Wednesday, 11 July 2018 07:10

Feast of St. Maria Goretti


Homily delivered by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle during the Eve of the Feast of St. Maria Goretti at the St. Maria Goretti Parish in Pius XII Catholic Center on July 5, 2018 at 6:30 p.m.

Photo by Eric Paul Guanlao

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we thank God who has brought us together in the name of Jesus and in the power of the Holy Spirit to be one community, one family of faith and it is a special gathering.

Every Eucharistic celebration is special, but it is made more special because of our preparation for the feast of our patron saint, St. Maria Goretti tomorrow. And we Filipinos are quite excited when there are Feasts.

Minsan mas pinaghahandaan nga yung bisperas, pagdating ng mismong Fiesta minsan pagod na. Tingnan ninyo, simbang gabi, talagang siyam na umaga yan puspusan, yung araw ng pasko tulog.

Though in the discipline of the Church, yung the night before is actually already considered the beginning of the day after and our theme for this day is “Heroic Purity” that St. Maria Goretti has manifested in her life and even in her death.

But what is purity and what is the character of someone who lives purity in a heroic manner?

I think it is important to reflect on this especially when we see that we come from different states of life. Kasi yung iba na may asawa na, baka sabihin ninyo hindi ko na matutularan si St. Maria Goretti”, may ano na kami, may mga anak na kami.” Tapos yung iba na nagpaplano nang magpakasal baka sabihin naman “nako, hihiwalayan ko na itong nobya ko, hihiwalayan ko yung nobyo ko, kasi Heroic Purity.”

O baka yung iba sa inyo sabihin sa mga anak ninyo, “tularan ninyo si Santa Maria Goretti huwag kayong mag-aasawa, huwag kang titingin kabit kahit kaninong lalaki, huwag ka titingin kahit kaninong babae.” Iba’t-iba ang tawag, merong tinatawagan, God called some to express their heroic purity in the way that St. Maria Goretti did. But I want to tell you, married people you are also called to heroic purity.

Young people who are preparing for marriage, you are also called to heroic purity. Teachers, in your profession as teachers, policeman, military people, business people, politicians, drivers, sacristan, choir, religious, the clergy, all of us in our respective states of life, we are called to live purity in a heroic manner.

So walang puwedeng mag-excuse na “hindi naman ako magmamadre, hindi naman ako magpapari, kaya exempted ako diyan,” hindi po. And our readings lead us to an understanding based on the Word of God about purity. It is actually a state of heart. Ito po ay ang kalooban ng tao. Ano yung malinis ang kalooban? Kinanta lang natin kanina, “Papuri sa Diyos sa kaitaasan at kapayapaan sa mga taong may mabuting kalooban.” And the two readings give us some contrast in the quality of heart.

In the first reading from the prophet Amos, we see a heart like Amos that was open to God and available to do God’s will. He was not a prophet by profession and by training. Sa kanyang pag-aaral hindi naman siya pumasok sa isang paaralan ng mga tinatawag na propeta.

Ano siya? Shepherd, ang mundo niya mga kambing at mga baka at mga tupa, at dresser of Sycamores, tagapag-alaga ng halaman at puno, but God took him and put him in a place where he was not prepared to be a prophet and the purity of heart of Amos surfaced, he became available to God. A pure heart is a heart that says “I am totally yours Lord” even in my profession. You want me to be a prophet, I will do it even if humanly speaking I am not prepared and I am not capable, but I give my heart to you.

Kawawa naman, eto na siya pure of heart, he followed God’s will, ano ang humarap sa kanya? Hearts that are resisting God’s Word.

May puso na bukas sa Diyos, may puso na ayaw sa Diyos. And this is repeated in the Gospel. We have some people who brought a paralytic on a strecher to Jesus, and Jesus saw their faith. Biruin ninyo, hindi sinabi sa Gospel na ang may pananampalataya ay yung paralytic. Hindi naman masasabi talaga nung Gospel kasi yung paralytic eh nakahiga lang. Hindi natin alam kung on his own ay pupunta siya kay Hesus maaring hindi, maaring hindi. Wala siyang magagawa kung saan siya bitbitin, bibitbitin siya.

Pero sino ang may malinis ang kalooban, sino ang may pananampalataya kay Hesus, sino ang handang tumalima, kilalanin ang kapangyarihan ng Diyos kay Hesus, itong mga kaibigan. And even if they will not benifit from it, di naman sila yung may sakit, hindi naman sila yung nangangailangan kumbaga ng pagpapagaling but look at the purity of heart, even if it is not for me. If it is for others we will go the extra mile and they brought their friend to Jesus.

