by Nestor Ravilas
Many years ago, one of my professors in theology asked our class with a question that haunts me until now. He said, “What if there is nothing we could gain from this faith, no heaven or any destiny at the end of history waiting for us and no answers to all our prayers, will you still serve and obey God?” The class in an instant split up into two: those who were able to compose themselves instantly retorted affirmatively while the others went confused and stupefied simply cringed in silence. I found myself in the second group, only that my silence probably lingers much longer than the rest. While some probably scandalized and sickened by the idea of inviting the outcasts and marginalized instead of those we endeared and cherished when you prepare a banquet, I could still, on the other hand, think of it as sane and acceptable idiosyncrasy. I could still adhere on self-debasement and therefore refrain from becoming so aggressive and so dominating as my natural inclination for will-to-power dictates and therefore just watch others grabbing seats of honor for themselves while I settled in the corner hoping that the host would place me to a better place later. Rather, I find the reasons for doing such ridiculous self-debasement more perplexing than the revolutionary ethical requirements of Jesus.