The Diocese of Pasig Ministry of Liturgical Affairs announces the following in connection with the observance of the evening mass of the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (August 15) and Saturday anticipated Sunday Mass of the 20th Sunday in Ordinary time:
1. that the solemnities of the Blessed Virgin Mary listed in the general calendar takes precedence over the Sundays in Ordinary Time as indicated in the Table of Precedence of Liturgical Days (I,; II,6). Therefore, the evening mass on August 15, Saturday should take the Proper of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and not the anticipated Mass of the 20th Sunday in Ordinary time;
2. that all presidential prayers will be taken from the Proper of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
However, Bishop Mylo decrees that those who will participate in the Saturday evening masses of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary also satisfy their Sunday obligation.
Refer to the Ordo for other pertinent liturgical notes for your guidance.
The Diocese of Pasig will hold its 12th anniversary with a Eucharistic Celebration to be presided by Vicar General Fr. Orlando Cantillon at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral on Aug. 21, 2015 at 8:00 AM. 100 delegates from large parishes are requested to attend while 50 delegates are expected from small parishes, 10 delegates from every Catholic school, and 5 delegates from each religious congregation.
Today the Church is radiant with joy and
love. We are grateful to Lord for his love and mercy endures forever. However,
the joy and glory of the resurrection will not be truly felt unless we have
been with Christ on the cross to suffer and die with Him. Where our Lord is there shall we His followers
be. We still recall how Pope Francis, during his visit to our country, directed
us to contemplate on the crucified Christ who shows the real meaning of suffering.
Fulfillment comes when one denies himself so he could reach out to others and
be a source of joy to them. We should be like Jesus, the grain of wheat which fell
to the ground and died so that others may live and grow. This is what dying and
rising with our Lord is all about.
Our Lord did not remain on the cross and is
no longer in the tomb for He has risen in the heart of His Church to continue
His work of healing and nourishing through the sacraments, and to be with us
forever. This always gives us a feeling of consolation every time we die to sin
and rise with our Lord to a life of grace. He was glorified that we may share
in His glory in heaven and even while on earth.
It is up to us now to make His presence felt
not just by words but more importantly by our good deeds. Many of our brothers
and sisters are more interested in what they see than what they hear. Let us
then make Jesus alive through our hands and feet whether at home, workplace or
in people we come in contact most especially those He identifies Himself with.
Now is the opportune time to manifest God's great concern for the less
fortunate given this year has been dedicated to the poor. After all, Christ
came to bring glad tidings to the poor. Pope Francis said: "If we take
away the poor from the gospel, we can't understand the whole message of
Christ." (Manila Cathedral, January 16, 2105) More than our preaching about God who is
love, what people need are food to fill their empty stomach, medicine to
alleviate their pain, justice for those whose rights are trampled upon and our
inspiring presence to bring joy and hope to the downtrodden. Indeed people seek
for the living God who cares enough to protect them and provide for their everyday
needs, mindful of His promise to be with His people until the end of time. To
bring about a truly Church of and for the Poor, we need to have the merciful
and compassionate heart of Jesus to welcome the least, the last, and the lost
in our midst.
Homilya ni Bp. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, Misa ng
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Pasig City, ika-2
ng Abril 2015
Photo by: Cristy Evidente
ang Misa ng Krisma sa taong ito para sa akin.
Ito’y dahil ngayong taong ito ay nataon ding pagdiriwang ko ng dalawampu’t
limang taon ko bilang pari. Simula po nang
ako’y naordenahang pari, nakagawian ko, katulad ng ibang pari na ipagdiwang ang
misa ng krisma kasama ang aming obispo.
Bago ako naging obispo, nagawa ko po ito ng labintatlong taon kasama si
Jaime Cardinal Sin, ang nag-orden sa akin, sa Arkidiyosesis ng Maynila at
dalawang taon, kasama si Bishop Honesto Ongtioco sa bagong tatag noon na
Diyosesis ng Cubao kung saan ako napabilang nung hatiin ang Arkidiyosesis ng
ko maubos maisip na darating ang panahon na ako bilang pari na nagsasariwa ng
mga pangako sa pagpapari nung araw ng ordinasyon tuwing misa ng krisma ay
magiging obispo at siyang magiging saksi ng pagsasariwa ng mga pangako ng
pari. Bilang mga pari, isang dapat pagnilayan
ay kung seryoso nga ba talaga kami sa aming mga pangako. Napansin ko kasi pati sa aking sarili na
kahit taon-taon akong mangako sa Diyos, sa obispo at sa harap ng sambayanan, di
ko naman talaga lubusang natutupad ang aking pangako. May kasabihan nga: “Marami tayong pangakong
napapako sa wala at di nagagawa.” Balikan natin at lagumin sa dalawa ang mga
tanong na sasagutin ng mga pari pagkatapos ng homiliyang ito.
itatanong ko: “Ipinangangako mo bang matalik na makikiisa kay Kristo, maging katulad
niya, kusang-loob na tatalikod sa pansariling kaluwagan at mamamalaging laan
para sa paghahatid ng kanyang kapayapaan at pag-ibig sa kapwa?” Mabigat na
tanong. Sa totoo lang, naisip ko sa
aking sarili. May mga pagkakataon na hindi nasasalamin sa buhay naming mga pari
si Hesus. May mga pagkakataon ding mas
pinipili pa naming ang mas maluwag at komportable, yung madali at walang
sakripisyo, yung pabor sa amin at kumbinyente.
At may mga pagkakataon na imbis na tagpaghatid kami ng kapayapaan at
pag-ibig sa kapwa, kami’y kinatatakutan, kinaiinisan at iniiwasan.
At yung ikalawang
tanong: “Ipinangangako mo bang matapat na ipapahayag ang misteryo ng pananampalataya,
panguluhan ng taimtim ang mga sakramento, lalu na ang Banal na Eukaristiya,
tularan si Hesus na Mabuting Pastol na nagtuturo ng daan ng pananampalataya,
naglilingkod sa kapwa ng walang hangad gamitin ito sa pansariling
kapakanan?” Mabigat uli yung tanong kasi
naisip ko rin. May mga pagkakataon na
hindi namin napaghahandaang mabuti ang aming homiliya kaya di maliwanag na
naipapahayag ang pangaral ng Salita ng Diyos.
