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Posts Tagged ‘Homilies.’

SIGNS OF CHRIST THE HEAD: Meditation for Priests on Holy Thursday 2013

Chrism Mass at Saint John the Evangelist Cathedral, March 28, 2013

Our Chrism Mass this year is celebrated under the glow of the newly elected Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis. Many people from within the Church and outside the Church refer to the Pope as head of one billion two hundred million Catholics all over the world. Head of the Church!

But wait. Let us review our catechism for a moment. The Pope is not really the head of the Church. Christ is the head of the Church. The Church is the body of Christ. The Pope is the visible symbol of Christ on earth; he is the symbol of Christ the head of the Church. For the universal Church, the Pope presides in charity in persona Christi, in the person of Christ. When the Pope speaks to us, it is Christ the head who speaks. When he blesses, it is Christ the head who blesses. When he serves, it is the service of Christ the head that he continues to do.

Like the Pope, you my brother priests share in the ministry of Christ the head of the Church. In the Chrism Mass of 2007, Pope Benedict XVI reminded us priests that when we preside at the sacraments and offer the Mass, we act in the person of Christ. Through the years, we priests have invoked those words “in persona Christi” to refer to our priestly actions, priestly witnessing and priestly preaching—speaking and acting in persona Christi capitis, in the person of Christ the head of the Church.

What kind of head does the Church need? What kind of priests who act in the person of Christ the head must we be? Are we really signs of Christ the head for his body the Church? What kind of a head are we, my brother priests?

Some heads have thick hair; some heads have no hair. Some heads have grey hair; some heads have hair as black as midnight. Bald or hairy, grey or black, all heads need a body. A head that has no body is dead. A body that has no head is dead. In other words, the first duty of a good head is to remember that it is only part of a body; that cut off from the body, the head loses life. The head cannot go right while the body goes the other way. Where the body goes, so goes the head!

A leader is someone who is strong and can command a following but this strength as a leader is best shown by listening to Jul 12, 2014 -  those under our care. The ears have been put on both sides of our head. The eyes have been put in front of our heads. The eyes and ears are on the same level on our head. The duty of the head is to watch with love and care. The duty of the head is to listen with respect and obedience. The lips have been put below all these because talking is the least of all our duties. Go and teach. Use words if necessary. The most important role of headship is watching with care and listening with love. That is the headship of Christ.

When the eye is impatient, love is lacking. When the ear wants to speak rather than listen, love has been lost. Can we still watch by with patience and joy without complaining about time lost and wasted? Have we become so used to talking and being listened to that we cannot sit down anymore without chatting? Can we still listen to litanies of worries without interrupting and without getting annoyed? The head may still be connected to the body through the neck, but if we have lost the capacity to watch lovingly and listen tenderly, to keep quiet respectfully, to stop senseless murmurings trying to sound funny, and to resist useless chatter, we have in fact beheaded the body.

How are we as heads of schools and shepherds of parishes?

Can the head be without the heart? Should logic always prevail over emotions? Can intellectual understanding be enough without fervour? The head needs the heart and the heart needs the head. Intelligence needs to feel and feelings need logic.

Chinese wisdom says “The mind resides in the heart”. At the sunset of life, we will be judged according to love, not according to intelligence. Brilliant minds can be admirable but only love can save peoples from sin. It is only with heart that we can see rightly. Love is blind indeed. See the sinner in the confessional not with the mind of canon law but with the mercy of the heart of Jesus. See the beggar at the church door not with the eyes of first impression but with love and first intuition. Listen to your heart my brother priests.

If we keep on repeating too often that we are signs of Christ the head we can grow in self importance and exaggerate our ego. A regular pilgrimage into our hearts through prayer and frequent confession can shrink our ego to normal size and remind us that we are only signs of the real head; that we are not the head ourselves.

My brother priests, can we still think with our hearts? Can we still be tender like the Good Shepherd? Are we afraid to receive compassion because it reveals us as vulnerable priests? Are we afraid to admit our thorns in the flesh because it will shatter our myth that we are super heroes? We are only earthen vessels. We cannot let Christ glow unless we let our glamour go.

How are we as signs of Christ the head? What kind of head should we be?

