ROUGH CUTS| Today’s gospel and the City Council

TODAY is the fourth Sunday of February and we are entering the 3rd week in the season of Lent. Today’s gospel is taken from Luke 13:1-9. Titled “Turn from Your Sins or Die” it says:

     1 At that time some people were there who told Jesus about the Galileans whom Pilate had killed while they were offering sacrifices to God.

     2 Jesus answered them, “Because those Galileans were killed in that way, do you think it proves that they were worse sinners that all other Galileans?

     3 No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did.

     4 What about those eighteen people in Siloam who were killed when the tower fell on them? Do you suppose this proves that they were worse than all the other people living in Jerusalem?

     5 No indeed! And I tell you that if you do not turn from your sins, you will all die as they did.”

     Then Jesus told them about “The Parable of the Unfruitful Fig Tree.”

     6 “There was once a man who had a fig tree growing in his vineyard. He went looking for figs on it but found none.

     7 So he said to his gardener, ‘Look, for three years I have been coming here looking for figs on this fig tree, and I haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it go on using up the soil?’

     8 But the gardener answered, ‘Leave it alone, sir, just one more year; I will dig around it and put in some fertilizer.

     9 Then if the tree bears figs next year, so much the better; if not, then you can have it cut down’.”

     What message does Jesus want delivered in both his answer to the question raised by the people who told him about the death of the Galileans who were ordered killed by Pilate because of their belief?

     Why did Jesus give the same answer to the succeeding question by the people on the death of some eighteen people who were hit by a fallen wall?

     And what is the relevance of Jesus’ telling the people about the “Parable of the Unfruitful Fig Tree?”

     It was actually Jesus’ very simple way of telling the people that no one has the right to judge others as more sinners than they are just because of certain incidents. Moreover, in telling them about the parable, Jesus wanted them to know that sinners should be given the chance to turn from their sins if they do not want to die the way the Galileans died during Pilate’s time.


     Well, it’s really hard to imagine how members of the Davao City Council could not have fully understood their house rules that they just wantonly violate these like people do on pedestrian lane crossing rule.

     And we mean the Council house rule on the time allotment for privilege speeches to be delivered during council sessions. The rule is clear that each member of the Council has only ten minutes. So, if they are to deliver a privilege speech for whatever purpose, they should reckon with the time limit provided in the house rules. And they can do that by not coming up with impromptu privilege speech. They have to come up with a well prepared draft, well-researched to ensure that whatever points they want raised are included, and that definitely will spare them from possible embarrassing situations.

    Think about this: there are councilors who are entertaining the idea of converting the council session into a boxing match and the session hall into a boxing ring, figuratively, of course!

     They are considering putting a buzzer so this could be pressed on when a member delivering a privilege speech is about to consume his or her ten-minute time allocation. And, what if the speaker overshoots his or her time limit, how will the buzzer be sounded to cut the speaker on his or her track?

     Is that scheme a manifestation of the incorrigibility of the council members’ disregard of their own rules? How then can our local lawmakers even hope that the ordinances they have crafted will be followed once these are implemented? The people know that they themselves cannot follow even their own house rules? Pray tell us.

     Of course omissions like this may well be related to today’s gospel. It may not be totally correct for people to condemn the members of the City Council for such an act. There might be certain compelling reasons that made them oblivious of their own rules.

     And even if what they are doing is really a sin against their own constituents, like the “unfruitful” fig tree, a little more time and consistent reminder from the people they proudly claim to be representing in the local lawmaking body, may allow the honorable councilors to look back, recognize their lapses and make amends.

     However, judgment time is only about two months away. Time may be running out for some of them.

Posted in Opinion