So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law asked Jesus: ‘Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders, but eat with unclean hands’?”
Jesus answered, “You shallow people! How well Isaiah prophesied of you when he wrote: This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. The worship they offer me is worthless, for what they teach are only human rules. You even put aside the commandment of God to hold fast to human tradition.”
This is an excerpt from last Sunday’s Gospel written in Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 which was read in all masses all over the Roman Catholic churches in the world.
We cannot help but ponder over its relevance in today’s situation of the country while we are nearing the election season even as we are still unsuccessful in our battle against the pandemic raging all over the world.
No, we are not talking of the many Filipinos placed in a situation that they could hardly wash their hands when they get the opportunity to have something to eat. We are focusing our thought on the many Filipinos, from politicians to businessmen, partisan followers of this or that advocacy, or groups pushing for such, harboring suspicion on the integrity of others and even openly condemning them for still unproven sins and omissions.
This kind of persons not only cast aspersions of doubt to others but virtually judged them to have already done such demeanor to their detriment of course. They seem over a hundred percent already certain that the persons or groups they have vent their judgmental action on are nothing but sinners who deserve to be banished from society and denied any more opportunity to serve the people in whatever capacity. They see their nemesis like the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law during Jesus’ time who were the guardians of human traditions and called on everyone to eat only when their hands are washed clean.
In today’s societal situation, the critics, the people with ambition to have their time running the government or any or its instrumentalities, those who claim that they who are on top of the power echelon are all but a bunch of people with “unwashed” hands and therefore do not deserve to be where they are.
The question however, is, “Do these people who claim to have gleamingly clean hands really have their hands immaculately clean?” Yes, their hands may appear totally washed and do not have any iota of dirt. But can they, in all honesty, pass a test of probity both historically and in the present time?
For example, hospital owners, whether they are medical doctors or simply plain businessmen or thriving corporate conglomerates; many of them now appear to see the government and the many people in its various agencies as corrupt, greedy, inept, and are nothing but leeches feeding on the blood of the Filipino people. They may be correct, yes. But they should not be sweeping in their denunciation.
But were not many of these people supposedly with washed hands had their own sweet time with government or having link with it and were then also suspected of having dirtied their hands from the government coffers? Yes, how many hospitals whose managements tolerated or even initiated the deception made against government in connivance with those crooks in the agencies.
How many hospital managements simply closed its eyes and ears on reports that their doctors literally “upgrade” cases of CoViD 19 patients from simple pneumonia-exacerbated virus to several degrees higher level of pneumonia brought about by the deadly virus if only to charge it to the maximum allowable to be paid by PhilHealth?
We have known of two cases in point. One was a child who accidentally swallowed a coin somewhere south. The child died and the death was declared by the attending physicians as caused by CoViD infection. The parents of course did not agree with the claim of the attending doctors because they know that the child had a hard of breathing situation because of the coin blocking the air passage. So, the parents had their child swabbed and autopsied. When the result of the swab came out the child was negative of the virus. And worst, when the autopsy finding was released the child died of suffocation caused by the blocked air passage. Whether the hospital publicly rectified their doctors’ report, or compensated the parents for the apparent intentional misdiagnosis, we have no idea.
Another case of a clear tolerance of hospital authorities for deceiving government through PhilHealth, was the one on a victim of a motorcycle accident. The driver died, of course of serious injuries. But the hospital management through the doctors convinced the close relatives of the victims to have his death as caused by CoViD infection so they will have no more financial obligations with the health facility. Hesitantly the relatives agreed.
Now many of these medical practitioners and hospital owners and/or managements are kind of saying that the government officials are comparable to those called by the Pharisees as people with unwashed hands. And they are the only ones who deserve to sit on the table and be allowed to eat. Are they still in track with tradition? Or, they rather want to change it their way? Are their hands really immaculately washed clean to claim they are the only ones deserving to be in this government?
The forthcoming elections will give us the answer and proved us wrong or right.
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