And Jesus seeing their faith, their abandonment of themselves to God, Jesus said to the paralytic your sins are forgiven. Kasi during that time sickness for them, physical sickness was related to sinfulness. Kaya kapag sinabing be healed, kasama doon yung pagpapatawad ng kasalanan. Nakakatuwa yung mga kaibigan nitong paralitikong ito, kapag mayroon kayong ganitong kaibigan naku huwag ninyong pababayaang malayo sa inyo.

Talagang ang linis ng puso, for your good, kahit hindi para sa sarili. Hindi nga sila masyadong napansin ni Hesus ang napansin ay yung paralytic. But here Jesus saw their faith and seeing their faith He healed the paralytic.

The purity of heart of these friends, selfless in faith, only the good of the other.

Nakakalungkot lang, sino yung close ang puso? the scribes, yung religious leaders. (pointing to himself) Kami yun! Kami yun! Kami yung mga modern day scribes. Yung mga simpleng kaibigan, sila yung bukas na bukas ang puso, dadalhin ang kaibigan kay Hesus. Sino yung nagduda kay Hesus, sino yung nagkwestyon kay Hesus parang “who are you to forgive sins?” the scribes, yung mga dalubhasa, dalubhasa sa salita ng Diyos.

Minsan po yung sobrang dalubhasa nawawala yata yung purity of heart sa sobrang galing hindi na siya yung simple nalang na naniniwala, lahat na i-aanalyze. Teka hindi ba karpentero lang ito, hindi ba ang nanay niyan ay si Maria, hindi ba’t ganyan lang yan? Sa dami ng alam at sa dami ng ano, simple lang naman, kaya habang yung puso sumasara nang sumasara, sumasara ng sumasara, sumasara bandang huli sinabi ni Hesus, “Bakit ba ganyan? Why do you harbor evil thoughts?” Ba’t hindi kayo masiyahan kung itong may sakit ay napatawad at mapapagaling? Bakit pinagdududahan ninyo ako? Where is the purity of heart? Why dont you rejoice of the good that is other person will experience, at ayun napagaling, the crowds glorify God.

Yung scribes siguro umuwi, galit na galit, “naisahan tayo” and probably they started plotting with the chief priests, the Pharisees, and the leaders how to eliminate Jesus.

The heart, yung kalooban, ganito maging pure. Openess to God and God’s action even when I do not fully understand it, even when I do not fully understand how God can work, for example in a carpenter. But the pure of heart sees God’s action and is available to do God’s action. Unfortunately the heart can also be close, harden, and full with evil thoughts, evil thoughts about Jesus the one sent by the Father.

Kapag ganito po natin inunawa ang purity then makikita natin, binata, dalaga, bata, single, may-asawa, may vows, may promises o wala, all of us are called to be pure in heart. And yung heroic purity is not just defending oneself, it is really a falling in love. When I love, truly love, even if I’m not called to be heroic, I will do heroic things out of love. Alam n’yo yung mga tunay na bayani hindi pinaplano na maging bayan, kapag pinlano mo yan, naku lalabas na hindi ka bayani, lalabas you’re just calling attention to yourself parang “pansinin ninyo naman ako, bayani ako. Paano nagiging bayani?

Kinikilala ng iba hindi yung ikaw na ang gumagawa ng paraan para ka maging heroic. Ang ano mo ay, pag nagmamahal ka your love pushes you to heroic experience.

Mga nanay at tatay dahil mahal n’yo ang mga anak n’yo at malinis ang puso n’yo sa pagmamahal sa mga anak n’yo lahat gagawin ninyo. Masakit na ang batok n’yo, masakit na ang baewang n’yo. Nagti-ten hours kayo ng trabaho, pagkaya-kaya pa ng kaunti, mag-e-extra work pa.

Hindi dahil gusto mo na makatanggap ng “Ulirang Ina Award,” “Ulirang Ama Award,” hindi! Yung pag-ibig mo ang nagtutulak sa iyo at ginagawa mo ‘yon kahit hindi ka kilalanin. Baka sabihin pa nga ng iba “you are going beyond,” “tama na, hanggang dito lang,” pero dahil pure ang pag-ibig mo sa anak mo, that love pushes you to be heroic. At kung wala ang pag-big, hindi mo alam kung ano ang motibasyon ng mga nagiging mga bayani, baka nga pangkuha lang ng atensyon.

