Cardinal Homily

Homily of Manila Abp. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation at Quezon Memorial Circle

Homily
Manila Abp. Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle
World Day of Prayer for Care of Creation
September 1, 2019
Quezon Memorial Circle

My dear sisters and brothers in Christ, maganda at mabuting umaga po sa inyong lahat. I noticed that our commentator did not say, “Please be seated,” she’s very realistic. Alam n’ya na hindi naman makakaupo lahat.

We are thankful to God for this gathering, we thank God for the inspiration given to Pope Francis to not only write and issue Laudato Si, the encyclical on the caring for our common home, but also to institute this Day Of Prayer For The Care Of Creation, and we are also launching today the beginning of the Season Of Creation.

It is a time to really thank God, to bask in the giftedness of life, and we are holding this during the Year of the Youth. Kaya salamat sa mga kabataan na nandito, nakakatuwa parang mas marami ang bata kaysa matatanda! (laughter)

Ilang bahagi ng sharing on the Season of Creation, the Day on the Prayer for the Care of Creation and our Readings, siguro simple lang po.

Una, based on our readings, the spirit of humility. What is the connection between humility and our stewardship of creation? A lot! A lot! When we look at the distraction of human lives, and of our common home of creation, one of the root causes of such destruction is pride.

Pride! The readings do not give us a definition of humility, ang hirap po ng definition, but we have descriptions, and Jesus even told a parable. But first, in the book of Sirach, the first reading, very wise, di ba we appreciate those who give us gifts lalo na tayong mga Pilipino kapag nakakatanggap ng regalo, tumatanaw tayo ng utang na loob.

But, sabi dito ng book of Sirach mas minamahal, ang taong mababa ang loob. Kung mahal mo yung nagbibigay sa’yo mas minamahal mo yung kahit walang naibibigay sa iyo pero ang pakikitungo sa iyo ay may kababaang loob. Totoo yan. Kasi kahit na yung nagbibigay sa iyo ng pagkalaki-laki, pero pagkayabang-yabang naman, pagtalikod n’yan, yabang naman n’yan!”

Pero yung marunong makitungo, kahit na ang naibbigay sa’yo ay ngiti, simpleng ngiti lang, tumitimo sa puso mo. Yun ang mapagpakumbaba, yun ang mababa ang loob. Sabi pa d’yan, sabi pa ni Sirach, ang humility ay katotohanan, truthfulness, you know yourself, you know your capacities, you know your limitations, and accepting your capacities and also your limitations leads to a humble and truthful assessment of our self.

Yung isa pa, ang sabi n’ya, mas dakila ka, dapat mas mababa ka. A mark of true greatness is humility. Which is quite the reverse of what Jesus saw in the gospel. He noticed that some people where, parang nag-aagawan doon sa seat of honor. Ano yun? Saan nanggagaling yun? Nanggagaling yun sa pagtingin sa sarili na pagpunta mo sa party, inisip mo agad, “Ako ang guest of honor.” Kahit walang nagsasabing ikaw. Guni-guni mo na yun, “Ako ang guest of honor, at dahil ako ang guest of honor, para sa akin yung seat of honor.”

Sinong nagsabi nun? Wala naman sa imbitasyon “You are the guest of honor,” wala namang nagsabi sa iyo, sinong nagsabi nyan? Yung yabang mo! Yung guni-guni mo, hindi yan totoo. Nabubuhay ka sa isang kabulaanan at dahil doon, kumilos ka, umupo ka nga doon sa seat of honor, at dumating ang katotohanan, pinatayo ka, “Hoy hindi ho yan ang para sa iyo, dito ka.”

Yun ang nakamamatay, yun ang kamandag ng pride. Kumikilos siya ng halos hindi mo namamalayan, pinakikilos ka. All presumption of your greatness which might not be true. Maghintay ka na iangat ka ng iba, huwag mong iangat ang sarili mo, kasi baka ibaba ka nila. Kung nasa baba ka hintayin mong i-angat ka ng Diyos.

Now, this presumption, this lie that leads to pride is contrary to the attitude of a steward. A steward is forever humble, you are not the presumed owner na guni-guni mo lang. We are not the owners of the earth, we are stewards. The creator is the rightful owner. And when prode sets in, “I own this! I own that!” Even human beings are treated as commodities, for sale.

