Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas 2008

As I was going through the old copies of Malaya, I came across the following editorial which was written by my father, Jose G. Burgos, Jr. for the WE Forum newspaper in 1978. For several years, it has been the main opinion piece for the Christmas issue of WE Forum and Malaya newspapers.

Reading the piece again gave me goose bumps as I struggled to keep tears from flowing. Memories of Dads flashed through my mind and I could almost feel his arm around my shoulder as I read on.

After 30 years, I asked myself: Has anything changed? I guess not. I believe that in some aspects, things have gotten worse.

I hope this article would touch your hearts as it has touched mine. Have a meaningful Christmas!

Peachy Burgos

By: Jose G. Burgos, Jr.

Two thousand eight years ago, an out of town couple --the woman heavy with child--was turned away from an inn and the wife was forced to give birth to a baby boy inside a barren, dingy cave which served as a stable. This baby was thus born a squatter.

The boy grew up soon enough. His name was Jesus.

He wandered about the land, preaching about the rights of every human being to live, to love, and to learn. He was , in fact, an advocate of human rights.

In every town and city, but most particularly in depressed areas, Jesus, the squatter that He was, mingled with the lowly crowds --little people-- the laborers, the fisherman, the unemployed, the bums of His day.

He wanted people to open their eyes and witness the deprivations around them. He urged them to speak their minds out on every conceivable issue of the day. He opted for a free exchange of opinion and ideas, convinced that the truth will make men free. He was neither fettered by conventions nor undaunted by the talks about his sanity.

He did not possess any wealth. in fact, He was considered a vagrant. But the people who believe in Him, in His ideas, in His credibility and honesty, offered food and shelter to Him and His growing number of proteges who were known as apostles.

in speaking out His vision, many people in the established order, and those who wanted to maintain the status quo, collaborated to persecute and prosecute Him.

He was called a lot of names. Activist. Non-conformist. Professional Agitator. Subversive.

Because He believe in justice, He let Himself be haled before the courts to face His accusers. His apostles were rash. They wanted to revolt. But He cautioned them. They laid down their arms.

What were the charges against him?

That He conspired to overthrow the government, that He protested vehemently against the excesses and corruption of the oligarchs and power-weilders, against oppressive and abusive decrees and laws.

Hi trial was a mockery. And while under detention, He was tortured and humiliated.

But He took all this degradation calmly. for every abuse heaped upon Him, He gained added strength. he did not loses His spirit. After all, He was fighting for the ultimate in human endeavor.

The power-hungry, the military, the elite, the "malakas", the oppressors and the suppressors, had their way. He was sentenced to die--on the cross.

Jesus Christ fought--and died--for freedom, for justice, for love.

On December 25, we commemorate his birth anniversary. And as we, Filipinos, remember Him, let us ask ourselves: Was the sacrifice of Jesus Christ worth it? Do we have freedom, justice, truth, and love in our minds?