Homily of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle during the Send –Off Mass for Volunteers and Staff of PCNE
University of Santo Tomas
July 16. 2019
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we thank God for bringing us together on this almost rainy day so that in the Eucharist we will experience Jesus’ renewing love and presence. We are renewed by the Word of God, by the Body and Blood of Christ and the spirit formed into our community. And this is a wonderful, now a tradition before the PCNE that we, who are involved in the organization and in the actual holding of the event would first come together to worship, to pray, to give thanks to God and at the end of the Mass to go forth, to evangelize, to be missionaries. And one very concrete way of doing that mission is through this conference on the new evangelization. And our gathering, our Eucharistic gathering is made special because it happens to be the memorial of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. So, to our Lady’s protection and guidance we command ourselves and the PCNE.
Allow me to share a few points and hopefully I could relate them with the PCNE focused on the youth. The Filipino Youth walking with Jesus.
First Carmel, Mount Carmel. It’s a place but more than just being a place especially in the Old Testament. Mount Carmel is always associated with the prophet Elijah’s challenge so the false prophets of the false god on Mount Carmel. The true God manifested His face, His power. So, Carmel is more than just a place that we can locate on the map. Carmel is a place where you need the true God.
At napakahalaga yan ngayon sa tinatawag na New Evangelization. Not only now but from the beginning of creation, of human history, from Genesis. One of the dramas of human existence is, Who is the true God? Remember the temptation, the serpent. How did the serpent innovate, allure Adam and Eve to go against God. Sabi niya, “Kaya kayo pinagbabawalan kumain ng bunga ng puno na yan, kasi pag kumain kayo niyan, you will be like God”. Sino ba ang tunay na Diyos? At minsan lahat tayo ay may ambition, sana ako ang Diyos. At bawat iral, maraming nagagawang mga bagong diyus-diyosan. And part of new evanelization is to go to Carmel, to the many Carmels especially of the youth where false Gods are being presented to them by false prophets. That’s where the walk should happen. Where are the Carmels of today? And can we help the vulnerable youth to discover the true God.
So, kahit saan kayo nakatira ngayon, iisa lang ang address natin, Carmel. Yung mga nakatira sa Mayumi Street, ngayon Carmel Street. Yung mga nakatira sa Arzobispo Street, ngayon Carmel Street yan. At lalo na ang mga kabataan, pumunta kayo sa Carmel ng buhay ninyo. Magpapakita ang tunay na Diyos.
The second point is Our Lady and the wisdom of women, the wisdom of women. The beauty of Carmel was very fascinating to some religious men and they formed religious order dedicated to Our Lady of the beautiful Mount Carmel. So, the wisdom of the women, the mother in leading us to the truth and the discovery of the true God. Of course, we know our Lady. Our Lady who was deserving of God’s will. And most especially the courage to let go of her plans when the true God manifested himself to her. That freedom of heart, to harmonize herself with the will and plan of the true God. Kaya nga siya ay ang bagong Eva. Hindi siya nagdi-diyos diyosan. Hindi niya sinabi yun sa Anghel Gabriel, “E, ang gulo mo naman nakahanda na ang plano ng buhay ko, magpapakasal na kami ni San Jose, huwag mo nang guluhin, ayos na ang plano ko.”
Kapag may plano ang tunay na Diyos, lahat ng plano mo, ano na? Kasi hindi naman ikaw ang Diyos, yung tunay na Diyos. And Mary, the new Eve did not pretend to be God but recognized the true God. And the plan of God, the design of God will always be the priority compared to her plan no matter how good that plan might be.
In the first reading from the Book of Exodus, we see also women, the Levite woman who was very wise, who hid her child to protect the child and the sister of the child watching, “Ano kaya ang mangyayari?”
Then, the daughter of Pharoah moved with compassion upon seeing in the basket is a Hebrew Boy at yung ate, “Gusto mo humanap ako ng mag-aalaga jan sa bata?” Very wise! Dinala naman doon sa nanay nila. E, di ang nag-alaga yung tunay na nanay. And they were very wise talaga, itong mga women dito, talaga naman. The feminine wisdom na talagang nasasalisihan ang Pharoah that focus on saving the life, saving this child out of not only concern but real compassion. And they did not know that this child that they were saving had a place in the plan of God. In their sincerity, in their creativity, they were participating in God’s walk. God is walking. Walking with them and they participated in God’s walk.
Moses, the one that will walk ahead of the people towards liberation. But how he was nurtured by the walk of these great women. And the new Moses, Jesus Christ always accompanied by his mother. Standing there at the foot of his cross after that arduous walk that we call the Via Crucis, the Way of the Cross, the mother walked with her son. And that walk was a participation in God’s revealing action.
Kaya Malaki ang papel talaga ng mga mothers, women in evangelization in this continuing walk in order to proclaim the Good News.
At panghuli po, yung ating tema, Filipino Youth Walking with Jesus. Ilang araw ko na ho iyang pinaglalaruan sa isip ko. Sabi ko nga ano ba ang mga walk ng Filipino youth? Kasi noong nanalo sa Miss Uniiversa yung isang Filipina, sabi nanalo raw siya dahil sa kanyang walk. Ano ba yung tawag sa walk niya? (crowd answered) Ano ho? (crowd answered again) Lava walk. Wag nyo kong…yung hindi ko alam, Lava walk.
Yun ang tanong ko, ano ba ngayon ang mga walks ng kabataang Filipino? Tapos sinasabi natin, there are many walks of life. Life has different types of walking and your state of life is a way of walking. Walk of life. Your mission is also your way of walking. Naku-curious ako. Ano ang mga lakad ng batang Pilipino? Lava! Ano pa kaya? Ano pa?
Sana itong mga darating na araw mamamngha ako. Ako man lang makita ko, ganyan na sila ngayon maglakad. Yan ang lakad. And then what we are saying that the Filipino youth with their walks, walk with Christ. Pero tinatanong ko rin, ano ba naman ang mga lakad ni Kristo? E, maglakad ka ba naman sa ibabaw ng tubig. Maglakad ka sa disyerto o kaya naman matulog ka habang naglalayag. Ang pagtulog ay isang uri ng paglakad ni Hesus. Naglalakad siya, mukha siyang multo. A ghost! Ang daming lakad ni Hesus.
Sana ang mga kabataan ang maging lakad nila yung lakad din ni Jesus pero papaano ba maglakad si Hesus? Lava walk ba rin? Di ba dun sa prophet Mica sabi, “Oh man you know what God desires of you. Do justice, do goodness, and walk humbly with God”.
Sabi po nung isang teacher ko, and kahulugan daw po nung walk humbly with God ay hindi so much yung dahil ang kasama mo ay Diyos, be humble as you walk with God. Tama rin daw yun pero hindi yun ang talaganang ano. You walk humbly with God because God’s walk is humble. So, you walk with God and follow God’s walk you will walk humbly because that’s how God walks. How does Jesus walk?
Yan ang new evangelization. Rediscovering the many walks of Jesus. Discovering also Jesus’ walks in the way the young walk especially the way of the cross leading to the walk of life and light. Via Crusis, Via lucis. Ay exciting ano ho? Iba-ibang walk kaya sa unang araw pa lang demonstrate your walk. Kayong tatlong mariang nandyan, babantayan ko kayo, ano ang walk ninyo? At titignan naming kung yan ay walk ni Christ.
O tama na, baka magalit na ang Lady of Mount Carmel sa akin.
So, we thank God for this opportunity to walk the youth and really the different walks of life and rediscover Jesus’ many creative ways of walking with humankind.
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