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LIM, Jose Dennio Jr., P. OPSD2A Reflection Paper

15 September 2009 Humanities 3

Romans 3:23: “..all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.” Though ‘The Divine Comedy’ never directly mentioned about the nature of man which is had been expressed on this verse, the scenes depicted in the poem implies to its readers and affirms the passage that we are all sinners and no one can ever claim purity. Each and every one of us is in a sinful state and that we all have our places, according to Dante, in hell – unless we mend our ways. This further tells us that no matter what we do, our primary goal in life is to go back to Him and let God slowly purify ourselves until the right time would come for us to enter join his kingdom.

Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The Divine Comedy had been able to ‘give us an idea’ on what our life would be if we choose one of the two roads of life: the road to hell or the road to salvation. If we chose the road to hell, lived on momentary bliss and pleasures in life and did not heed to God’s will and plan for us, what awaits us is the most dreadful, awful and terrible punishments and sufferings for what we had done on earth. Whereas for those who chose the difficult road to salvation, all of their sacrifices, good deeds and deep faith in Him would be abundantly rewarded and be given the gift of eternal life in the presence of God.

Revelations 22:3: “Nothing accurse will be found there anymore. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship Him.” The poem had also been able to give us an idea on how heaven would possibly look like. But the Divine Comedy had missed out telling us the presence of the Supreme Being who should be there and would make possible the existence of heaven. Aside from that, for me, it seems that there are still some imperfections that had been able to get into heaven like those who gave up their vows and those who did good for fame (pakitang tao). Maybe Dante Alighieri had missed out on that one but all in all, it had been able to picture out the presence of saintly people who did everything out of their love for God and of course the angels. But of course, heaven would not be precisely like that as what the passage from Revelations tells us. It would just simply be that nothing evil would exist and it would simply be God, the Son and the Holy Spirit and those who worshipped Him, gave in to His will and loved Him above all.

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John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.” One of the main difference between the message of the Divine Comedy and the Gospel message is that the latter is much more like of a warning and some sort of a hopeless case wherein all evil are sure to be sent to hell whereas the Gospel tells us that no matter how evil we are, once we turn back on our evil ways, believe in Him, accept his unending grace and salvation, we could still be saved. God’s kingdom is not an exclusive club of the saints and those who had been faithful and loyal to him since the beginning of their life. It is always not too late to have that change of heart and God’s loving call does not stop. It keeps on calling us back to Him even if we try hard to ignore it. To even show his tremendous love for every one of us, He let His Son to suffer and die on the cross to show how much He loves us that He can even sacrifice His own Son so that we may bear witness to his love and eventually, go back to Him. But a character, which is Beatrice, could have been an allusion to Christ since this character had never left Dante throughout his ordeal which eventually led him to the kingdom of God.

John 1:12: “But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name…” As I have mentioned earlier, though God’s kingdom is literally open for all, it has one of the simplest requirements before we could enter His kingdom – to accept Him. The poem had somehow shown it when Dante had met Beatrice (I suppose to be an allusion to Christ). Though it had never been mentioned that he had accepted Beatrice, the mere fact that he joined her is enough proof that he had accepted her which eventually led him to heaven. Well, it could be that simple. You can simply shout to the world and let them know that you are accepting Christ as your Lord and Savior. But the question is, are we really accepting Him wholeheartedly, without any doubts or inhibitions? Or do we tend to just see Him as our Savior during the bright days of our lives? Outward acceptance of Christ can be easy. But living on it is a long journey. Still it would be easy if we hold on to Him and never let go.

Revelations 3:20: “Yet I hold this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, who teaches and misleads my servants to play the harlot and to eat food sacrificed to idols.” I guess, both the Divine Comedy and the Bible had the same message. That is we need to uphold the true Gospel message. We need to discern and be watchful of those ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing.’ And that we need to hold on to our faith in Him till the end of time.

All Bible passages have been taken from the New American Bible.
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