ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE IS NOT AN EVIDENCE OF ABSENCE (reflection on the movie, The Contact)

Sikat ng umaga. Buhos ng ulan. Simoy ng dapithapon.

Sinag ng buwan. Batis na malinaw. Dagat na bughaw.

Gayon ang Panginoon kong Hesus ng aking buhay.

Tinig ng kaibigan. Oyayi ng ina. Pag-asa ng ulila.

Bisig ng dukha. Ilaw ng may takot. Ginhawa ng aba.

Gayon ang Panginoon kong Hesus ng aking buhay.

This is some of the lyrics of my favorite religious song “Hesus ng Aking Buhay.” The song says that God is present anywhere. I can see Him to many things, for me to believe that He is existing and He is my life. In our present time, the thing that people most hungry for – the true meaning. This is one thing that science hasn’t been able to provide them. As a Religious and Seminarian I am experiencing for that hunger. I am restless in knowing the Christ I am following. Many times I am asking myself: Does God really exist? Is God the perfect truth? Is God the true meaning of life? The lead character in the movie in one point of her life asked similar questions I had: “What is more likely? That all-powerful mysterious God created the universe and then decided not to give any proof of His existence, or that He simply does not exist at all?”

The real message of the movie is that there is no “ultimate truth” about the universe other than what we desire to have belief in. Whether that’s “God” or science, or the subjective goal of fulfilling public opinion and world peace, or in world power. The movie doesn’t try to answer the question of God or “meaning of life”, and it doesn’t lean in one path or another to the best way to approach these questions, but it does encourage us to think about these things.

Everyday I am searching for the meaning of the things happening in my life. To the point that at the end of the day I very tired and exhausted of thinking and rationalizing things. I always supposed to know the reason why things come about as they do. Sometimes I have just to agree to God’s will. Therefore, my religious experiences everyday is faith based on my feelings rather that facts. Many people including myself believe in God because of supernatural feelings, regardless of facts or evidence. In the movie, Joss (Theologian and Spiritual Counselor to the White House) says: “I was looking up in the sky; I felt something; I knew I wasn’t alone; I wasn’t scared of nothing, not even of dying. It was God.”

I remembered one time that my former co-teacher teaching Biology told me that she is integrating in her lessons the existence of God. At the end of every lesson she thank God for the gift of life and Science. For many times I am thinking that Science and Religion is contradicting to each other. The message of the movie is all about searching for Truth. When one of the characters asks: What wrong with science being practical and profitable? Nothing, as long as your motive is the search for Truth, which is exactly what the pursuit of Science is.”

For many times, many of my former students asked me before if the Bible is really the messages of God. There is evidence but not absolute proof. Because of this we will always need faith. It is based on the level of evidence which is enough to be convincing to anyone who comes to it with an open mind. The problem is that we do not always come to it with an open mind. At the end of the movie Ellie says to a group of children: “The most important thing is that you all keep searching for your own answers.” At the end: What is my own answer? What is true answer for me? It is not just the case of believing whatever I want to believe. And the most important things are not just to keep searching but eventually to find.

Tumalikod man sa ‘yo Dakilang pag-ibig mo.

Sa aki’y tatawag at magpapaalalang

Ako’y iyong iniibig

At siyang itatapat sa puso.

Hesus ng Aking Buhay


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