May mga pagkakataon ding di namin solemnong napangunguluhan ang mga
sakramento ng simbahan; minsan di taimtim ang pagdiriwang namin ng misa,
bihirang magpakumpisal at kinatatamaran pang bisitahin ang mga matatanda ng
pamayanan at pahiran ng langis ang mga maysakit at nag-aagaw-buhay. May mga pagkakataon na hindi kami naging
mabuting pastol, matamlay na naglilingkod sa komunidad lalu na sa mga dukha at
nangagailangan ng tulong. Tunay na
kulang pa rin kami sa pagiging bukas-palad at pag-aalay ng sarili sa aming pagkapari.
pakumbabang inaamin naming mga pari na marami kaming pagkukulang. Minsan kapag iniisip ko ang aming kakulangan,
kahinaan at maraming kasalanan bilang pari, ako’y pinanghihinaan ng loob. Pero ano ang pinanghuhugutan ko ng
lakas? Sa bandang huli ng pagsasariwa ng
mga pangako naming sa pagpapari, sinasabi ng obispo sa inyo, mga
mananampalataya, aming mga laikong lider-lingkod, kayo ang aming mga parokyano:
“Ipagdasal ninyo ang mga pari kay Kristo na palakasin niya ang loob namin upang
mapangatawanan namin ang aming pananagutan ng buong pag-ibig at katapatan, at
upang maakay kami sa masaganang batis ng kaligtasan.” Ibig sabihin po nito, kayo ang aming tagadasal,
tagapamagitan din kay Kristo, samakatuwid ang aming mga “prayer warriors”. Sa totoo lang, bukod sa Diyos, kayo rin po
ang pinanghuhugutan namin ng lakas ng loob upang magpatuloy sa aming
paglilingkod. Tulungan niyo po kaming
maging mabuti at banal na pari.
ko kanina, katangi-tangi ang misang ito ng krisma para sa akin dahil
ikadalawampu’t limang anibersaryo ko bilang pari. Ito ang pinilakang taong ko
bilang ordeng lingkod ni Hesus. May nagsabi
nga sa akin: “Bishop, pilak ka na!” Alam niyo ba kung paano ginagawa ang pilak,
paano ito nagiging purong pilak, iba sa ginto o tanso? Sabi nila ang metal o bakal ng pilak ay
niluluto sa nagbabagang apoy. At dapat yung panday ng pilak ay matiyagang
binabantayan ang nalulusaw na metal ng pilak hanggang maabot nito ang pagiging
puro o pino. Mayroon daw eksaktong
sandali o panahon para masegurong narating nito ang kapuruhan o kapinuhan.
Paano? Kapag tinignan nung panday ang lusaw na pilak at nakita niya ang kanyang
mukha ng malinaw na para bagang nakaharap siya sa salamin. Ito ang indikasyon na narating na ng pilak
ang pagiging puro at pino.
ko tuloy. Sa pinilakang taon ko bilang pari, dapat ang nakikita sa akin ay
mukha ni Hesus na pinanggalingan ng aking bokasyon, pumili sa akin para maging
pari, at pinagdadaluyan ng aking paglilingkod.
Malayo pa po ako dun. Katulad din
ng mga paring naririto ngayon, malayo pa rin po sila dun. Kahit siguro kami’y mamatay na, iburol at mailibing,
parang di pa rin namin masasalamin si Hesus ang ganap na pari magpakailanman. Dasal ko, at marahil dasal din ng lahat ng
pari, na dumating ang panahon, kahit, anino lamang, ay masilayan ninyo si
Kristo sa amin. At kapag dumating ang
oras na yon, baka tanda na ito na sineryoso namin at natupad ang ilang pangako
namin sa pagpapari. At tunay na masasabi namin, katulad ni Hesus: “Sumasaakin
ang Espiritu ng Panginoon, sapagkat hinirang niya ako at upang ipangaral sa
dukha ang Mabuting Balita. Sinugo niya
ako upang ipahayag sa mga bihag na sila’y lalaya, at sa bulag, na sila’y
makakikita; upang bigyang-kaluwagan ang mga sinisiil, at ipahayag ang
pagliligtas na gagawin ng Panginoon.” Amen.
Homilya ni Bp. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, Pagdiriwang
ng Diyosesis ng Pasig
Para sa ika-25 Taong Anibersaryo ng Pagiging Pari,
Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Pasig City,
limang taon na po akong pari at sampung taong obispo. Ang bilis po ng panahon. Naalala ko pa nung kami nina Msgr. Clem, Frs.
Sel, Cesar, Joven, Henry, at Odon ay natulog sa bahay ni Cardinal Sin sa Villa
San Miguel nung gabi bago kami ordenahang pari 25 years ago. Di ko nga maintindihan kung bakit kailangan
pang dun mag-overnight. Baka sinisiguro lang ni Cardinal Sin na walang mangyayari
sa aming masama bago ordenahan, parang proteksyon sa ikakasal na. Nung gabing yun, nagsalita si Cardinal Sin sa
aming pito pagkatapos maghapunan para ihanda kami sa susunod na araw para sa
ordinasyon. Di ko makalilimutan yun
sinabi niya: “Like the Blessed Virgin Mary, tomorrow, you will conceive Jesus
Christ.” Yun sinabi niya ay patungkol sa
pagdiriwang ng Solemn Feast of the Annuciation na nataong naganap nung March 24
at araw ng Sabado. Kasi ang March 25 (yun talagang piyesta) nung taong yon ay
Linggo kaya iniurong sa liturgical calendar ng March 24 ang kapistahan ng
Annuciation. Parang sabi ni Cardinal
Sin, ipaglilihi at ipagbubuntis naming si Hesus. At pagkatapos, naisip ko at
napangiti ako sa aking sarili: “Iluluwal namin siya, di ko alam nun kung
pagkatapos ng siyam na buwan?” Pero alam
ko, pagkatapos ng isa o dalawang taon, naglakihan na ang mga tiyan ng ilan sa
amin (lalo na po ako) sa sobrang pagkain bilang mga batang pari.
Nung umaga, pinagising
kami ni Cardinal Sin ng alas kuwatro ng umaga para sabayan siyang magdasal. Masyadong
maaga ang gising namin noon, parang Misa de Gallo. Pinilit kong maagang gumising at pumunta sa
private chapel ni Cardinal Sin at baka mapaglitan kung ma-late. Eh laking gulat ko nung nakita ko si Cardinal
na mas maaga pang nandun at nagrorosaryo. Yun iba sa amin eh nahuli pang
dumating sa chapel. Pero sabay sabay pa
rin kaming nagdasal ng Liturgy of the Hours o Panalangin ng Kristyano. Nag-almusal kami pagkatapos, kasama pa rin si
Cardinal Sin, at naghanda nang magbiyahe sa isang sasakyan patungo sa Manila
Cathedral para ordenahang pari. Nagsimula
ang misa at ordinasyon ng alas nuwebe ng umaga at natapos ng halos alas dose ng
tanghali. Mahaba ang naging rito kasi
pito kaming inordenahan nun. Parang
dumaan lang ang tatlong oras at di namin namalayan—mga pari na kami!
tayo. Twenty-five years na, pari pa rin
po kami at naglilingkod sa Diyos at Simbahan.