On the day of our ordination, the bishop laid his hands over us. Our heads were put under the hands of another man. Although those hands were lifted only after a few seconds, the laying of hands over our heads continues to this day. In other words, the good priest must always remember that his head is under the hands of the Church, under the hands of the Lord. The head must learn how to kneel. The head must know how to bow. The head must learn humility. Humility is the only crown that the head must wear. Humility is the crown of all virtues. When the bishop wears a miter, he does not wear it as a crown to extend the head and make him taller. He wears the miter as cover over his head. It cuts the head to a smaller size. The miter is the roof of God’s power. We are all under it. We are not bosses. We are servants.

The head is on top of the body; but on top of our heads, the hands of the Church will always be there. The head must submit to a power higher than it. We are disciples not Masters. We are stewards of the mysteries of God, not owners.

The Church has been hurt a lot by our arrogance and conceit. We would be better signs of Christ the head with greater humility, deeper piety and lifestyles of simplicity.

My brother priests, tonight when we remember the institution of the Eucharist, let us thank God for trusting us to be signs of his headship in the Church. In a minute when you renew your priestly promises, promise also to be humble signs of Christ the head—always one with the body, always one with the heart, always under the power of the Lord. The sign cannot be the head itself. We must decrease so that Christ the head may increase.

Let us bow our heads and enter the heart of the Lord.


Dagupan, the Galilee of our Vocation

Homily delivered by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas during the Second Metropolitan Clergy Congress held in Dagupan City last February 4, 2013

The Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan celebrates her golden jubilee on February 16, 2013.  Can you imagine how it was fifty years ago?  Before the creation of the new dioceses, priests from the most western part of Pangasinan had to go to Dagupan; priests from the easternmost part of Nueva Ecija came to Dagupan; priests from the northernmost part of Tarlac came to Dagupan. Fifty years later, this journey to Dagupan is now an opportunity for us to thank the Lord for the gift of our being priests, the gift of our being Church.  The journey to Dagupan today for our Second Metropolitan Clergy Congress is not only a ride through memory lane. It is not just a return for nostalgia. Returning to Dagupan is returning to our roots.  Returning to Dagupan is returning to our priesthood. Returning to Dagupan is embracing again the call of new evangelization. Dagupan is the Galilee of our priesthood.

What does returning to Dagupan mean for us?

The journey to Dagupan should be a return to MERCY.  The sacrament of the new evangelization is the sacrament of penance.  The Servant of God, Fulton J. Sheen, said that the work of a disciple may be summarized in two words: “Come” and “Go”. But later on, Fulton Sheen himself added—before the Lord told them, “Come, follow me”, He first proclaimed to them, “Turn away from sin, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”   In other words, there is a prelude to an invitation by the Lord to come and follow him. It is the invitation to penance. It is penance, first and foremost, of those who will be entrusted with the power to absolve sins. It is a return to the mercy of God.  I repeat what I have often stated in La Union and in Pangasinan:  the mark of a healthy spiritual life of a priest is the frequency of confession. There is no healthy spiritual life for a priest, if he is not comfortable with confession. Comfortable with confession does not mean making the confessional comfortable and air conditioned for us.  Our first duty in the confessional is not to sit but to kneel.  Our first duty as priests in relation to the confessional is not to sit in absolution but to kneel down in penance. Fifty years ago, the priests came to Dagupan, called by Archbishop Madriaga, for mercy, for compassion. The priests went to Dagupan because they needed to return to mercy. Returning to Dagupan is not only a return to mercy.

Returning to Dagupan is also returning to MINISTRY.

Priests come to the city to get from their archbishop the faculties for confession. People come to the city in order to get dispensations from the chancery.  Returning to Dagupan is returning to ministry.  We, priests, have been entrusted with the power to change the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. But my dear brother priests, please, please, please, remember this: there can be no authentic renewal in the church if our focus is always on the power of the priest to change the bread and wine. Renewal can only begin in the Church when the priest recognizes the power of the Eucharist to change the baptized, to change every priest, to change everyone. Let us teach one another not the power of the priest but the power of the Lord to change us! Every Mass should change us.  In every Mass the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ.  But in every Mass does the priest change more and more to become like Jesus?  Every baptism that we do should change us. Every confession, every absolution that we give should change us.  Every anointing of the sick should change us.  If we can change simple babies to become children of God, why do we allow grace to pass through us without changing us? The Church of the new evangelization cannot afford to continue to talk about the power of the priests.  The church of the new evangelization speaks about the power of the Eucharist to change the cosmos; the power of Eucharist to change the baptized; the power of Eucharist to change the minister. Earlier Msgr. Vengco quoted Cardinal Tagle saying that the signs of the times demand that we become really a humbler church.  Let us not wait for those times to humiliate us.  Before we get humiliated let us start humbling ourselves, because when the era of humiliating priests becomes the fashion in the Philippines, it would be too late to be humble. It would be too late to be humble, because then we would have inflicted the humiliation on ourselves. Humbling ourselves is a duty that comes with ordination. If we forget holiness, the Lord will teach it to us the harder way. Others will humiliate us. It will no longer be inspiring. It will just be a punishment we deserve for our clerical arrogance.

