Tag Archive | "Jesus Christ Superstar"

There will be poor always…look at the good things you’ve got!

(Mike Alquinto/NPPA Images)

With millions of Filipinos living below poverty line and children dying of malnutrition and disease, it’s shocking to read news stories like this:

Lay Catholic group raises P2.7 million to buy vehicles for bishops

MANILA, Philippines –  A lay Catholic group led by former Manila mayor Lito Atienza and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal yesterday said they have already raised P2.7 million and have donated utility vehicles to at least three Catholic bishops.

CBCPNews, the official news service provider of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), said Macalintal revealed that the money was used to purchase four Foton pickup trucks.

Television host Willie Revillame has also donated P100,000 with a van and another pickup truck.

The Diocese of Butuan under Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos, who was highly criticized for asking former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for a car for his birthday, received the van from Revillame.

Other personalities who gave money to the fund drive were Senators Vicente Sotto III (P200,000), Francis Escudero (P100,000), and Bong Revilla and his wife, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla, (P200,000).  [Source: Philstar.com]

This reminds me of the song “Everything’s Alright” from the musical Jesus Christ Superstar. The scene is based on John 12:3-8 where Mary Magdalene used her expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet. Judas was indignant:

Woman your fine ointment, brand new and expensive 
Should have been saved for the poor. 
Why has it been wasted? We could have raised maybe 
Three hundred silver pieces or more. 
People who are hungry, people who are starving 
Matter more than your feet and hair!

But then Jesus tried to justify Mary’s extravagance:

Surely you’re not saying we have the resources 
To save the poor from their lot? 
There will be poor always, pathetically struggling 
Look at the good things you’ve got 
Think while you still have me! 
Move while you still see me! 
You’ll be lost, and you’ll be so sorry when I’m gone.

Could this be how Macalintal and Atienza as well as Willie Revillame, Tito Sotto, Chiz Escudero and Bong Revilla rationalize the fund-raising campaign to match the amount donated by the PCSO for the purchase of the vehicles which were eventually returned? Do the bishops’ comfort and luxury matter more than the people who are hungry and starving? Are they completely oblivious to the fact that various Catholic entities in the Philippines have literally billions in assets that could buy all the SUVs the bishops want and actually save the poor from their lot—or at least feed all the severely hungry Filipinos for almost a year?

There will always be poor people indeed and charity can only do so much to help them, but do the bishops deserve to be treated and pampered like Jesus? Should we be grateful that we still have them? Will we be lost and sorry when they’re gone?

Macalintal and Atienza seem to think so because when the bishops were stripped of their rides they scrambled to raise money for the replacement of such vehicles. They’re almost like Mary Magdalene singing to Jesus:

Try not to get worried, try not to turn on to 
Problems that upset you, oh. 
Don’t you know 
Everything’s alright, yes, everything’s fine.

Yes, everything’s alright. We’ll give you another fleet of brand-new cars so don’t be upset about returning those vehicles to the PCSO.

But I think one bishop will be upset, and that is Bishop Juan de Dios Pueblos of Butuan. His Mistubushi Montero was replaced with a van, when he specifically asked for “a brand-new car, possibly a 4×4” from GMA for his birthday.

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Heaven On Their Minds

In Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, Judas sings Heaven On Their Minds, expressing his concern about how Jesus’ influence was getting dangerously out of hand. With a hindsight of 2000 years, let us look at how Judas’ forewarning fared over the centuries.

My mind is clearer now
At last

All too well
I can see
Where we all
Soon will be
If you strip away
The myth
From the man
You will see
Where we all
Soon will be

Over the next 2000 years we’ve seen just where Jesus’ disciples have been – all over the globe conquering entire nations. Most of their followers haven’t stripped the myth from the man, and the new leaders wanted to keep it that way.
You’ve started to believe
The things they say of you
You really do believe
This talk of God is true
And all the good you’ve done
Will soon be swept away
You’ve begun to matter more
Than the things you say
If Jesus really did exist, it would not be impossible for his fans’ delusion to also get into his head. After all, he was only human. Other humans even took after him, but while most of us readily dismiss these modern-day messiahs as frauds, we do not apply the same skepticism to someone who claimed as such 2000 years ago..

Listen Jesus
I don’t like what I see
All I ask is that you listen to me
And remember
I’ve been your right hand man all along
You have set them all on fire
They think they’ve found the new Messiah
And they’ll hurt you when they find they’re wrong

Unfortunately, most of them never found out they were wrong. And the ones they hurt were those who would not acknowledge their beliefs.

I remember when this whole thing began
No talk of God then, we called you a man
And believe me
My admiration for you hasn’t died
But every word you say today
Gets twisted ’round some other way
And they’ll hurt you if they think you’ve lied

It got twisted so badly that countless people got killed because of a lie. The problem with Jesus’ teachings is that he never wrote them down himself. It was always his disciples who wrote, “Jesus said…”. That itself is already hearsay. Compound that with the fact that there were no printing presses at that time, so stories were passed on verbally or written manually from generation to generation. If Jesus really did exist, we cannot know for sure if those red-letter passages in the Bible were really spoken by him.

Nazareth’s most famous son
Should have stayed a great unknown
Like his father carving wood
He’d have made good
Tables, chairs and oaken chests
Would have suited Jesus best
He’d have caused nobody harm
No one alarm

And instead of building churches, we would be building shelters for the homeless. No trees would have been sacrificed to house a deity believed to have created those trees.

Listen Jesus, do you care for your race?
Don’t you see we must keep in our place?
We are occupied
Have you forgotten how put down we are?
I am frightened by the crowd
For we are getting much too loud
And they’ll crush us if we go too far
If we go too far

If Judas were alive today, he would probably have said, “Listen Jesus, do you care for the world, don’t you see into war it’s been hurled? We have occupied, have you forgotten how influential we are!”

Listen Jesus to the warning I give
Please remember that I want us to live
But it’s sad to see our chances weakening with ev’ry hour
All your followers are blind
Too much heaven on their minds
It was beautiful, but now it’s sour
Yes it’s all
Gone sour


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