Binabalikan ko sa aking panalangin at pagninilay yung: sampung taong
naging tagahubog ako ng seminarista sa Holy Apostles Senior Seminary kasama na
rin dito yun pagiging chaplain ng Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord sa SM Megamal
at Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel sa Greenbelt, Makati, dalawang taong parish priest
ng Sta. Rita de Cascia sa Philam Homes, QC, dalawang taong parish priest ng
Holy Sacrifice Parish sa UP, anim na taong obispo ng Diyosesis ng San Jose,
Nueva Ecija at halos apat na taon ng obispo niyo dito sa Pasig. Katulad siguro ng mga batchmates kong
nagdiriwang ng silver anniversray ngayon, isa lamang ang sinasambit ng puso ko:
pasasalamat! Salamat sa Diyos at pari pa
rin ako at pari pa rin kaming lahat ngayon.
Ito naman po ang
diwa ng misa natin noon, ngayon, at sa hinaharap: walang hanggang pasasalamat
sa Diyos at di po niya kami pinabayaan sa buhay pagpapari at panalangin pa rin naming
maging pari magpakailanman! Hindi po
naging madali ang 25 years. Maraming tukso laban sa mga sinumpaan namin katulad
ng pangakong maging dukha at mamuhay ng simple, manatiling malinis ang puso at
di mag-asawa, maging masunurin sa obispo at sa kalooban ng Diyos. Minsan nga
may pabirong nagtanong sa akin kung ano ang mga tuksong hinarap ko bilang pari. Gusto ko sanang sagutin ng ‘secret’ pero
nasabi ko na lang ng pangiti-- ‘lahat’.
Tao lang po kaming katulad ninyong lahat, marupok at nagkakasala. Marami din pong mga pagsubok sa ministro:
yung kahit pagod o bagot ka na ay kailangan mo pang ngumiti at maglingkod, yung
hirap pagbigyan ang lahat ng nakikiusap sa iyo na mag-misa o mag-talk, at yung
nahusgahan ka na ng kapwa pari mo o mga lider-laiko kahit wala ka namang
ginagawang mali at marami pang iba.
Kasama ito sa buhay ng kahit sinong pari. Pero sa gitna ng lahat ng ito,
nandiyan pa rin ang Diyos at binibigyan kami ng lakas ng loob para magpatuloy
sa aming paglilingkod. Pari pa rin ako.
Pari pa rin kaming naglilingkod sa Diyos.
Salamat sa Diyos.
siguro ang patuloy na mensahe sa akin ng Panginoong Hesus ngayong naabot ko na
ang dalawanpu’t limang taon ng pagiging pari.
At ito’y napapaloob sa tanong niya sa akin noong ako’y tumugon sa
pagpapari nung pumasok sa seminaryo, naordinanhang pari at pati na rin sa
pagka-obispo. Ito yung tanong niya kay
Simon Pedro sa ebanghelyo: “Mahal mo ba ako?”
Mabigat yun tanong sapagkat kahit paulit-ulit akong sumagot ng “Oo”,
alam kong alam ni Hesus na di ko ito hustong napatutunayan dala nang aking mga
kahinaan at kasalanan. Marami pa rin
akong dapat baguhin sa aking sarili para maging banal at mabuting pari. Isang motibasyon na humihikayat sa aking
maglingkod bilang pari ay ang utos at hamon ni Hesus, sa kabila ng aking
karupukan, sinasabi pa rin niya sa akin: “Pakanin ko ang aking mga tupa.” Alam ni Hesus na wala akong maipagyayabang sa
kanya pagkatapos ng dalawampu’t limang taon.
Kilala niya ako mula ulo hanggang paa, lalu na ang laman ng isip at puso
ko sa bawat sandali ng aking buhay. Kaya
nga buong pakumbaba na lang akong tumatalima sa kanyang kalooban. At umaasang sa awa ng Diyos, ay magagawa ko
ang lahat ng iutos niya sa akin.
Martes, may pumunta sa aking nag-aaral sa UP na nakiusap sa akin na mai-cast o
maimolde yun aking isang kamay para i-exhibit sa “stations of the cross”. Gagawin itong isang uri ng hand sculpture. Masteral thesis daw niya sa “Fine Arts”
na-imolde ang mga kamay ng ilang personalidad na naging parte ng kasaysayan ng
“Parish of the Holy Sacrifice” sa UP sa bawat estasyon ng krus. Kung naalala niyo, nasabi ko kanina na ako’y
naging Parish Priest dun bago ako naging Obispo. Sabi niya sa akin na naimolde
na niya yun kamay ni Fr. Henry Ferreras na kasalukuyang kura paroko. Ang porma ng kamay ni Fr. Henry ay yung kamay
ni Hesus nung Last Supper. Yun kamay ko
raw ang huling imomolde para sa huli at ikalabing-apat na estasyon. Sabi niya dapat iporma ko daw na parang
nagbebendisyong kamay sa larawan ni Hesus na muling nabuhay mula sa
libingan. Tinanong pa nga niya ako: “Paano
po ba kayo nagbebendisyon kapag nagmimisa?”
Habang pinoporma ko yun aking kamay para imolde eh napag-isip isip ko na
sa loob ng dalawampu’t limang taon, marami na rin pala akong nabedisyunang tao.
Di ko na ito mabibilang. Naisip
ko pa: ginamit ni Hesus ang kamay ko para magbinyag, magkumpil, magpatawad,
mag-orden ng pari, magbendisyon sa ikakasal, magpahid ng langis sa maysakit at,
higit sa lahat, maging katawan at dugo niya ang tinapay at alak. Ginamit ni
Hesus ang kamay ko para ibahagi ang pagpapala ng kanyang pag-ibig at kapayapaan
sa maraming mananampalataya, sa inyo pong lahat.
Hiling ko lang po
at hiling din nina Msgr. Clem, Frs. Sel, Cesar, Joven, Henry, at Odon: patuloy
niyo kaming ipanalangin na ang pagpapala ng Diyos ay aming maibahagi bilang
mabuti at banal na pari magpakailanman.
Salamat po. Amen.