Returning to Dagupan is not only a return to mercy; it is not just a return to ministry and faculties. Returning to Dagupan is also, lastly, a return to MYSTERY. From western Pangasinan to eastern Nueva Ecija, to northern Tarlac, the priests come to Dagupan for Chrism Mass with a deep sense of mystery.  We passed the entrance exams in the seminary with our intelligence quotient (IQ) checked. Through the years psychology has evolved and recommended—even required—that the emotional quotient (EQ) be checked too. But for us priests, high IQ and high EQ are still insufficient because we still need a third quotient.  We need to possess the wonder quotient—the capacity to be awed; the capacity to enter into mystery and not get bored; the openness to a sense of mystery and not laugh about it; the openness to be awed; to be in childlike wonder; and not to be apologetic that we are mysterious priests because that is what we really are. Brother priests when you lose the sense of mystery in the attempt to be just like the rest, you steal from the people an opportunity to encounter God. If I have to kneel before you, I plead with you on bended knees: Do not give up your sense of mystery. What is sacred must be sacred; what is mundane remains mundane.  What is God’s must always belong to God; and you, my dear brother priests, you belong to Him! You do not belong to money; you don’t belong to women; you don’t belong to pleasure.  You belong to God in a deep, deep sense of mystery.

We have come together to return to Dagupan our Galilee.  I pray that these short hours that we will be together will give you an opportunity to return to mercy.  Over lunch, it is not too late to ask a brother priest aside, and tell him your sins and return to the mercy of God. Let the return to Dagupan be a return to ministry, a return to a humbler church.  Let’s not wait for the humiliation. Let us start the humility ourselves. Let the return to Dagupan be a return to mystery, that sense of awe, that sense of wonder, that sense of the sacred. Preserve it and safeguard it at all times.  We heard it said when we were seminarians that we are in the world, but we do not belong to this world.  We need to be reminded of that.  We were told when we were seminarians that to fall in love with a woman is bad; but we were also told that to fall in love with money is worse.   We have come to return to Dagupan.  We have come to our city of mercy, humility and mystery.

Let this be a pilgrimage of mercy; a pilgrimage of ministry, a pilgrimage into mystery. Let us bow down our heads and in the silence our hearts, thank the Lord that we are priests of His mercy, of His mystery, for His ministry.


Mary and Human Liberation

Homily delivered by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas at the Mass on the occasion of the Second Asia Oceania Mariological Conference held at the San Sebastian Metropolitan Cathedral last September 9, 2011.

My dear sons and daughters of the handmaid of the Lord:

We have come together around the table of the Lord to thank Him for the gift of Mary for the Church. Human words and human deeds are so inadequate to express our gratitude for such a sweet gift to humanity like Mary. We ask Jesus to bring to the Father our praise and thanksgiving. Today, on the first working day of our mariological conference, let us put ourselves inside the heart of Jesus and allow Jesus to speak for us to the Father. Almighty God, we adore you and we praise you for blessing Mary among all women and creating her full of grace. Through Mary, we received Jesus your Son whose birth has made all things new for us here on earth.

What does Mary teach us about the Eucharist? What does the Eucharist teach us about the Mother of Christ? buy Nexium from a secure online pharmacy. offers a convenient way to treat Acid Reflux Heartburn (GERD) with Nexium . Is Mary here with us now? Was Mary at the Upper Room when Jesus instituted this sacrament? Was Mary at the Last Supper?

To the last question “Was Mary at the Upper Room at the Last Supper?” our first reply must be “The gospels are quiet about it.” The gospels do not say she was not there; neither do the gospels declare her presence. Blessed John Paul II answered the question for us by saying “Although the gospels are silent about the presence of Mary at the first Eucharist, in my heart I know that Mary was at the Last Supper.”