This big business, that is happening right now called human trafficking. Even body parts of human beings, because of their poverty are being treated as commodities for sale, in an international web of pride, contrary to the humble web of life, of gift, of gratitude, of humble respect for the work of God.

Kaya po ang Season of Creation is also a season of truth. Who are we? We are not owners, we are caretakers and we should do with the gift of creation, what the true source wants it to be. And the creator wants creation to be a big, big web of gift, mutual giving. For God is love, God does not need creation, but it is not need, it is love, sharing. That is the rule of life that is the rule of the universe.

But pride. Look at the first temptation. You know God has forbidden you from eating of the fruit of this tree, because God knows if you eat of this tree you will be like God. Yan ang tukso, lahat gustong magdiyus-diyosan. At nung kinain na nakita yung katotohanan, “hindi ka Diyos! Tao ka.” At pumasok ang pagkasira sa ating mundo dahil doon sa kayabangan, gustong maging Diyos at ayaw nang maging creature and a steward of creation.

Kaya po sa araw na ito, tamang tama yung pagbasa hindi maisusulong ang creation ng mga taong ilusyunado at ilusyunada, na sila ay nagmamay-ari hindi po, tagapag-alaga tayo. So yun ang isang image yung humility, for us to maintain our role as steward of created things and of our brothers and sisters.

Yung ikalawa pong image the readings is very beautiful, ordinary but beautiful. So ordinary but sometimes, forgotten, anu yon? meals. Saan nakita ni Hesus itong yabangan? Sa meals. At meron S’ya namang ibinigay na ibang larawan ng pagsasalu-salo, meals. Alam n’yo kung minsan, nalulungkot ako kasi hindi ko alam kung sanay pa lalo na ang mga kabataan sa tunay na meals.

Kasi po ang meal ay salu-salo. The basic unit of a meal is a common table. Sa mundo natin ngayon ang nagiging basic unit is my plate. Kapag nakakuha ako ng pagkain, yung mga buffet na yan, kuha ka ng pagkain so yung plato mo yan na yung basic unit of eating and you can eat anywhere bitbitin mo ang iyong plato. Kaya may kumakain sa harap ng TV, sa harapan ng computer, may kumakain, ewan ko ba kung saan. Kanya-kanya ang tawag, meal.

Hoy hindi meal yan! Meron pa ngang offer, offer na murang meal, pero kung nag-iisa ka hindi meal yan! Ang meal ay yung nagsasalu-salo kayo, the fruits of the earth and the work of human hands. At kapag sabay-sabay kayo natututo ka to care, natututo ka to be sensitive, dahil alam mo may lima pang kasama ka ang kukunin mo yung sapat lang sa iyo dahil meron pang limang kukuha.

Pero kapag ang tinitingnan mo lang sarili mong plate, kuha ka ng kuha, ang daming naaaksaya pero tingnan n’yo kapag tunay na meal sharing laging may lumalabis at nagkakahiyaan pa.

“O isa nalang sa iyo na yan! Sa iyo na yan.” Ganyan ang meal, walang nagugutom, lahat sensitive, at may labis pa. Ganyan di ba yung nangyari sa multiplication of the loaves, may lumabis pa for another meal di ba? Ngayon ang daming waste, kuha ako ng kuha, takaw mata! Wala ka nang iniisip na ibang tao, wala kang iniisip sa sinasabi ni Hesus, the blind, the crippled, the poor who have nothing, and will never be invited to the houses of the self-righteous.

Sana bumalik yung meals, for in one way the whole of creation is a meal, everyone, every aspect sustaining the life of the other. And the kingdom of God in the teaching of Jesus is often compared to a meal, but if there are no more experiences of a meal how will you understand the kingdom of God as sharing, as continuing the Earth, the movement of the earth of giving us gifts, sustaining us into life and human hands.

Pinagsasaluhan, so the expression web of life is experience in a unique way during meals. So tama na po yung kainan na individualistic, pati sa kainan, individualism has crept in. Plato ko. Biro mo minsan mag-asawa nag-aagawan ng plato, “akin yan!” “Gusto ko yang pakpak, akin yan! lola yun o lolo, inaagaw sa apo. Kung meals, you follow the movement of gift. Gift upon gift, the moment it is horded or kept, for an individualistic interest, the gift stops becoming a gift and creation is disrupted.

We thank God, let us marvel at creation, let us marvel at the love that makes the world really alive, and let us be sorry, for the pride, the individualist that disrupt the movement of love and the flow of giftedness in our common home.