PASIG - The Council of the Laity, in coordination with the Diocesan Social Services and Development Ministry (SSDM) will be sponsoring an Ecology Conference as part of the Year of the Poor Program.
This conference aims to provide lay leaders with the information regarding global warming and climate change as well as prevention and alleviation of its effects. It also aims to help the parishes establish and activate their Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Management Groups (DRRRMG) through the help of the Diocesan SSDM, the lead ministry for the Year of the Poor, and the Ugnayan ng Barangay at Simbahan (UBAS).
This will be held on March 14, 2015 at the Aula Minor, PCC from 7 AM to 12:30 PM. Each parish is invited to send fifteen delegates preferably comprising of the PPC Lay Coordinator, SSDM Coordinator, and other PPC Officers.
Katatapos pa lamang ng mabiyaya't mabungang pagbisita ni Pope
Francis sa Pilipinas noong nakaraang ika-15 hanggang ika-19 ng Enero. Sigurado akong ramdam na ramdam pa natin ang
mga naganap noong mga araw na iyon. Sa
iba’t ibang paraan, nakita, narinig, at naranasan natin ang pastoral na
pagdalaw ng ating Santo Papa. Marami
tayong maikukwento katulad ng paghihintay natin sa daan upang masilayan lamang
siya na nakasakay sa pope mobile at makunan ng litrato gamit ang celphone,
camera, o computer tablet. Yung iba naman,
sari-sari ang karansanan nang dumalo sa misa sa Tacloban at Luneta na pinuspos
ng halos walang tigil na ulan. Marami
siyang sinabing pangaral na tumimo sa ating isip at puso. May mga ilan ngang nagsabi sa akin na kahit
sa TV lang, naiiyak na habang nakikita si Pope Francis magmula sa kanyang
pagdating sa ating bansa hanggang sa siya’y lumisan pabalik sa Roma. Masasabi
nating naka-enkwentro natin nang personal ang Panginoong Hesukristo sa pamamagitan
ni Pope Francis.
Nakakatawag-pansin sa lahat ng kanyang pangaral ang mariin niyang
sinabi na pastulan ang mga dukha.
Akmang-akma ito sa pagdiriwang natin ng “Year of the Poor” o “Taon ng
mga Dukha”. Iba’t iba ang mukha ng
karukhaan: materyal, espiritual, at moral.
Para kay Pope Francis, mahalagang harapin ang ating karukhaan sa mata ng
Diyos at mahalin ang mga dukha na pinag-uukulan ng kalinga ni Hesus. Magagawa lamang natin ito kung tatalikdan ang
mga tukso ng kamunduhan lalo na ang materialismo. Nasabi nga niya sa aming mga Obispo, pari,
madre at seminarista sa kanyang misa sa Manila Cathedral na dapat naming
tularan walang iba kundi si Hesus, na piniling maging dukha at makipamuhay sa
mga dukha na pinagpahayagan ng Mabuting Balita.
Idinagdag pa ng Santo Papa na kapag inalis ang mahirap sa bibliya ay
hindi natin ito mauunawaan. (cf. Homiliya, ika-16 ng Enero 2015).
Dahil dito, nais kong samantalahin ang pagkakataong ito
upang humingi ng tawad sa inyo kung ako na inyong pastol at pati na rin ang mga
pari ng ating diyosesis ay hindi naging huwarang saksi ng simpleng pamumuhay at
hindi nag-ukol ng maraming panahon sa patulong at pagkalinga sa mga dukha ng ating
mga parokya. Pakiusap ko na dagdagan pa
ninyo ang panalangin para sa amin upang maisabuhay namin ang pangakong maging
dukha na aming sinumpaan noong araw ng aming ordinasyon. Sa inyong panalangin at pagpapaalala, nawa’y
masalamin namin si Hesus na ayon kay San Pablo: “bagamat mayaman ay nagpakadukha upang yumaman kayo sa pamamagitan ng
kanyang karukhaan.” (2 Cor 8. 9) Sa
ganitong paraan, lalo kaming taos-pusong makapaglilingkod sa mga dukha.
Ngayon ding taong ito ay itinakdang “International Year of Consecrated
Life” na idineklara ni Pope Francis. Lubos tayong nagpapasalamat sa mga paring
relihiyoso at madreng religiyosa na naglilingkod sa ating diyosesis. Di kaila sa marami sa atin ang paglilingkod
nila sa mga dukha ng ating mga pamayanan tulad ng mga “mentally handicapped children”,
“abandoned children”, “prostitutes”, at mga maysakit na nagangailangan ng
pagkalinga at pagtulong. ‘Yung iba sa mga madre at paring ito ay babad din sa
pagbubuo ng munting pamayanan o Basic Ecclesial Communities o BECs sa lugar ng
mahihirap at naglalaan ng panahon para sa pagbibigay ng katesismo at pagtulong
sa ilang kabataan upang makapag-aral sa paaralan.
Sa Taong ito ng mga Dukha, nawa’y maging inspirasyon din
natin si Kristel Mae Padasas na kinilala ni Pope Francis na “huwaran ng
paglilingkod” sa kanyang kabataan. Siya
ay taga-Taguig at parokyano ng Sto. Niño Parish, Signal Village dito sa
Diyosesis ng Pasig. Kasama siya sa mga naghanda
sa pagdalaw ng Santo Papa sa Tacloban.
Sa di inaasahang pangyayari, siya’y nabagsakan ng scaffolding at namatay
, dala na rin siguro ng matinding hangin at ulan dala ng bagyong “Amang” noong
nagmisa doon si Pope Francis. Noong
nabalitaan ito ng Santo Papa nang nakabalik na siya sa Maynila, agad niyang
ipinatawag ang ama ni Kristel upang makiramay nang personal sa kanya. Sa pagkakataong ito, nakilala ang kabutihan
at kagandahang loob ni Kristel. Naikwento
ng kanyang ama na tinalikuran ng kanyang anak ang ambisyong magtrabaho sa isang
malaking kumpanya at magpayaman pagkatapos ng kolehiyo. Pinili niyang maging volunteer ng Catholic
Relief Services na tumulong sa mga nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda sa Samar. Naikwento din na sa halip na bumili ng cake o
maghanda tuwing birthday, inilalaan niya ang kanyang pera para bumili ng mga
notebook at ballpen para magamit ng mga dukhang bata sa eskwela. Tunay ngang si Kristel ay huwarang
inspirasyon para sa atin lahat.
