Friday, July 30, 2010

A thought for today

Obscurity, Ordinariness, Goodness and Greatness

Blessed John XXIII, the pope who convened the Second Vatican Council wrote (in his Journal of a Soul) that one of the things that baffle him in the life of Jesus is its obscurity. For thirty years, the Son of God lived in obscurity – silent and unnoticed. This he says speaks of the humility of God who stripped himself of all grandeur and entitlements to live among us as one of us.

If I may add, obscurity of life that God opted for is a statement on the goodness of humanity. That God chose to become one of us and lived the simple life of a carpenter’s son is God’s way of telling us that man is capable of goodness. The simple person is capable of greatness. The carpenter’s son, the carpenter, the laborer’s son, the laborer, the ordinary person is capable of great things.

Many times, we fail to see this. We fail to see that we are capable of goodness, of greatness. Like the town mates of Jesus. Their rejection of Jesus from the fact that they knew his humble origins and humble life was not only a rejection of Jesus; it was a rejection of their own selves. They were in effect saying that they were not capable of goodness, of greatness. Worse, unable (or unwilling) to see this in ourselves, we deny this too of others. Like the town mates of Jesus there is a tendency for us to look down and dismiss people who shine in goodness and rise to greatness.

In the Philippines, this attitude is called crab mentality – from the behavior of crabs in a basket. There is no danger of losing any of them because no one would allow one to leave the basket. If one attempts to climb the basket and leave, the others pull him down, back into the basket.

To counter this mentality and attitude, one teacher’s attitude towards her students is noteworthy. When she enters the classroom, she looks at each student not for what they are, but for what they can become. Before her could be the next president, the next great scientist, the next pope, a saint. And so she has a lot of respect for them.

Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution of the Church in the Modern World teaches us that Christ reveals to us our truest selves. The very person of Jesus reveals to us who we are, what we are capable of, what we are destined for. But we can only become our truest selves, realize our utmost capabilities and reach our destination only if we truly and fully accept Jesus and make his teaching, his very life and person the standard and guide for our own lives. And this also entails seeing the goodness and greatness of Jesus in other people.

I invite you to pray,

Lord, make us accept the ordinariness of the life of Jesus, make the ordinariness of our lives be filled with the goodness and greatness of Jesus, and make us see not the ordinariness of other people, but the infinite capacity for goodness and greatness that you have gifted them with.

August in Nueva Segovia, Vigan

Manang Malyn at the Chancery in Vigan emailed next month's activities in the Archdiocese. The Chancery Reminders also include requests for prayers for priests on the occasion of their birth into this world, into the ministries of the Church and into eternity.






Special Collection in all Sunday Masses and the Saturday evening Masses is to be made for the on-going formation of the clergy.

ARCHBISHOP’S SCHEDULE: 8:30 AM: Pastoral Visit, St. Lucy Parish, Narvacan, I. Sur

Birthday: Rev. Garret Alfonso U. Ulanimo (1977)

NECROLOGY: 1935, Bp. Peter Joseph Hurth, CSC

2 - Monday: 18th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN or m of St. Eusebius of Vercelli, Bishop, WHITE, or m. of St. Peter Julian Eymard, Priest. WHITE, or m of BVM on Sat., WHITE.

Birthday: Rev. Alfredo J. Ancheta (1945)

NECROLOGY: 1887, Fr. Mariano Cuertero y Sierra, ORSA
1764, Bp.-elect Bernardo Ustariz, OP

3 - Tuesday: 18th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN.

NECROLOGY: 1917, Fr. Antonio Benayges

4 - Wednesday: St. John Baptiste Marie Vianney, Priest. WHITE.
Birthday: Rev. Amador C. Cabaluna (1951)

NECROLOGY: 1916, Fr. Jose Brunol, SJ

5 - Thursday:18th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m of the Dedication of St. Mary Major in Rome. WHITE.

6 - Friday: Feast of Transfiguration of the Lord. WHITE.

7 - Saturday: 18th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m of St. Sixtus, pope and companions, martyrs, RED or m of St. Cajetan, priest, WHITE or m of BVM on Sat., WHITE.