Mga estudyante, dahil malinis ang puso mo gusto mo talagang lumago, to grow as a human being at makatulong sa pamilya mo at sa sambayanan, sa society, yung purity of love from the gift that God has given you will push you to be heroic. Mag-aaral ka sa halip na mag-goodtime, yung allowance mo kahit gustong-gusto mo nang pumunta sa isang mall at bumili ng ganito pero hindi, “gagamitin ko ito para sa libro, para sa aking edukasyon, magtitipid ako para hindi na makabigat pa sa mga magulang ko.” Iyan, because of your pure love for your family and your pure love for your country, pure love for your advancement, you become heroic.

Para po sa mga nagtatrabaho, ako nakita ko ito sa mga magulang ko, mga 35, 36 years silang nagtrabaho sa iisa lang trabaho, hindi yung palipat-lipat. Iyang ano nila dito kami nagsimula, ito yung nakatulong sa amin, sige.”

Naala-ala ko may mga nagsasabi sa kanila “lumipat na kayo may mga ibang mas malaking suweldo,” hindi sabihin nila, “hindi, dito kami, natulungan kami dito,” hanggang sa magretire, minahal yung trabaho at pinagtatawanan ng iba, “ano kayo patatayuan ba kayo ng monumento ng kompanyang iyan?”

“Of course hindi, hindi naman kami nandito para magkaroon ng monumento. Nandito kami becuase of loyalty.” Ang hirap hindi na loyalty, hindi na pure of heart ngayon ang umaano, ang hininintay na lang “kailan kaya mapapangalanan yung kalye sa akin… kailan kaya magkakaroon ng monumento, at sana kamukha ha, ko kasi baka mamaya abstract, abstract artist ang mag-ano, hindi ko kamukha.” Naku huwag mo nang problemahin yun, ang problemahin mo yung purity of heart, be loyal to your word and that is your monument.

Now we understand why Maria Goretti who had vowed to God “I will be yours,” in this state of life as a consecrated virgin and with the purity of her heart even death, even death was welcomed. It was not becuase nasa isip niya, “sige, sige lalabanan ko ito maka-canonize ako, gagawa na sila ng mga statutes para sa akin.

Sa Pius Xll center, magkakaroon ako ng dambana at mayroong prayer na para sa akin.” That was farthest from her mind and heart that would have made her impure. Her purity was not just the body it was the purity of the heart that has vowed to the Lord. “I will be yours” in this state of life then she became heroic.

Husbands and wives sana pag-uwi ninyo sabihin ninyo sa isa’t isa, “ang dami naman dyan na pwede kong lapitan, ligawan mas maganda pa kaysa sa iyo, mas bata, mas sexy kaysa sa iyo subalit ang puso ko ay para sa iyo lamang.”

So Husband is pure, very pure in love and totally available for his wife. Sabihin nung asawa, “salamat sige maglaba ka na.”Sabihin naman nung husband, “Okay, laba-laba.” And the same with the wife, siguro minsan napapakamot ng ulo yung mga misis, “sa dami ng nanligaw sa akin ba’t ito pa ang aking…ba’t ito pa?” Pero pagnakikita nyo naman sabihin n’yo, “talagang pinadala ito ng Diyos sa akin bali-baliktarin ko man, kahit pintasan ko, my heart belongs to him.” And then you wake-up, you prepare breakfast, you still ask “oh ano ang gusto mo mamayang kainin?”

You are heroic because you are pure of heart, the purity that makes someone heroic.

Kaya si St. Maria Goretti, is a saint for all of us, and we hope that this purity of heart leading to heroic life may be in all of us, in all states of life. Sana po ikalat ninyo ang debosyon kay St. Maria Goretti at pag may nagtanong “hindi naman yata para sa amin yan,” sabihin ninyo “hindi, si Maria Goretti isinabuhay niya ang kalinisan ng puso sa kanyang estado sa buhay.”

Bawat isa sa atin isabuhay iyan. Accountant ka, be pure of heart, treasurer ka, be pure of heart, mayor ka, be pure of heart, traffic enforcer ka, be pure of heart. Kung lahat pure of heart ang tawag po natin diyan langit, langit na. And we try to live heaven here on earth by the purity of heart, in faith and love.

Let us pause and welcome this precious gift of a pure heart and let us have faith in Jesus who said “blessed are the pure of heart for they will see God.”

ENGAGE WITH US

Please, enter your name
Please, enter your phone number
Please, enter your e-mail address Mail address is not not valid
Please, enter your message
Copyright © 2017 Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use | Disclaimer