Nawa’y tulad ni Maria, Ina ng mga Dukha na lubos na
nagtiwala sa Diyos, maisakatuparan natin ang ipinahayag at isinabuhay ni Hesus
mula kay properta Isaias na hamon din sa atin:
“Sumasaakin ang Espiritu ng Panginoon, sapagkat hinirang niya ako upang
ipangaral ang Mabuting Balita. Sinugo niya
ako upang ipahayag sa mga bihag na sila’y lalaya, at sa mga bulag na sila’y makakakita;
upang bigyang –kaluwagan ang mga sinisiil, at ipahayag ang pagliligtas na
gagawin ng Panginoon. “ (Lucas 4: 18 – 19)
Kagalang-galang Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, DD
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR LENT 2015
“Make your hearts firm” (Jas 5:8)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Lent is a time of renewal for the whole Church, for each communities and every believer. Above all it is a “time of grace” (2 Cor6:2). God does not ask of us anything that he himself has not first given us. “We love because he first has loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). He is not aloof from us. Each one of us has a place in his heart. He knows us by name, he cares for us and he seeks us out whenever we turn away from him. He is interested in each of us; his love does not allow him to be indifferent to what happens to us. Usually, when we are healthy and comfortable, we forget about others (something God the Father never does): we are unconcerned with their problems, their sufferings and the injustices they endure… Our heart grows cold. As long as I am relatively healthy and comfortable, I don’t think about those less well off. Today, this selfish attitude of indifference has taken on global proportions, to the extent that we can speak of a globalization of indifference. It is a problem which we, as Christians, need to confront.
When the people of God are converted to his love, they find answers to the questions that history continually raises. One of the most urgent challenges which I would like to address in this Message is precisely the globalization of indifference.
Indifference to our neighbour and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.
God is not indifferent to our world; he so loves it that he gave his Son for our salvation. In the Incarnation, in the earthly life, death, and resurrection of the Son of God, the gate between God and man, between heaven and earth, opens once for all. The Church is like the hand holding open this gate, thanks to her proclamation of God’s word, her celebration of the sacraments and her witness of the faith which works through love (cf. Gal 5:6). But the world tends to withdraw into itself and shut that door through which God comes into the world and the world comes to him. Hence the hand, which is the Church, must never be surprised if it is rejected, crushed and wounded.
God’s people, then, need this interior renewal, lest we become indifferent and withdraw into ourselves. To further this renewal, I would like to propose for our reflection three biblical texts.
1. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (1 Cor 12:26) – The Church
The love of God breaks through that fatal withdrawal into ourselves which is indifference. The Church offers us this love of God by her teaching and especially by her witness. But we can only bear witness to what we ourselves have experienced. Christians are those who let God clothe them with goodness and mercy, with Christ, so as to become, like Christ, servants of God and others. This is clearly seen in the liturgy of Holy Thursday, with its rite of the washing of feet. Peter did not want Jesus to wash his feet, but he came to realize that Jesus does not wish to be just an example of how we should wash one another’s feet. Only those who have first allowed Jesus to wash their own feet can then offer this service to others. Only they have “a part” with him (Jn 13:8) and thus can serve others.
Lent is a favourable time for letting Christ serve us so that we in turn may become more like him. This happens whenever we hear the word of God and receive the sacraments, especially the Eucharist. There we become what we receive: the Body of Christ. In this body there is no room for the indifference which so often seems to possess our hearts. For whoever is of Christ, belongs to one body, and in him we cannot be indifferent to one another. “If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part is honoured, all the parts share its joy” (1 Cor 12:26).
The Church is the communio sanctorum not only because of her saints, but also because she is a communion in holy things: the love of God revealed to us in Christ and all his gifts. Among these gifts there is also the response of those who let themselves be touched by this love. In this communion of saints, in this sharing in holy things, no one possesses anything alone, but shares everything with others. And since we are united in God, we can do something for those who are far distant, those whom we could never reach on our own, because with them and for them, we ask God that all of us may be open to his plan of salvation.
2. “Where is your brother?” (Gen 4:9) – Parishes and Communities
All that we have been saying about the universal Church must now be applied to the life of our parishes and communities. Do these ecclesial structures enable us to experience being part of one body? A body which receives and shares what God wishes to give? A body which acknowledges and cares for its weakest, poorest and most insignificant members? Or do we take refuge in a universal love that would embrace the whole world, while failing to see the Lazarus sitting before our closed doors (Lk 16:19-31)?
In order to receive what God gives us and to make it bear abundant fruit, we need to press beyond the boundaries of the visible Church in two ways.
In the first place, by uniting ourselves in prayer with the Church in heaven. The prayers of the Church on earth establish a communion of mutual service and goodness which reaches up into the sight of God. Together with the saints who have found their fulfilment in God, we form part of that communion in which indifference is conquered by love. The Church in heaven is not triumphant because she has turned her back on the sufferings of the world and rejoices in splendid isolation. Rather, the saints already joyfully contemplate the fact that, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, they have triumphed once and for all over indifference, hardness of heart and hatred. Until this victory of love penetrates the whole world, the saints continue to accompany us on our pilgrim way. Saint Therese of Lisieux, a Doctor of the Church, expressed her conviction that the joy in heaven for the victory of crucified love remains incomplete as long as there is still a single man or woman on earth who suffers and cries out in pain: “I trust fully that I shall not remain idle in heaven; my desire is to continue to work for the Church and for souls” (Letter 254, July 14, 1897).
We share in the merits and joy of the saints, even as they share in our struggles and our longing for peace and reconciliation. Their joy in the victory of the Risen Christ gives us strength as we strive to overcome our indifference and hardness of heart.
In the second place, every Christian community is called to go out of itself and to be engaged in the life of the greater society of which it is a part, especially with the poor and those who are far away. The Church is missionary by her very nature; she is not self-enclosed but sent out to every nation and people.
Her mission is to bear patient witness to the One who desires to draw all creation and every man and woman to the Father. Her mission is to bring to all a love which cannot remain silent. The Church follows Jesus Christ along the paths that lead to every man and woman, to the very ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8). In each of our neighbours, then, we must see a brother or sister for whom Christ died and rose again. What we ourselves have received, we have received for them as well. Similarly, all that our brothers and sisters possess is a gift for the Church and for all humanity.
Dear brothers and sisters, how greatly I desire that all those places where the Church is present, especially our parishes and our communities, may become islands of mercy in the midst of the sea of indifference!
3. “Make your hearts firm!” (James 5:8) – Individual Christians
As individuals too, we have are tempted by indifference. Flooded with news reports and troubling images of human suffering, we often feel our complete inability to help. What can we do to avoid being caught up in this spiral of distress and powerlessness?