Let us reflect on the words of Jesus “This is my Body…This is my Blood!” Where did Jesus get that body but from the body of Mary! Where did Jesus get that blood but from the blood of Mary! He was born from the Virgin! The Virgin whose body has never buy or order a paper been known by man; the Virgin whose every drop of life blood has been dedicated to God, allowed her body to become the tabernacle of God for nine months. Indeed, the Body of Christ is the body of Mary. The Blood of Christ is the blood of Mary. Was Mary at the first Eucharist? I answer with another question “How can Mary not be there?” She must be there because the Eucharist is the reason why the Son of God wanted to become man—so that He can give us His body and Blood for the forgiveness of our sins.

The Eucharist is the love of Jesus for us at its highest and deepest. Jesus is able to show us this depth and height of His love because He has a Body like us human beings, that Body he received from the body of His Virgin Mother. Do you understand how much Jesus loves you? Brethren, you will never completely understand how much God loves you in the Eucharist because if you would understand, you would die. Your mind is too small and your heart is too little to fully understand how much Jesus loves you through the Eucharist.

Do you understand what power is given to us by God in the Eucharist? The Eucharist has power to change the cosmos. The Eucharist has power to change society. The Eucharist has power to change all of us. We have within our hands and in our hearts the singular secret for the transformation of society—the Eucharist. If our devotion to Mary will have any impact for social engagement and cosmic transformation, that power cannot come from this woman but from her Son. How are we to use the power of the Body of Christ for total human development and human liberation?

The Eucharist and our Lady teach us that the most powerful person is the most generous person. There is power in giving. This world is weak because it seeks its power in grabbing. This society is a slave of its own obsession to get more, to gain more, to accumulate more. If the Church is to be an instrument of true social change, it must heroically teach society that there is no greater love than to die for your beloved and the one who stoops down to give humble service is the greatest of all. People who do not give do not get richer; they die early. They die even if they are still alive because they have lost the meaning of living which is giving. God started the cycle of giving by sending us His only Son. Mary joined the bandwagon of giving by giving her yes, her body, her soul, herself to the plan of God. We can change the world and set our society free from all its enslavements by proclaiming the value and beauty and power of selfless giving. There can be no true liberation without giving. There can only be true development if we give like Jesus and Mary.

To the secularism and materialism that is almost omnipresent like God, the Eucharist and our Lady offer a deep sense of mystery. When we lose the sense of mystery, we lose our sense of wonder and awe. We are no longer captivated by visions and dreams and we live like a people with nothing to look forward to. The dollar is almighty and the bullet solves all problems. The self is number one and what cannot be seen does not exist. When we forget the joy of kneeling down caught in awe and captivated by the sacred, we also lose the joy of living. This world has enslaved itself to materialism and pragmatism. Society needs to be set free from its enchainment to a Godless ideologies.

Lastly, the Eucharist and the Virgin Mary can bring the world and our society a sense of freedom by proclaiming the gospel of presence. The onset of the internet and computer generation has also opened a new chapter in human history called virtual presence. Our loved ones are absent to us. We have become comfortable with distances and separation. Absence does not hurt anymore. Children do not play games with one another anymore. The computer is their playmate. The teacher is a robot. Everything is available from the clicking a button. This age of absence has also made us more impatient and stressed. The Eucharist is presence. It is a presence of love. It is presence in patience. It is a presence in trust and faith. Nearness and presence is a message of love. Although travel and communication has become so much easier, people have become more isolated and loneliness has spread more. The world needs to be liberated from the loneliness and depression. It needs to hear the gospel of presence. Presence and love go together always.

If the Church is to be an instrument of social change, liberation and real development, it must offer a new world for the modern man. A world liberated from commercialism and materialism and loneliness can only come about by embracing the gospel of giving, the gospel of mystery and the gospel of presence.

Later as you receive the Lord’s Body in Holy Communion, speak to Him No prescription sleeping pills — About Prescription and Over the Counter Sleeping Pills – Insomnia. dysfunction, . PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 2.5, 5 , 10 and 20 mg. Cialis 40mg on line. 5 mg Buy discount Viagra, Cialis , Levitra online . No from your heart. As He gives Himself to you, may you learn the art of giving so you may love like Him. As He comes to you in mystery, may your faith in Him even more grow. As he stays with you and shows you His loving presence, may you bring that same to all so that His love may be present to all.

Dear Mary, thank you for giving Jesus your body so He can give His body to me.


The Greatness of Manaoag

Homily delivered by Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas during the Mass held on July 22, 2011 on the occasion of the declaration of the Shrine of Manaoag as an affiliate of the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major.

