H.E. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
Archbishop of Manila
Walk for Life
Homily Feb 16, 2019
We thank God for bringing us together on this beautiful day. Let us give the Lord praise and thanksgiving, for life-giving creation and we thank God for this opportunity again to be one community proclaiming to the world that life is God’s gift and that we should treasure it and as a community we also receive the mission we accept the mission to celebrate life, to nurture it, to defend it, to promote it.
At nakakatuwa po napansin ko po ngayong taong ito parang maraming kabataan, kasi ‘Year of the Youth’. To the Youth, I hope your participation today is not just because the year is dedicated to you. Let this be part of your growing-up years and memory. Sana maipasa niyo ito sa inyong mga anak at mga apo na taon-taon hintayin itong Walk for Life, kasi mga kabataan, darating din ang panahon na tatanda tayo at hayaan natin na ipamana sa susunod na henerasyon itong pagpapahalaga sa buhay. I’m sure you have heard many beautiful testimonies and challenges. I would just like to propose additional thoughts based on the readings of today and the memorial of our Blessed Mother.
When we talk of life, our instinct is to look at the origin, of course God the giver of life. Life is a gift, to be appreciated. It is not a commodity to be manipulated. It is a gift from the tender love of God. Just like the compassion of Jesus in the Gospel. Jesus says, my heart is moved with compassion for the crowd that is the heart of God. That is the heart that is the fitting of origin of life. Life as a gift of love and compassion and that mystery of God’s movement His tender love and compassion takes on flesh, living flesh in the womb of a mother.
The womb, ang sinapupunan ng Ina, dyan nararanasan ng nagsisimulang tao at buhay ang pag-ibig at pagkalinga kaya bahagi ng ating Walk for Life, standing for Life, celebrating life ay ang pagtanggap sa dangal ng babae.
There cannot be any walk for life that doesn’t at the same time affirm the dignity, humanity of every woman chosen by God to be the human expression of Gods tender compassion and love, the love that gives life. Sinapupunan ng ina. Sino po dito ang mga ina, dakila po kayo! Sino ang mga spiritual mothers? Dakila rin kayo!
But let me move to another point, the womb where life is nurtured is not just the mother’s womb after the birth of a child we enter other wombs where life continues to be nurtured, marami pang ibang sinapupunan na sana ay mag-aalaga ng buhay with compassion and tenderness ano yung mga yun? Ano yung mga sinapupunan na nagtataguyod ng buhay? Malinaw ang pamilya ay isang sinapupunan din ang ating mga neighborhoods ang ating paaralan, ang ating parokya.
Maybe we could start thinking of those communities, BEC’s also as wombs that are supposed to spaces places of compassion, tenderness and love and in the family most especially we don’t only transmit physical biological life in the Bible it is in the family that the life of faith is also nurtured and transmitted ang pananampalataya ay bahagi sa buhay. Ang pagkilala sa Diyos pagtalima sa Diyos yan ay buhay din na sana sa sinapupunan ng pamilya lahat tayo lalo na ang kabataan ay napalalago.
Paanyaya sa lahat ng pamilya lahat tayo lalo na ang kabataan ay napalalago lalo na ang pamilya at ang katulad ng pamilya, paaralan, parokya barangay, BEC neighborhood maging sinapupunan kung saan lalago ang buhay at lalo na na ang buhay pananampalataya. Sa pamilya sa sinapupunan ng pamilya sana lumago ang buhay na tinatawag natin pagtalima sa Diyos, kabuting asal pagiging marangal. Kita natin in the first reading, how if in the nuclear family, the relationship with God is abandoned and instead of obedience to God rebellion towards God sets in life is curtailed, death enters. Noong si Adan at Eba ay sumalansang na sa kalooban ng Diyos, pumasok na ang kamatayan na tinatawag nating kasalanan.
So life as recognition of God, recognizing our limits we are not Gods. Part of being creatures is the recognition we have limits and to pretend that no one and nothing could set limits on us is the entry of death. Matuto na tayo sa nangyari kay Adan at Eba. Ayun na nagsisihan na. Dati sabi na Adan, salamat may kasama na ako. Nung pumasok na ang kasalanan at kamatayan sinisi na niya ang Diyos, bakit mo ako binigyan pa ng kasamang ito? Dati regalo ngayon naging salot tapos sinsisi na rin ng babae yung creation, ‘yung ahas kumalat na ang kamatayan.
So today let our families and other communities that play the role of families to commit themselves to be the nurturing spaces of life and especially the life faith, life of decency, life of values. Kasama yan sa pinangangalagaan, dinidiligan at ipinapasa na buhay.
Mga magulang, we are happy, natutuwa tayo, na in our parishes we have Catechists and we are grateful to the catechists they are very good missionaries but please parents do not pass on the catechists your role, as teachers of faith and as promoters of faith in your family. Kasi kung minsan ang tendency, ‘eh meron namang katekista dun sa parokya eh, sila na bahalang magturo ng katekismo hindi ko na yan problema, kaya nga may katekis eh sila na magturo’. Aba ikaw ang Tatay eh ikaw ang Nanay. Nontransferable ang ID na yan.