First, we can pray in communion with the Church on earth and in heaven. Let us not underestimate the power of so many voices united in prayer! The 24 Hours for the Lord initiative, which I hope will be observed on 13-14 March throughout the Church, also at the diocesan level, is meant to be a sign of this need for prayer.
Second, we can help by acts of charity, reaching out to both those near and far through the Church’s many charitable organizations. Lent is a favourable time for showing this concern for others by small yet concrete signs of our belonging to the one human family.
Third, the suffering of others is a call to conversion, since their need reminds me of the uncertainty of my own life and my dependence on God and my brothers and sisters. If we humbly implore God’s grace and accept our own limitations, we will trust in the infinite possibilities which God’s love holds out to us. We will also be able to resist the diabolical temptation of thinking that by our own efforts we can save the world and ourselves.
As a way of overcoming indifference and our pretensions to self-sufficiency, I would invite everyone to live this Lent as an opportunity for engaging in what Benedict XVI called a formation of the heart (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 31). A merciful heart does not mean a weak heart. Anyone who wishes to be merciful must have a strong and steadfast heart, closed to the tempter but open to God. A heart which lets itself be pierced by the Spirit so as to bring love along the roads that lead to our brothers and sisters. And, ultimately, a poor heart, one which realizes its own poverty and gives itself freely for others.
During this Lent, then, brothers and sisters, let us all ask the Lord: “Fac cor nostrum secundum cor tuum”: Make our hearts like yours (Litany of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In this way we will receive a heart which is firm and merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.
It is my prayerful hope that this Lent will prove spiritually fruitful for each believer and every ecclesial community. I ask all of you to pray for me. May the Lord bless you and Our Lady keep you.
Pasig - the Order of the Discalced Carmelites in the Philippines through the National Commission for the Celebration of the Fifth Birth Centenary of St. Teresa of Avila cordially invites you and your parish to the Congress on Prayer dubbed "Prayer: A Dialogue of Love" to be held on March 15, 32015 Sunday, 8 AM to 5 PM at the Mass Of Asia Arena, Pasay City.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle will be the main presider in the Eucharistic Celebration.
St. Teresa of Avila, first woman doctor of the Church and foundress of the Order of Discalced Carmelites inspires us to gather a first - ever assembly of people from various walks of life to share her doctrine on prayer and our prayer experience on the occasion of her 5th birth centenary on March 28, 2015.
Chairman of the National Commission for the Celebration of the Fifth Birth Centenary of St. Teresa of Avila Fr. Danilo Lim, OCD reminds us of the significance of this assembly.
"With the challenges of the new evangelization in the present times characterized by secularism, hedonism, and relativism, our first call is an encounter with Christ, an experience with God, a life of prayer. thus we hope to gather as many lay faithful as possible in this event," clarified Fr. Lim.
He also requests parishes to mount posters and or tarpaulins withing the church premises or bulletin boards, announcements of the event or showing of a short AVP after communion during Sunday Masses proximate to the date of the event as well as our personal presence.
"Your presence, which is a declaration that in this path toward God amidst the many vicissitudes of life and challenges of the times, there is no surest road but the way of prayer," encourages Fr. Lim.
Registration is free. Please coordinate with your parishes and ask for a registration form. For more information contact, Yolly Miranda at 9953949 and 09065732305.
Meanwhile, below is the complete message of endorsement from Pasig bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
With much joy I endorse the Congress on Prayer, an event in celebration of the 5th Birth Centenary of St. Teresa of Avila, Virgin and first woman doctor of the Church, to be held on March 15, 2015, Sunday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City.
I appeal to the Parish Priests to allow post-communion announcements or a projection of an AVP during the Masses proximate to the event and the mounting of tarpaulin and/or poster on the designated areas of the parish.
I also appeal to all Religious communities, schools, and the various Lay associations, organizations and movements to welcome and support the organizing team of the Centenary so they could share with you the abiding teaching and significance of St. Teresa of Avila.
thank you very much for your kind attention.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
MOST REV. MYLO HUBERT C. VERGARA, D.D.
Bishop of Pasig
PASIG City - February 22, 2015 is declared by the CBCP as the National Migrants Sunday.
This was announced by Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos, D.D., Chairman of the Episcopal Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrant and Itinerant People.
The following is the message of the Holy Father, Pope Francis, regarding this day:
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 101st WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES (2015)
Church without frontiers, Mother to all
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Jesus is “the evangelizer par excellence and the Gospel in person” (Evangelii Gaudium, 209). His solicitude, particularly for the most vulnerable and marginalized, invites all of us to care for the frailest and to recognize his suffering countenance, especially in the victims of new forms of poverty and slavery. The Lord says: “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Mt 25:35-36). The mission of the Church, herself a pilgrim in the world and the Mother of all, is thus to love Jesus Christ, to adore and love him, particularly in the poorest and most abandoned; among these are certainly migrants and refugees, who are trying to escape difficult living conditions and dangers of every kind. For this reason, the theme for this year’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees is: Church without frontiers, Mother to all.
The Church opens her arms to welcome all people, without distinction or limits, in order to proclaim that “God is love” (1 Jn4:8,16). After his death and resurrection, Jesus entrusted to the disciples the mission of being his witnesses and proclaiming the Gospel of joy and mercy. On the day of Pentecost, the disciples left the Upper Room with courage and enthusiasm; the strength of the Holy Spirit overcame their doubts and uncertainties and enabled all to understand the disciples’ preaching in their own language. From the beginning, the Church has been a mother with a heart open to the whole world, and has been without borders. This mission has continued for two thousand years. But even in the first centuries, the missionary proclamation spoke of the universal motherhood of the Church, which was then developed in the writings of the Fathers and taken up by the Second Vatican Council. The Council Fathers spoke of Ecclesia Mater to explain the Church’s nature. She begets sons and daughters and “takes them in and embraces them with her love and in her heart” (Lumen Gentium, 14).
The Church without frontiers, Mother to all, spreads throughout the world a culture of acceptance and solidarity, in which no one is seen as useless, out of place or disposable. When living out this motherhood effectively, the Christian community nourishes, guides and indicates the way, accompanying all with patience, and drawing close to them through prayer and works of mercy.
Today this takes on a particular significance. In fact, in an age of such vast movements of migration, large numbers of people are leaving their homelands, with a suitcase full of fears and desires, to undertake a hopeful and dangerous trip in search of more humane living conditions. Often, however, such migration gives rise to suspicion and hostility, even in ecclesial communities, prior to any knowledge of the migrants’ lives or their stories of persecution and destitution. In such cases, suspicion and prejudice conflict with the biblical commandment of welcoming with respect and solidarity the stranger in need.
