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FORGIVE US AND HEAL OUR LAND

FORGIVE US AND HEAL OUR LAND

Homily given by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas during the Mass  at EDSA Shrine celebrating the “Heal our Land Sunday”, November 5, 2017

EDSA Shrine

Sa bawat pag-aalay ng Misa ay paulit-ulit nating naririnig ang mga salita ng Panginoon na binibigkas ng pari “Ito ang aking dugo na ibubuhos para sa inyo”. Sa pagbubuhos ng kanyang dugo, itinuturo ng Panginoon ang tunay na kapangyarihan. Ang tuktok ng pag-ibig ay ang pag-aalay ng buhay para sa minamahal.

Leadership is for service. Service is dying that others may live.

Kapag bumuhos ang dugo ng Panginoon, bumubuhos ang pagpapala at biyaya. Ito lamang ang pagbubuhos dugo na may bungang biyaya. Kapag ibinuhos ng tao ang dugo ng kanyang kapwa, wala itong dulot na biyaya kundi sumpa at parusa. Nang unang dumanak ang dugo ng kapatid dahil sa pagpatay ng sariling kadugo, sabi ng Panginoon Ang tinig ng dugo ng iyong kapatid ay dumadaing sa akin mula sa lupa” (Gen.4:10).

Ang pakiusap na itigil na ang patayan ay panaghoy ng mahigit sampung libong kababayan nating nabaril dahil nanlaban daw o kaya ay binaril ng di makilala. Ito ay hinagpis ng mga ulilang magulang at anak, mga maagang naulilila sa asawa. Ito ay pakiusap mula sa mga matang luhaan at kaloobang sugatan. Tama na po. May test pa ako bukas.

Kapag hindi natin itinigil ang patayan, may sumpang parusa ang bayang pumapatay sa sariling kababayan. Sabi ng Birhen sa Fatima, “Tigilan na ninyo ang pagsuway sa Panginoon sapagkat labis labis na siyang sinasaktan ng mga kasalanan ng tao”.

Ano ang panawagan? Ano ang dapat gawin? Magbalik loob upang maghilom. Repent so healing can begin. Stopping the killing is only one big step. The journey of healing for the values of our nation turned upside down will be a long journey still.

Bayan ng Diyos, bumalik na tayo sa Panginoon. Naligaw na tayo ng landas at pinili natin ang kadiliman kaysa liwanag. Bakit tayo pumapalakpak sa patayan? Pinili natin ang karahasan kaysa kapayapaan. Pinili natin ang magsinungaling kaysa katotohanan. Pinili natin ang pagtawanan ang malaswa sa halip na iwasto. Pinili nating manahimik kaysa makisangkot. Sa maling akalang ito na ang huling baraha, nasubukan na natin lahat ng uri ng pamumuno…kumapit na tayo sa patalim. Ang dating bayan ng mga bayani ay naging bayang walang pakiramdam at walang pakialam. Magsisi ang manhid.

Hindi ito ang Pilipinas. Hindi ganito ang Pilipino! Ang inaawit natin ay “ang  mamatay ng dahil sa ‘yo”….hindi “ang pumatay ng dahil sa ‘yo….”

Let us return to the Lord, seek His pardon and promise to reform our lives NOW!

Peace to you brother bishops and priests, let us be the first to repent and turn away from sin. For falling for the lure of comfort and the attraction of convenience, for giving in to the temptation to be powerful and popular rather than be humble and faithful, for our tendency to judge rather than seek unity,  for keeping quiet when we should speak and blabbering when what is needed is silence, God forgive us leaders of your Church. Have mercy on us.

Healing for you all civil servants and honorable officials in government in the majority coalition or in the minority opposition, let politics serve the poor. God forgive those of you who use the poor. When party loyalty prevails over love of country we need to repent. Let civility and courtesy prevail over curses and lies. Let the institutions of democracy be revered and safeguarded; let dialogue prevail over the many reasons for division. When mediocrity in social services becomes normal, the poor suffer first. Honorable servants in government in the administration or in the opposition, what will it profit you to gain the world, insure your wife or husband or daughter or son win in the next elections… but lose your soul? Walang gobyernong forever. Walang politikong forever. God lang ang forever. Turn to the Lord and turn away from destructive politics. Peace to you all! We respect you and we call you Honorable. Be worthy of it.

