WORD Becoming, Spiritual Reflectioin by Fr Roderick Salazar Jr, SVD (Philippines)
What would it be like to see
a speck appear in the horizon
of the desert until it slowly grew
into a human being?
This, film critic Roger Ebert said,
was in the imagination of the man
who had brought to the screen the year before
the award-winning Bridge on the River Kwai,
and later would present Dr. Zhivago.
For now, that figure in the desert horizon
director David Lean would make to be,
in a nearly four-hour long movie epic,
Lawrence of Arabia.
Some scenes before that horizon shot,
Lawrence, in the company of Arab soldiers,
noticed that his camel boy was missing.
Perhaps he fell off his ride in that hot desert sun?
Lawrence wanted to go back and look for him.
His companions told him No. He is probably dead by now.
“It is written.”
Lawrence shakes his head, disagreeing,
and turns back alone to look for his boy.
He finds him, to the surprise of his companions,
and, as he is given a welcome drink of water,
Lawrence looks straight into the eyes of the leader
and affirms: NOTHING IS WRITTEN,
implying, UNLESS YOU WRITE IT.
We, Filipinos, have our own version
of “It is written…”. We say
“Iginuhit ng tadhana”.
If destiny has written it –
about us, our status in life
what happens to us:
we can do nothing else, nothing more
to change our lot. IT IS WRITTEN.
Thankfully, not all of us believe this.
We know we have it in our hands
to change if we have it in our heart to do so,
with the help of God and others.
We Catholics and Christians,
Like Jews and Muslims,
We are sometimes called
People of the Book,
our book being the Holy Bible.
Much has been written
from the beginning of time
about our origins in God
and what He wants us to become
by following what He commands us to do.
Much has been written.
but not everything.
What does it profit to know
to even memorize the Bible
from Genesis to Revelation
but live nothing of what is written?
Much has been written, yes,
but it is for us to accept God’s word
and write it in our hearts
and live it in all that we do.
Unless we write it,
Nothing is written,
Unless we live it – God’s Word –
we are as good or as bad
Much has been written for us all
but personally and individually too
for each of us.
A tender phrase from Isaiah 49,14-16:
Yahweh chides Zion:
You say I have forgotten you?
Can a mother forget her infant,
Be without tenderness
for the child of her womb?
See, upon the palm of my hands,
I HAVE WRITTEN YOU, ENGRAVED YOU.
Wow. Oh wow.
anthropomorphic image, of course.
But how can we not bow before such a truth
Nothing is written? asks the Lord
All My love is written
in My palm, in My Heart
But you must yourself write it, too.
in your life.
And if we do,
here, consider Revelation 2,17:
“To the victor, I shall give
some of the hidden manna.
I shall also give a white stone
upon which is written
A NEW NAME
which no one knows
except the one who receives it.”
A NEW NAME?
What can it be?
What would it be?
This we must ask in prayer.
Or maybe, not even.
We just pray that we do His will
and really do it.
So that OUR NEW NAME will be
one of the great revelations
in His Kingdom.
Much has been written
about what to say, what to do
how to make this world a better place
how to be happy and kind and joyful
but they will mean nothing —
unless and until
– with God –
we write it.