On the other hand, we sense in our conscience the call to touch human misery, and to put into practice the commandment of love that Jesus left us when he identified himself with the stranger, with the one who suffers, with all the innocent victims of violence and exploitation. Because of the weakness of our nature, however, “we are tempted to be that kind of Christian who keeps the Lord’s wounds at arm’s length” (Evangelii Gaudium, 270).
The courage born of faith, hope and love enables us to reduce the distances that separate us from human misery. Jesus Christ is always waiting to be recognized in migrants and refugees, in displaced persons and in exiles, and through them he calls us to share our resources, and occasionally to give up something of our acquired riches. Pope Paul VI spoke of this when he said that “the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others” (Octogesima Adveniens, 23).
The multicultural character of society today, for that matter, encourages the Church to take on new commitments of solidarity, communion and evangelization. Migration movements, in fact, call us to deepen and strengthen the values needed to guarantee peaceful coexistence between persons and cultures. Achieving mere tolerance that respects diversity and ways of sharing between different backgrounds and cultures is not sufficient. This is precisely where the Church contributes to overcoming frontiers and encouraging the “moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization … towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world” (Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2014).
Migration movements, however, are on such a scale that only a systematic and active cooperation between States and international organizations can be capable of regulating and managing such movements effectively. For migration affects everyone, not only because of the extent of the phenomenon, but also because of “the social, economic, political, cultural and religious problems it raises, and the dramatic challenges it poses to nations and the international community” (Caritas in Veritate, 62).
At the international level, frequent debates take place regarding the appropriateness, methods and required norms to deal with the phenomenon of migration. There are agencies and organizations on the international, national and local level which work strenuously to serve those seeking a better life through migration. Notwithstanding their generous and laudable efforts, a more decisive and constructive action is required, one which relies on a universal network of cooperation, based on safeguarding the dignity and centrality of every human person. This will lead to greater effectiveness in the fight against the shameful and criminal trafficking of human beings, the violation of fundamental rights, and all forms of violence, oppression and enslavement. Working together, however, requires reciprocity, joint-action, openness and trust, in the knowledge that “no country can singlehandedly face the difficulties associated with this phenomenon, which is now so widespread that it affects every continent in the twofold movement of immigration and emigration” (Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2014).
It is necessary to respond to the globalization of migration with the globalization of charity and cooperation, in such a way as to make the conditions of migrants more humane. At the same time, greater efforts are needed to guarantee the easing of conditions, often brought about by war or famine, which compel whole peoples to leave their native countries.
Solidarity with migrants and refugees must be accompanied by the courage and creativity necessary to develop, on a world-wide level, a more just and equitable financial and economic order, as well as an increasing commitment to peace, the indispensable condition for all authentic progress.
Dear migrants and refugees! You have a special place in the heart of the Church, and you help her to enlarge her heart and to manifest her motherhood towards the entire human family. Do not lose your faith and hope! Let us think of the Holy Family during the flight in Egypt: Just as the maternal heart of the Blessed Virgin and the kind heart of Saint Joseph kept alive the confidence that God would never abandon them, so in you may the same hope in the Lord never be wanting. I entrust you to their protection and I cordially impart to all of you my Apostolic Blessing.
PASIG - Charismatic movements spiritual director Fr. Emmanuel Hipolito endorsed activities the officers and members of the El Shaddai DWXI-Prayer Partners Foundation International, Inc. to pursue their neighborhood evangelization program in the parishes of the Diocese of Pasig.
The evangelization program aims to bring the Gospel to the faithful, especially the unchurched and gather them into a prayer group and eventually lead them back to the parishes, quasi-parishes, and/or chaplaincies. It also aims to to reach out to the youth to make them experience that they are part of the Church and to let them experience the presence of God through prayer, worship , and intercession, Finally, movement hopes to teach the faithful the Charismatic way of fellowship.
Activities include identification of target areas, formation of the working groups in-charge with evnagelization, coordination with the parish priest, pastoral councils, and barangays, and scheduling of visits to identified households.
Fr. Hipolito appeals for the spiritual and pastoral support of the parish priests in the implementation of this program. (report by Fr. Joselito Jopson)
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FOR THE 23rd WORLD DAY OF THE SICK 2015
Sapientia Cordis“I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame” (Job 29:15)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
On this, the twenty-third World Day of the Sick, begun by Saint John Paul II, I turn to all of you who are burdened by illness and are united in various ways to the flesh of the suffering Christ, as well as to you, professionals and volunteers in the field of health care.
This year’s theme invites us to reflect on a phrase from the Book of Job: “I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame” (Job29:15). I would like to consider this phrase from the perspective of “sapientia cordis” – the wisdom of the heart.
1. This “wisdom” is no theoretical, abstract knowledge, the product of reasoning. Rather, it is, as Saint James describes it in his Letter, “pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity” (3:17). It is a way of seeing things infused by the Holy Spirit in the minds and the hearts of those who are sensitive to the sufferings of their brothers and sisters and who can see in them the image of God. So let us take up the prayer of the Psalmist: “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps 90:12). This “sapientia cordis”, which is a gift of God, is a compendium of the fruits of the World Day of the Sick.
2. Wisdom of the heart means serving our brothers and sisters. Job’s words: “I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame”, point to the service which this just man, who enjoyed a certain authority and a position of importance amongst the elders of his city, offered to those in need. His moral grandeur found expression in the help he gave to the poor who sought his help and in his care for orphans and widows (Job 29:12-13).
Today too, how many Christians show, not by their words but by lives rooted in a genuine faith, that they are “eyes to the blind” and “feet to the lame”! They are close to the sick in need of constant care and help in washing, dressing and eating. This service, especially when it is protracted, can become tiring and burdensome. It is relatively easy to help someone for a few days but it is difficult to look after a person for months or even years, in some cases when he or she is no longer capable of expressing gratitude. And yet, what a great path of sanctification this is! In those difficult moments we can rely in a special way on the closeness of the Lord, and we become a special means of support for the Church’s mission.
3. Wisdom of the heart means being with our brothers and sisters. Time spent with the sick is holy time. It is a way of praising God who conforms us to the image of his Son, who “came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:28). Jesus himself said: “I am among you as one who serves” (Lk 22:27).
With lively faith let us ask the Holy Spirit to grant us the grace to appreciate the value of our often unspoken willingness to spend time with these sisters and brothers who, thanks to our closeness and affection, feel more loved and comforted. How great a lie, on the other hand, lurks behind certain phrases which so insist on the importance of “quality of life” that they make people think that lives affected by grave illness are not worth living!