Something is memorable about today. On this same day, the feast of Saint Mary Magdalene in 1587, the first Dominican friars arrived in the Philippines to start their mission to bring Christ to this part of the world. The first four Dominicans went right away to Bataan while six other Dominicans went straight to Pangasinan. Bataan and Pangasinan, blessed provinces indeed to have first heard the Good News from eloquent Dominican preaching! Other religious orders came to Pangasinan ahead of the Dominicans but abandoned buy Nexium Thailand: Medications related to Cheap Nexium Tablets Online In The bigger the package, the more favorable the price (saving calculation?). the mission too soon. Against all odds, the Dominicans came, lived among us and have continued to live on. We gratefully stand on the shoulders of the great Dominicans down through the centuries.

That initial seed of faith has borne rich harvests for the Lord yielding abundant fruits of sanctity and martyrdom, heroism and statesmanship, excellence and magnanimitas. In this part of the country, the Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary in Manaoag has drawn millions of pilgrims seeking healing for body and spirit, success and victory in their undertakings, peace and serenity in the midst of life’s troubles. The poor and the rich, young and old, men and women, powerless and powerful—they are all children of the Virgin of Manaoag. No one has gone to Manaoag and left the shrine the same. All of us have been touched by the Virgin’s loving presence. All of us have been spoken to by our Mother ‘s sweet voice. All of us have experienced what it is to be gazed upon by our tender mother. All of us have become what we are because Manaoag has been a blessing for us.

Today, you have every reason to be proud children of the Virgin of Manaoag. This shrine of our Lady is the first, and until now the only, church in the Philippines to be given the title “affiliate” of one of the four papal basilicas. This shrine, among all other shrines, has been honored by the Papal Basilica of Saint Mary Major in Rome with a special bond of spiritual affinity in perpetuity! The spiritual benefits that you can gain by visiting the papal basilicas, you can also receive by visiting the Shrine of Manaoag. The only one in the Philippines right now! Manaoag, you are blessed among all the Marian shrines of this country.

What is special about this affiliation with the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore?

This basilica holds the relics of the crib where our Lord lay when He was born from the Virgin Mary. This same basilica is the oldest church dedicated to the holy Mother of God as a fruit of the Council of Ephesus in the year 431. According to Catholic pious tradition, the site of the basilica was personally chosen by the Blessed Virgin when during a summer month in Rome, snow appeared over the hill where the present basilica now stands. For some periods in church history, the popes also lived in this basilica. This is the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. People of God: please realize that Manaoag has been deemed worthy to be linked to this rich history and immeasurable value of the papal basilica of the Mother of God! Manaoag is now a part of that historic papal basilica. How can we not be proud! How can we keep quiet when the grace of God is so admirably and incredibly shown to us! Like Charlie Brown, we say, it is very difficult to be humble when you are as great as Manaoag!

But as we celebrate with pride and joy this singular honor being given to the Shrine of Manaoag, we must not forget that even before the affiliation of these two great church buildings, we have long been considered affiliates of God himself. We are his sons and daughters. No honor can equal that of being called a child of God. The church of Manaoag is beautiful and historic, it is memorable and awesome. The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is an even more magnificent piece of church art. But someday in God’s time, these churches that our eyes see will crush down and crumble. But you, you are destined for life without destruction, life everlasting, life without end. The church of Manaoag and the basilica of Santa Maria are beautiful but you are more beautiful than these churches. Men and women made these churches but you—God alone can make you. How beautiful you all are! You have been made only a little lower than the angels. You are awesome and beautiful to behold for you carry the imprint of God’s love in you. Ang gaganda nating lahat!

What does the affiliation of the Shrine of Manaoag with the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore mean for us?

The Holy Father assures all the pilgrims who come to this revered sanctuary his apostolic blessings and the spiritual graces of the Church. In Manaoag, the voice of Our Lady will always be heard “Turn away from sin and return to my Son”. In Manaoag, the voice of the priests saying over our offerings of bread and wine “This is my Body…This is my Blood” will be heard, constantly inviting the faithful to receive the Lord in Holy Communion. In Manaoag, the rosary will be prayed without relent and vigil candles will burn day and night as a tribute of love to the handmaid of the Lord. In Manaoag, the Supreme Pontiff the Pope can always count on his spiritual warriors praying that the mission of Peter may continue in the church with loving children faithfully obeying him. In Manaoag, we commit to be proud of our Catholic faith, to defend it, to preserve it, to share it, to live it.