Peace to you in the armed forces and the police. Stop the violence and uphold the law. Seek justice not revenge. Choose to be respected rather than feared. If you have stumbled and waltzed with graft, rise up men and women in uniform. Demand ethical leadership from your officers. Choose integrity not the quick fix.  Remember that power belongs to the people not to the weapon holder. Serve your countrymen not the politicians. Edify us through your self-discipline. Return to the Lord and obey God rather than evil men.

Paghihilom sa inyo mga ulila sa EJK na nasa gilid gilid ng lipunan. Kung totoong drug users kayo, tama na at magbago. May pag-asa pa! Kung naulila kayo dahil napagkamalan, dahil nanlaban daw, dahil wala na raw kuwentang tao ang drug user, huwag kayong padala sa simbuyo ng paghihiganti. May awa ang Diyos. Magbagong buhay na tayo kasama ako. Bumalik tayo sa Panginoon. Naghihintay ang Diyos. Ang simbahan ay handang umalalay sa inyo. Do not be afraid to ask pardon. Tell us what help you need.

Peace to you the murdered brethren and victims of extra judicial killings. May the Lord give you peace in His kingdom, that peace that the world failed to give you! May your blood speak to us, disturb us and move us to act to resist violence.  No more killings! Pray for our healing. EJK poor souls killed by even morally bankrupt poorer souls, patawarin ninyo kami. Rest in God now.

Peace to you beloved Philippines. Mahal naming bayan. Patawad po sa aming baluktot na pag-iisip, sa kamay na amoy pulbura at pag-iisip na kasinlamig ng baril. Patawad po sa pagpapahalaga muna sa sarili sa halip na sa bayan. Patawad po sa pangungusinti sa pandarambong basta may balato kami. Nakakahiya po. Sorry po Inang Bayan.

We need to repent as a nation. Hamon ni Kian, Tama na po may test pa ako bukas.

Bayan, tama na! May test pa tayo sa Diyos baka mamaya, baka bukas sino ang nakatitiyak kung kailan. Haharap tayo sa Panginoon. Hindi atin ang panahon. Magbago na habang may panahon. Repent now. Time is not ours. Start the healing by repenting now. We cannot heal as a nation by blaming others. We have only ourselves to blame first. Let the healing begin here… in each one here.

Lord forgive us and heal our broken land.

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

To be Angels of Compassion

Law enforcers have come forward confidentially to us, their spiritual leaders, to seek sanctuary, succor and protection. They have expressed their desire to come out in the open about their participation in extrajudicial killings and summary executions. Their consciences are troubling them.

We will look prudently into the sincerity of their motives and the veracity of their stories. Within the bounds of Church and civil laws, we express our willingness to grant them accommodation, shelter and protection (including their families if necessary). The hospitality, comfort and acceptance that they seek from the Church will be attended to. Whatever we do to the least of our brethren we do to Christ. (cfr. Mt. 25:40)

If such law-enforcers wish to testify, then the Catholic Church will see to it that they are in no way induced to speak, to disclose nor to make allegations by any member of the clergy or the hierarchy. Statements, especially in the form of affidavits and depositions, must be made with the assistance of competent independent counsel. If their preference is to stay with us in the Church, they will not be turned over to the State under its own witness-protection program.

My brothers priests in Lingayen Dagupan are requested, in the name of the Lord, to open their hearts and their rectories, the convents of religious communities and seminaries as well as other secure buildings and to be responsible for the security of the gallant men and women in uniform who may have something important to tell the nation or to testify on before the proper forum.

But our priests are admonished to refrain from discussing with “asylum-seekers” the contents of their testimonies and depositions. It is furthermore recommended that volunteer lawyers, preferably those who belong to alternative law groups, assist the witness and also readily affirm that no member of the clergy instructed, directed, and couched the testimonies they give.

But when they so decide or opt to identify themselves and to testify, every means must be provided for a fair, accurate and unconstrained or unrestrained testimony that may be used in evidence.

We are likewise putting our Ministry of Mercy at the service of these law enforcers who need the hospitality of the Church. In the areas of pastoral counselling and values formation, the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan will be the loving teacher and mother of our law enforcers. Let us be guardian angels for one another.

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, October 2, 2017, Memorial of the Guardian Angels

+ SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

LORD HEAL OUR LAND (2 Chronicles 7:14)

CBCP Pastoral Letter

Our brothers and sisters in Christ:

Kian, Carl, Reynaldo…they were young boys, enjoying life, loving sons of parents who doted on them.  Now an entire nation knows them by name because their lives have been snuffed out so cruelly, their dreams and aspirations forever consigned to the sad realm of “what could have been but never will be”.