NECROLOGY: 1982, Fr. Proceso Pasion


PATRONAL FEAST: 8:30 AM: Misa Concelebrada
St. Dominic of Guzman Parish, Sto. Domingo, I. Sur
Birthday: Rev. Danilo S. Martinez (1969)

NECROLOGY: 1828, Fr. Juan Baptista Cacal

9 - Monday: 19th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), Virgin and Martyr, RED.

NECROLOGY: 1916, Fr. Pablo Sharge, SJ

10 - Tuesday: St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr. RED.

Regular Schedule of Vicarial Meetings

NECROLOGY: 1986, Fr. Juan Apolinar

11 - Wednesday: St. Clare of Assisi, Virgin. WHITE.

FEAST OF ST. CLARE: 3:30 PM: Misa Concelebrada
Sisters of St. Clare, Sabang, Cabugao, I. Sur

12 - Thursday: 19th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m of St. Frances de Chantal, religious, WHITE.

13 - Friday: 19th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m of St. Pontian, pope and martyr, and St. Hippolytus, martyr and priest, RED.
Birthday: Rev. Vicente B. Avila (1949)

14 - Saturday:St. Maximillian Kolbe, priest and martyr. RED.

ARCHBISHOP’S SCHEDULE: 9 AM: Confirmation, St. Andrew the Apostle Parish, Suyo, I. Sur

NECROLOGY: 1719, Fr. Manuel Guillectiqui
1872, Bp. Juan Jose Aragones, OSA
1875, Fr. Agapito Lazo


PATRONAL FEAST: 9 AM: Misa Concelebrada
Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur

16 - Monday: San Roque, Healer. WHITE.

FEAST OF SAN ROQUE: 8:30 AM: Misa Concelebrada
St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, Santa, Ilocos Sur


Birthday: Msgr. Roque C. Reyes (1951)
Rev. Arthur A. Amian (1964)

17 - Tuesday: 20th Week, Ordinary Time. GREEN.

ARCHBISHOP’S SCHEDULE: To Tuguegarao City for Northern Luzon Bishop’s Meeting

18 - Wednesday: 20th Week, Ordinary Time. GREEN.

ARCHBISHOP’S SCHEDULE: Northern Luzon Bishop’s Meeting, Tuguegarao City

Birthday: Rev. Jack R. Cabatu (1967)

19 - Thursday: 20th Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN, or m of St. John Eudes, priest, White or m of St. Ezechiel Moreno, priest, White.

20 - Friday: St. Bernard, abbot and doctor. WHITE.

Birthday: Rev. Bernardo R. Gonzales (1978)

21 - Saturday: St. Pius X, pope. WHITE.

ARCHBISHOP’S SCHEDULE: 9 AM: Confirmation, St. Catherine of Alexandria Parish, Santa, I. Sur


ARCHBISHOP’S SCHEDULE: 8AM, Pastoral Visit, St. Joseph Parish, Nagbukel, Ilocos Sur

23 - Monday: St. Rose of Lima, Virgin, Secondary Patroness of the Philippines. WHITE.

NECROLOGY: 1827, Fr. Vicente Vallejos

24 - Tuesday:St. Bartholomew, Apostle. RED.

Birthday: Rev. Ronilo G. Villa (1966)

25 - Wednesday: 21st Week, Ordinary Time, GREEN or m of St. Louis, king, WHITE, or m of St. Joseph Calasanz, priest, WHITE.

26 - Thursday: 21st Week, Ordinary Time. GREEN.

27 - Friday: St. Monica, married woman. WHITE

28 - Saturday: St. Augustine, bishop and doctor. WHITE.

PATRONAL FEAST: 8 AM: Misa Concelebrada
Conversion of St. Augustine Parish, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur

NECROLOGY: 1791, Fr. Andres Arias
1944, Msgr. Bonifacio Brillantes


Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, Burgos, I. Sur

30 - Monday: 22nd Week, Ordinary Time. GREEN.

NECROLOGY: 1857, Fr. Emiterio Arce y Cruz

31 - Tuesday: 22nd Week, Ordinary Time. GREEN.