As you can see, our affiliation with the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore speaks more of duties than privileges. This affiliation demands from Jun 27, 2014 – Buy Cialis Online Canada Pharmacy, Tadalafil Generic Cialis 20 Mg. Online Pill Store, Guaranteed Shipping. We Beat All Competitors Price. us greater fidelity to the Lord and to the Church. It calls on us for more heroic obedience. It challenges us to be more vigilant against the attacks to our faith, to be more humble and to be more repentant, to be more zealous and to be more loving. Truth to tell, the real indulgence is really when all of us live as faithful disciples of her Son. Come to Manaoag not for the blessings you can get or for the indulgences you can gain. Come to Manaoag to renew your faith, to strengthen your hope and to increase your love. This is the real fullness of grace! This is how our Lady, full of grace, wants us to be!

Our Lady of Manaoag, you know my love for you. Help me to love you even more. Virgin of Manaoag, I heard your voice calling me to follow Jesus. Help me to follow Him as you did. Loving Mother of Manaoag, I am all yours, the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan is all yours, my life, my vocation is all yours. Take me into your arms and let me stay with start with taking the essays you forever. Loving Lady, I love you. Amen.

Easter is the Victory of Love

Easter Meditation for 2011

Love is stronger than death! The greatest is love! The greatest one is the one who loves the most!

We have been meditating on his passion since the start of Holy Week but what use is meditation if it does not increase our love? We have devoutly gone through the Via Crucis but what good is prayer if we remain uncaring? We have fasted and sacrificed but what use is sacrifice if it does make us more merciful? We have kept vigil and stayed awake to await the Easter message but what use is Easter joy if we do not share it and give it away? We can only win over death if we love. Easter is the true feast of love. Only through love can we rise from death and overcome the darkness.

Love is a verb. Love calls for action. Easter must move us to action. Easter is surely a feast to celebrate but it is equally a mission to accomplish. The risen Lord sends us forth back to Other medications containing Tadalafil in other doses can be used in women and pediatric patients. Cialis is available in the four strengths of almond-shapedВ  Galilee where he preached and healed and proclaimed the kingdom of the Father—there we must prove that he has indeed risen from the dead not by wise argumentations but showing that our lives have been changed by Jesus Christ. The world outside our parish churches will not believe that Christ has risen if our lives do not show any signs of new life at all.

Many filled up our churches during Holy Week and many more fill up our churches today Easter Sunday. But among those who valiantly fasted and offered mortifications during these pious days, how many really poured love into our suffering world and made our world a little better than when we began our Lenten exercises? Is our world better than forty days ago? The victory of Easter is the victory of the Greatest Lover of all who died professional essay writers that we may have fullness of life. We who are an Easter people must pour love into our bleeding world, bind the wounds of our society and bring it back to life—through love.

If indeed we are people ready to love, we must make our Easter Sunday an occasion to bring an end to cold indifference—walang pakialam! Love cares. Love gets involved. Love reaches out. The risen Lord pricks us to get involved in politics and make it a liberating not a corrupting kind of politics. The risen Lord urges us to bring Christian ethics to economics and put charity not profit as its overriding principle. The risen Lord sends us on a mission back to Galilee to restore all things to him. Easter people: spread the values of Christ!

If love has indeed fully possessed us, then we must break out of our protective shells of our insensitivity and heartlessness—walang pakiramdam. Love takes responsibility. Love is rich in mercy. Love is kind. We cannot continue with Easter and continue to ignore the poor. It is not hard to meet the poor if we are not playing blind to their presence. We cannot claim to be an Easter people and yet not do anything about the silent moans of aborted babies. We cannot sing Alleluia and remain insensitive to rising criminality, the commercialization of sex and the unabated availability of shabu in the neighborhood. Easter people: act now!

If we are truly an Easter people and love is our rule of life, we must destroy callousness and audacity—walang hiya. Contraception is corruption of love and life. It is not a solution. It will only open more problems for the soul of our nation. Sin is abnormal. Obedience to the Ten Commandments is normal. Let us not extol impurity and ridicule virtue. Polluting the minds of children by teaching them sex without God cries to heaven for divine justice. Easter people: stand up for life!

Love is a verb not a noun. Easter is a mission not just an event. We can only share in the glory of this greatest of all days by making love reign supreme.

Goodbye indifference and apathy.

Goodbye insensitivity and heartlessness.

Goodbye callousness and audacity.

Let us live in love, for love and with love. Let us love. Easter is a feast of love and only those who love will see the glory of the Risen Christ!

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Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan

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