They cannot be statistics, for to reduce them to numbers in an increasing tally is to heap yet more injustice than has already been visited on them.  They are only three of so many, awfully many, who have paid the price of what is touted to be the country’s resolute drive against criminality!

We mourn.  The nation must beat its breast in a collective admission of guilt for in our silence and in our inaction, in our diffidence and in our hesitation lie our complicity in their deaths!

We are appalled by the remorselessness by which even the young are executed.  The relentless and bloody campaign against drugs that shows no sign of abating impels us your bishops to declare:

In the name of God, stop the killings! May the justice of God come upon those responsible for the killings!

For the good of the country, stop the killings! The toll of “murders under investigation” must stop now.

For the sake of the children and the poor, stop their systematic murders and spreading reign of terror! In memory of those killed, let us start the healing of our bleeding nation.

The healing must begin. Malasakit must be restored. Pakikiramay must be active. Pakikipag kapwa tao must be gained back.  The rule of law must prevail.

Because we Christians are heralds of a Gospel of Life there is no way that one can be a faithful Christian, let alone a fervent Catholic, and yet stay safely quiet in the face of these shocking attacks against human life.  The very Gospel that the Church was founded to teach is a Gospel of Life. The Church must either be at the forefront of the intense and fervent struggle against a culture of death or the Church betrays Christ.

Saint John Paul II taught years many years ago:

Brother kills brother. Like the first fratricide, every murder is a violation of the “spiritual” kinship uniting mankind in one great family, in which all share the same fundamental good: equal personal dignity.…

Cain’s killing of his brother at the very dawn of history is thus a sad witness of how evil spreads with amazing speed: man’s revolt against God in the earthly paradise is followed by the deadly combat of man against man. (EV, 8)

When we label members of our society because of the offenses they commit – or that we impute rightly or wrongly against them – as “unsalvageable”, “irremediable”, “hopelessly perverse” or “irreparably damaged”, then it becomes all the easier for us to consent to their elimination if not to participate outright in their murder. We stand firmly against drugs and the death drugs have caused, but killing is not the solution of the problem.

The mercy of the Good Shepherd who leaves the ninety-nine in search of the lost sheep is the only reason why we are still here—awa ng Diyos.  The “mandate” to kill the lost sheep is poison for humanity.  The wounded need healing, not more blows, and the fallen need our hands to be able to rise again, not our feet to trample on them.

We your bishops call for pakikiramay, pakikipagkapwa-tao and malasakit in action; the action to which we bid you all is utterly Christian.  It is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal – the action of prayer.

1.    We invite you to offer prayers particularly for those killed in the government’s campaign against drugs, as well as for all victims of violence and the war in Marawi, in our country for a FORTY DAY period, starting SEPTEMBER 23 and ending on NOVEMBER 1.  Please offer the rosary daily for the killed and receive Holy Communion as an offering for their souls. May the souls of the killed find rest. Prayer heals us. Prayer helps their souls.

2.   Subject to the approval of the diocesan bishops, we appeal for the pealing of church bells at 8:00 pm during the same forty day period in remembrance of the souls of those killed. The ancient pious tradition of De Profundis is worth restoring. Let the bells call us to pray for the dead.

3.   One beautiful Filipino custom observed in prayerful remembrance of the dead is the tirik ng kandila sa patay.  So we urge our Filipino Catholics, during this same 40 day period, to light candles in front of their homes, in cemeteries, in public places, and particularly, at spots where the victims of the on-going violence have been felled and have lost their lives, while praying for them and for their families. Candle lighting can soothe grieving hearts.

4.   Finally, we beg you to contribute to the support and the schooling of the orphaned children of the victims of these murders, or of their siblings, or the support and sustenance of their families. Almsgiving covers many sins. Almsgiving heals.

We intend to offend none but the evil in our midst.  We are angry at none but the indifference amongst us. We fight the darkness not with spark of bullets but with the light of Christ. We beg for prayers and we ask for a change of heart in all of us.

Let us turn once more to God, for they who put their trust in bullets and weapons will be confounded.  But upon the nation that turns to God and prays, God promises the healing of the land and the calming of the storms that rage in our hearts.

Let the healing begin.

For the Permanent Council of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Intramuros, Manila, September 12, 201

 

+ SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

President, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines

 

 

 

ANG KAMPANA NG KONSENSIYA!

Panawagan sa Bayan ng Diyos sa Archdiocese ng Lingayen Dagupan

Ang gulo ng bayan!