NECROLOGY: 1879, Fr. Pastor Gregorio Velasquez
1961, Fr. Juan F. Bello

5 - Pastoral Visit, Sta. Maria
- La Naval Mass, Bantay
10 - Sinait Fiesta
14 - Vicarial Meeting
20 - 21 - Priests’ Assembly
29 - San Emilio Fiesta

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Scarce, Scarred, But Never Scared

Click for the Readings: (14th Sunday of Ordinary Time)

“The harvest is great and the laborers are few.” There is a lack of priests, religious, missionaries to serve the whole Church. In my home parish, there are about 50,000 parishioners and there are two priests to serve them. The parish is subdivided into more than a hundred Basic Ecclesial Communities, each they ideally visit, celebrate mass with, and give formation sessions at least once a month. The scarcity of priests is a constant refrain.

But I suggest, Jesus did not only mean the 12 when he spoke of the scarcity of workers; he was sending the 72. He meant the whole of the Church. As he sent the 72, he also sends the whole Church. And in the whole of the world, the harvest is “great”, and the whole Church is but “few”. And could get fewer. There is as most of us could have learned a shifting tide in religion. The Christian population is diminishing where it used to be the foundation and the majority.

As the Lord sent the 72, he also sends all of us, into the world. He sends all of us to take on a more active witness of the Faith. He sends all of us to proclaim him to world – in our words and deeds, in what we preoccupy our thoughts with, what we say, what we do, and how we relate with other people. What is the message we are to proclaim? As Jesus instructed the disciples, it is a message of “peace”. To the world, we are to become ambassadors of peace. What is this peace? It is the peace that we have found in Christ, the peace of the Kingdom of God, the joy, fulfillment, completeness that is found in doing the will of God, no matter how difficult, no matter how challenging.

Active witness is bound to be challenging. To witness to the love and forgiveness of Christ amidst hostility and injury. To witness to the truth in the midst of lies. To witness to sacrifice in the midst of a pleasure seeking culture. To witness to simplicity in the midst of consumerism. To witness to humility in the midst of competition. To witness to purity in the midst of worldly temptation. Witnessing to Jesus, proclaiming the peace of Jesus entails confronting a world where contradicting values dominate. And we are sure to face opposition, we are sure to face difficulty. Jesus himself said to the 72, “I am sending you as sheep among wolves.” That is why the laborers are not only SCARCE. They are also SCARRED. As St. Paul says, the mark of a true witness of Christ is willingness to suffer for, with and in Christ.

Although SCARCE, and SCARRED, few and wounded, the 72, are not SCARED. When Jesus sent the 72, he told them to bring no money, no sack/bag, no sandals. They were only to bring themselves and Christ. Their very life was their witness, and Christ was their source of security. We are not scared to give witness because we have Christ. We can say no to hatred because we have Christ. We can say no to sin because we have Christ. Teens can say no to drugs and peer pressure because you have Christ. Married people can say yes to fidelity because you have Christ. Unmarried people can say yes to purity because you have Christ. We can say yes to honesty, integrity, service, because we have Christ. We can say yes to life because we have Christ. We can be the source of comfort and consolation that Isaiah spoke of, in a difficult and anxious world; we can be a source of joy, inspiration, encouragement, because we have Christ.

Like the 72, we are also sent by Jesus, to take an active witness of Christ in the world, right where we are and live. We are to preach Christ, not ourselves. Christ is the savior, not ourselves. And for us workers, Christ alone is the source of comfort and consolation, not ourselves, not even success. To have preached Christ is our goal. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was said to have been asked by some critics, “You take care of those old people, they still die, and you don’t change that.” In effect, they were saying, you are not successful. Her response was, “I didn’t know that I was supposed to be successful. I thought I was supposed to be faithful.” Her vocation was not to be successful, but to be faithful.

We, the laborers are scarce, few and little in the face of a great harvest. We are scarred, wounded, opposed, challenged. But we are not scared. We are sent, and we have Christ. We preach the peace that Christ alone can give. And our only boast is the Cross of Christ.