “planted”. There was no information of that sort from anyone. 

I informed the mainstream broadcast media for a news coverage of the extraordinary event, but no one from the four leading major networks came on any of the four-night healing crusade. The indifference was understandable since the popular media culture does not include tolerance for mystifying experiences from a “healing” priest or pastor. Also, Pastor Mills and his crusading church, along with his authenticity for miraculous healings is not known in Metro Manila. The news media was more familiar with a number of hoaxes perpetuated by so-called faith healers than with the positive “tidings” and the remarkable transformation of people ‘being whole again”. But, it would have been interesting - and hopefully enlightening - for the incisive Ted Failon or the intensely-probing Mike Enriquez to conduct an investigative report of the dozens of healings I witnessed at the Cathedral of Praise. I believe without doubt they would have the rare opportunity to be driven to fuse the natural and the supernatural and open their eyes to the “unpasssing truths” of the supernatural. And truly relish the first Christmas!
No votes yet

Column of the Day

Tearing down the house (Second of a series)

Jego Ragragio's picture
By Jego Ragragio | July 18,2018
‘The draft Federal Constitution is a clear example of tearing a house down in order to install a new door—where the new door goes into an existing door jamb. There’s barely anything new here, and the few things that are new, don’t actually need a constitutional amendment.’

Opinion of the Day

Heed this constitutional expert’s warning

Ellen Tordesillas's picture
By ELLEN TORDESILLAS | July 18, 2018
‘The critique of Gene Lacza Pilapil, assistant professor of Political Science at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, one of the resource persons, should warn us about the draft Federal Constitution produced by the Duterte-created Consultative Committee.’