Parami nang parami ang mga ulila sa magulang, sa asawa at sa anak.  Pakiusap na “Huwag po!”naririnig sa mga eskinita at tambakan.  Patayan sa magdamag. Panaghoy at hikbi sa madaling araw galing sa mga ulila. Ang multo ng mga pinatay ay humihingi ng awa. Ang isip ng mga buhay ay puno ng lungkot at takot “Baka ako na ang isusunod? Sino ang nakatitiyak.”

Ang gulo ng bayan!

Ang opisyal na pumatay ay may parangal. Ang pinatay ay sinisisi.  Hindi na  makapagpaliwanag ang mga bangkay sa bintang sa kanila “Nanlaban kasi”. Hindi na nila masabi “Nagmakaawa po ako hindi ako lumaban!” Sino ang magtatanggol sa kanila?

Kung may tatlumpu at dalawang patay daw araw-araw ay gaganda ang ating buhay…at ang mga kababayan ay tumatango sa pagsang-ayon. Pumapalakpak ang kababayan at sumisigaw nang may ngiti “Dapat lang!” habang binibilang ang bangkay sa dilim, habang bumabaybay sa kaliwa’t kanang lamay sa patay.

Pagpatay daw ang lunas sa lahat ng kasamaan. Pagpatay daw ang dapat para sa taong sinira ng droga. Ang bayang ayaw daw sa droga ay dapat na pumayag na patayin ang pusher. Kapag nanindigan para sa dukhang na tokhang, tiyak na maliligo ka sa mura at banta. Marami naman ang nagpapatakot!

Ito na ba ang bagong tama?

Bakit kakarampot na lamang ang kababayang naaawa sa mga ulila? Hindi na ba tayo marunong umiyak? Bakit hindi na tayo nasisindak sa tunog ng baril at agos ng dugo sa bangketa? Bakit walang nagagalit laban sa drogang ipinasok galing Tsina? Bakit ang mga mahihirap na lang lagi ang binabaril at kapag mayamang “malakas sa itaas” ay kailangan muna ng imbestigasyon at affidavit?

Ang gulo ng bayan! May maling nangyayari sa bayan!

May dapat iwasto sa bayan! May dapat pagsisihan ang bayan! Humingi tayo ng tawad sa Diyos.

Sabi ng Banal na Kasulatan “Kung ang aking bayan na tinatawag sa pamamagitan ng aking pangalan ay magpakumbaba at dumalangin, at hanapin ang aking mukha, at talikuran ang kanilang masamang mga lakad; akin ngang didinggin sa langit, at ipatatawad ko ang kanilang kasalanan, at pagagalingin ko ang kanilang lupain.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)

May pagkukulang tayo sa Diyos kaya may gulo at dugo. May dapat tayong gawing tama upang manumbalik ang paghahari ng Diyos sa ating bayan. Hindi likas sa atin ang matuwa sa patayan.

Nang dahil dito…

Simula ikadalampu at dalawa ng Agosto (Agosto 22) Pista ni Mariang Reyna ng Sanlibutan, ang lahat ng KAMPANA sa LAHAT NG SIMBAHAN SA LINGAYEN DAGUPAN ay IBABAGTING SIMULA ALAS OTSO NG GABI SA LOOB NG BUONG KINSE MINUTOS NANG TULOY TULOY. Gagawin natin ito hanggang ikadalawampu at pito ng Nobyembre (Nobyembre 27) pista ng Birhen Medalya Milagrosa.

Ang pagkampana tuwing alas otso sa loob ng kinse minutos ay alay na panalangin para sa mga pinatay. Matanggap nawa nila ang kapayapaang hindi nila naranasan noong sila ay nabubuhay pa.

Ang tunog ng kampana ay tinig ng Diyos na sana ay gumising sa konsensiyang manhid at bulag. Huwag kang papatay! Kasalanan yan! Labag sa batas yan! Yan ang sabi ng kampana!

Ang bagting ng kampana ay tawag ng pag gising sa bayang hindi na marunong makiramay sa ulila, nakalimutan ng makiramay at duwag na magalit sa kasamaan. Ang tunog ng kampana ay tawag na ihinto ang pagsang ayon sa patayan!

Ibalik natin ang pagiging tao. Ibalik natin ang dangal Pilipino. Ikampana ang dangal ng buhay! Ikampana ang karapatan ng mga pinapatay na mahihirap!

Mula Katedral ng San Juan Evangelista, Dagupan City, Agosto 20, 2017

 

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS

Arsobispo ng Lingayen Dagupan

 

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