4. Wisdom of the heart means going forth from ourselves towards our brothers and sisters. Occasionally our world forgets the special value of time spent at the bedside of the sick, since we are in such a rush; caught up as we are in a frenzy of doing, of producing, we forget about giving ourselves freely, taking care of others, being responsible for others. Behind this attitude there is often a lukewarm faith which has forgotten the Lord’s words: “You did it unto me’ (Mt 25:40).
For this reason, I would like once again to stress “the absolute priority of ‘going forth from ourselves toward our brothers and sisters’ as one of the two great commandments which ground every moral norm and as the clearest sign for discerning spiritual growth in response to God’s completely free gift” (Evangelii Gaudium, 179). The missionary nature of the Church is the wellspring of an “effective charity and a compassion which understands, assists and promotes” (ibid).
5. Wisdom of the heart means showing solidarity with our brothers and sisters while not judging them. Charity takes time. Time to care for the sick and time to visit them. Time to be at their side like Job’s friends: “And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great” (Job 2:13). Yet Job’s friends harboured a judgement against him: they thought that Job’s misfortune was a punishment from God for his sins. True charity is a sharing which does not judge, which does not demand the conversion of others; it is free of that false humility which, deep down, seeks praise and is self-satisfied about whatever good it does.
Job’s experience of suffering finds its genuine response only in the cross of Jesus, the supreme act of God’s solidarity with us, completely free and abounding in mercy. This response of love to the drama of human pain, especially innocent suffering, remains for ever impressed on the body of the risen Christ; his glorious wounds are a scandal for faith but also the proof of faith (cf.Homily for the Canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II, 27 April 2014).
Even when illness, loneliness and inability make it hard for us to reach out to others, the experience of suffering can become a privileged means of transmitting grace and a source for gaining and growing in sapientia cordis. We come to understand how Job, at the end of his experience, could say to God: “I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you” (42:5). People immersed in the mystery of suffering and pain, when they accept these in faith, can themselves become living witnesses of a faith capable of embracing suffering, even without being able to understand its full meaning.
6. I entrust this World Day of the Sick to the maternal protection of Mary, who conceived and gave birth to Wisdom incarnate: Jesus Christ, our Lord.
O Mary, Seat of Wisdom, intercede as our Mother for all the sick and for those who care for them! Grant that, through our service of our suffering neighbours, and through the experience of suffering itself, we may receive and cultivate true wisdom of heart!
With this prayer for all of you, I impart my Apostolic Blessing.
Most Rev. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, DD, MA, SThdphoto by:
Most Rev. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, D.D. MA, SThD
photo by Lou
Echano Dominguiano, Sto. Nino de Taguig Parish
Today, we celebrate the funeral mass for
Kristel Mae which is also a mass of thanksgiving for her. One wonders how two contrasting emotional
moods of grieving and gratitude are possible in today’s Eucharistic
In a funeral mass, the emotion of deep
sorrow is experienced because after days of being with the dead body of Kristel
during the wake services in her home, we finally lay to rest her dead body when
she is buried after this mass. How can Jun
and Judy, her parents, thank the Lord for the death of their only beloved
daughter? For all of us gathered here,
she has been a good daughter, relative and friend. How can we express a positive disposition of
thanksgiving when we know that we will no longer see Kristel’s physical body
once the coffin is laid to rest in her grave?
We still feel overwhelming sorrow and pain for the loss of Kristel,
someone dear to us.
Remember what Pope Francis said in
Tacloban and also in the University of Santo Tomas (U.S.T.). He said that during a time of tragedy, all we
can do is weep and be silent. He told us
that we cannot say anything and that it is normal to just cry. For Jun and Judy and for all of us, it is
okay to cry and be silent; it is okay to grieve and to mourn.
However, the Eucharist means
thanksgiving. Every mass evokes from
within us to express gratitude. It is an
opportunity to be grateful to the Lord for all the blessings we have received
in life. In this sense, the Lord invites
Jun and Judy, and all of us, amidst this seemingly negative experience of
death, to thank the Lord. So what do we thank the Lord for?
First, we thank the Lord for his
compassionate and loving presence, during this unexpected, tragic death of
Kristel. Pope Francis told us that, as
we cry silently, we just have to set our gaze on the crucified Lord who
understands everything and assures us that he is with us during these trying
times (cf. Homily, Mass in Tacloban Leyte, January 17, 2015). As Catholics, we are grateful to God because,
during this negative experience of loss and death, we can hold on to our faith
to carry us through.
Secondly, we thank the Lord for the gift
of Kristel. After her death, we
discovered her goodness and holiness. We
learned how Kristel became a volunteer of the Catholic Relief Services to help
the Yolanda typhoon-stricken victims of Samar.
We also found out that instead of buying a cake for her birthday, she
would use the money to buy notebooks and ballpens given to children who cannot
afford them for their school use.
Indeed, the words from our first reading affirm Kristel’s fate that the
souls of the righteous are in the hand of God (cf. Wisdom 3:1). Even our second reading from St. Paul’s
letter to the Romans describes how Kristel lived her life—that she lived and
died not for herself but for God and others (cf. Romans 14:7). And our gospel tells us how Kristel, in more
ways than one, was judged to merit God’s
kingdom because she fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, clothed the
naked, welcomed strangers, visited the sick and those in prison (cf. Matthew
Finally, we thank the Lord for receiving
Kristel in heaven. We are consoled today because we know that Kristel is with
the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, with Mary and all the saints in God’s
eternal kingdom. We look forward to the
time when, one day, when God calls us, we will be with Kristel in what we all
hope for—eternal life.
Pope Francis shared with us and, even in
his papal flight back to Rome, that Kristel’s did not die in vain, that “she
died in service” (January 19, 2015).
Thus she was truly a “model of service” in her youth. We pray that there may be many more
“Kristels” who will follow and live a life of service for God and the Church.
is the English translation of the homily delivered by Most Rev. Mylo Hubert C.
Vergara, DD, Bishop of Pasig during the funeral mass of Kristel Mae Padasas,
the youth volunteer who accidentally died when scaffoldings hit her due to
strong winds and rains brought about by typhoon “Amang” at the time when Pope
Francis celebrated mass in Tacloban on January 17, 2015.Most Rev. Guiseppe Pinto, DD, Apostolic
Nuncio to the Philippines, was the main presider of the mass that was held on
January 27, 2015 in Sto. Niňo Parish Church, Signal Village, Taguig City which
belongs to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Diocese of Pasig,