Minsan yan ang isang di maganda kapag may ‘professionalized services’ na tayo, pinapasa na lang natin sa halip na kunin natin ang mison. Yung mga parents ko po they celebrated theur 61st wedding anniversary, last year binati ko sila and then sabi naman ng nanay ko, kami din nagpapasalamat sa Diyos na inabot namin ang edad na to tapos may anak kami, maaayos naman, yung isang anak namin naging pari naging Obispo pa and then she said, ‘Hoy wag mo kakalimutan ah, ako ang nagturo sa’yo magdasal ako ang nagturo sayo ng katesismo hindi ang parish priest ako ang nagturo sa’yo.’Opo Nanay, kasi totoo yun ang totoo. Ilang nanay ang makapagsasabi na mata sa mata sa anak ako ang nagturo sayo ng pananampalataya, ng kabutihang asal, ng paggalang sa kapwa, na disiplinahin nag sarili mo, ako. Bahagi ‘yan sa buhay na aking ipinapasa sa iyo.
So sabi, natin the womb of tenderness and love that God uses the womb of the Mother and then the other wombs like the family, school and etcetera. And the third womb is the wider society ang ating lipunan ay sana maging isang sinapupunan na nagbibigay buhay at hindi nag-aakasaya ng buhay. But we have to do our share in making society such a tender compassionate womb where life will flourish where the promise of Jesus life in abundance could really happen.
In the Gospel we find Jesus moved with compassion for the crowds who have nothing to eat and so feeding, sharing comes from a heart that is tender. A heart that empathizes and we hope that our society will have a heart that beats with empathy. A society that is a womb that is alert to the hungers, the thirst, the misery of peoples and not just from the external observance of some rules and obligations but from the heart, really moved with compassion.
And then look at how Jesus transformed that place of hunger of tiredness into the womb of life. Ang isang lugar ng kagutuman ng kapaguran, ginawa ni Hesus na sinapupunan ng buhay. Simple lang naman ang ginawa niya ilan ba ang tinapay ang meron kayo how many loaves do you have, seven. The apostles the disciples were very calculating, you have four thousand people, seven loaves, if you calculate how can you feed four thousand with seven loaves?
But the tenderness of heart doesn’t calculate. Ang puso na umiibig ay hindi nagkakalkula. Ano ang ginagawa ng pusong umiibig? Pito ang tinapay niyo halikayo ibigay niyo, and seven loaves of bread passed through the hands of Jesus sa kamay muna ni Hesus and the blessed hands of Jesus lifted the seven loaves to God in thanksgiving saying ‘Lord let this meager loaves be your gift to the hungry and then as act of sharing the loaves were broken and given to the disciples to distribute at sumobra pa. Seven baskets, leftover. Nagsimula sa pitong tinapay sumobra sa seven baskets at ang kumain apat na libo pati yung kaunting isda.
Alam niyo, ang lipunan ay sinapupuna. The society is the womb pero malaking bagay, ang kamay! San ba dumadaan ang tinapay, kaninong kamay kahit kaunti ang tinapay pag dumaan sa mapagpalang kamay sosobra! Pero baliktarin natin , sabihin natin seven thousand loaves at four persons lang kapag ang kamay ay mapagkamkam yang seven thousand loaves ay kulang sa apat na tao! Kaya ang kamay ang nakapapatay. Kahit walang baril kapag mapagkamkam, patay!
And it is a disservice not only to the society but to creation. Creation that generously, that takes care of us is not able to do its mission because of the hands. Hands that do not thank God, that do not break bread, that do not distribute. Sana ang ating lipunan maging sinapupunan na nagbibigay buhay dahil ang mga kamay ay mapagbigay, hindi mapagkamkam. Darating ulit ang eleksyon, sana ang Walk for Life ay maging walk to have in our society a womb where the people, the community, the leaders would all share..sharing hands. Wala ng kamay na mapagkamkam, wala ng kamay na basta na ako’y busog ay wala na akong pakialam kung kayo ay gutom hindi ganun ang sinapupunan ng isang Ina. But we have to participate, sana po kayong lahat pagkatapos nito, start walking so that our society will be a real womb of tenderness, of love and sharing the way Jesus wants our society to be and creation will not get tired, creation will not be depleted, creation will not be rate. In fact, creation will be able to do its mission to support life itself. Because ang mga kamay ng tao ay mapagbigay, mapagkalinga.
The mother’s womb the womb of the family, the womb of society. Sana po katulad ng Mahal na Ina, the model of the church, ang ating simbahan, ang ating sambayanang Kristiyano may really be also a womb of tenderness and love where life is celebrated, life is shared and life becomes a gift not only of God to us but our gift to society and to humanity.
Let us pause, and thank God for life and for the mission to nurture it, promote it, defend it and share it.
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