Homily of Cardinal Tagle during Stewardship Summit 2019


Homily delivered by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle during Mass to conclude the Stewardship Summit held at the Paco catholic School on August 31, 2019, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal preside the Holy Eucharist for the Stewardship Summit at the Paco Catholic School on August 31, 2019.
Photo by Eric Paul Guanlao/RCAM-AOC
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My dear brothers and sisters, Hi! Buhay pa ho ba? (crowd answers) Buhay na buhay pa! (crowd answers) Naku, salamat sa Diyos and we thank God for sustaining us this whole day and from the energy that I feel from you parang you want to stay until tomorrow (crowd laughs) parang hindi naman.

And we really thank God for this day. You have learned a lot already. Magaganda yung mga sharing so, siguro when you go home, spend some time in silence. Yung tumahimik, magdasal, ano kaya ang sasabihin pa ng Panginoon sa atin? After all, all of these things is really a formation in discipleship.

We are here not just for increasing collection or managing resources even if they are in themselves very good and very much needed sa lipunan at sa simbahan. Pero sa atin ito ay isang napakahalagang bahagi ng isang pang habang buhay na paglalakbay, ang pagsunod kay Hesus.

A discipleship that leads to mission. The disciple, that student of Christ, the one who encounters Christ. Only Jesus, only Jesus could teach us how to be a good custodian. A good steward especially of other people. And tomorrow po, sabagay Sunday ano na to, tomorrow, we start the Season of Creation. Magkita kita tayo alas singko ng umaga. Ay, walang sumagot (crowd laughs). Ipagdarasal ko na lang kayo doon sa Quezon Memorial Circle. Walk for Creation.

Ako po ay natutuwa kasi po when I was bishop in Imus, I started the Season of Creation. And some people were asking,  “Ano ba yan naging orthodox ka na ba? Naging protestant ka na ba? Sabi ko hindi, it was even provided by CBCP. Pero parang, nung paglipat ko po dito, sinimulan din natin yung Season of Creation. Lo and behold, it’s now nationwide, it’s now nationwide. Ngayon it’s my turn to ask them, “Ano naging orthodox na rin kayo? Naging protestant na ba kayo?

And the Season of Creation is really an expanded, an expanded school of stewardship. Ano yan eh, sama sama yan eh, human ecology, environmental ecology of the resources, all of that, all of that under the heading of “you are stewards”.

 Medyo i-konekta ko lang ho, kaya pa ba ninyo? Konekta ko lang sa mga readings.

The first point po, the readings are about humility, very clearly about humility. No description, I mean no definition of humility. Ang hirap i-define ang humility. Kaya pag tayo kung minsan gusto natin clear definitions. Ang mga mahahalagang bahagi ng buhay hindi nade-define. You just describe that is why Jesus does not define. Jesus tells parables, stories and you get the point.

In the First Reading from the Book of Sirach, ito maganda ho, di ba, yung giver of gifts, kapag may nagbibigay sa inyo ng regalo, our response is we love that person, we appreciate that person. We like that person. Pero sabi ng Book of Sirach, mas minamahal ng iba ang mapagkumbaba. Kung mahal mo yung nagbibigay sayo, mas mahal mo yung hindi mayabang. While you appreciate people who give you gifts, you appreciate more those who are humble.

So, kahit bigya ka ng bigay ng gifts kala mo maraming magmamahal sa’yo. Mamahalin ka kung ikaw ay mapagpakumbaba. And the humble person sabi dito, knows his or her strength and also his or her limitations.

So, humility is really truth. Yung pagtanggap ng katotohanan kung sino ako. At sabi dito, the greater you are, humble yourself the more. Ang isang tatak ng kadakilaan ay ang pagiging mababang loob.

Maraming mga ganon, alam natin yun eh. Maski naman sa ordinaryong buhay and in the Gospel, Jesus saw in the meal, in a meal setting how the guests were parang vying for the seat of honor. And that occasion, the parable, yung seat of honor, kaya sinabi ni Hesus kapag inimbitahan ka, huwag mo naming i-pressume na ikaw ang guest of honor. Sa kuwento ni Hesus, umupo kaagad yung tao sa seat of honor kasi nasa isip niya, “Wow ako sigurado ang guest of honor. Para sa akin ang upuan na iyan”. Sino nagsabi nun? Wala naman eh, Ikaw! That’ means you’re expecting other people to treat you that way and nakakahiya kung hindi pala sa iyo. So, you wait, you wait.

And then part of that humility is you do not respect only and invite only those who always occupy seats of honor because you would get something in return. Give honor to the poor, the beggars, those who cannot repay you. Give them the honor. Show them that you are honoring them.

So, even in giving honor you choose the humble and in your humble mindset, you associate not with those who have the seats of honor all the time. But in your mindset you’re thinking of the lowly ones.  

So, pati sa kainan, ano ho ang sinasabi ng humility dito sa ating stewardship? Malaki po. Kasi po ang steward, siguro lumabas naman kanina, ang steward is not an owner. An owner or those who pretend to be owners, they become proud. Akin ito. But to maintain the spirit of custodianship, ako ay hindi nagmamay-ari, ako ay tagapangasiwa, at tagapag-alaga para sa nagmamay-ari, that requires humility. False pride destroys stewardship.

Even in creation, kapag tayo ay nagpanggap na tayo ang may-ari ng kalyeng yan, ng lupang yan, ng ilog na yan, then, dahil ako ang may-ari, kung ano ang gusto kong gawin gagawin ko.  But a custodian is not like that. A steward is a disciple. He or she tries to discern, what is the mind of the true owner and I will take care of what the owner has entrusted to me according to the owner’s desire. So, stewardship is humble discipleship.

Kayo po ako maingat na maingat din po ako eh. Halimabawa, minsan kapag kausap yung mga, halimbawa magsisismula ako ng homilya, may nagsabi sa akin niyan eh nung parish priest ako, “Father bakit mo kami tinatawag, my parishioners, pag-aari nyo ba kami?” Oo nga naman hindi nga pala. Si Hesus ang shepherd, kami ang custodians.

And the good news is, the good shepherd is risen and will not die again. He will not retire. Kami magreretire eh, pero the good shepherd will not so, he must remain the owner and lahat tayo ay custodians. But it requires humility to accept that. So, ipanalangin natin yung humility na yun. And part of being humble custodians is to take care of the humble ones of the world the way Jesus wants us. You want to be humble then take care of the little ones.

Pasintabi po ho kasi napapansin ko pati sa resources in the spirit of ano, kapag magpa-fundraising ka, para sa, o, sige ipapaayos natin yung altar, yung retablo, makakakuha ka niyan, may iba nga lalapit pa. “Huwag nyo na ho ipagsasabi pero ako na ho sasagot nun” ganyan. Mag-ano ka, o tayo po, mag-re-raise tayo ng fund para sa catechetical program, naku pahirapan yan, pahirapan. Halimbawa yung Sanlakbay, yung ating drug rehab program para sa parishes, naku po ho, ano yan, (crowd laughs)alam niyo na ang ibig kong sabihin. Siguro kailangan nating pag-isipan yung sinasabi ng Gospel.

Bakit kapag seat of honor nagkakandarapa pero kapag yung for the least, the ganun, parang matamlay. Palagay ko mababago na yan. Napapansin ko yan eh, basta may mga fund-raising kapag tungkol sa, eto nga eh, ipapa-aircon natin ang ating simbahan, naku, ano yan, nakakayanan yan, nakakayanan yung monthly bills. Ok, stewardship, ok yan. Pero tanong ko, kamusta naman ang monthly collection for the support of public school students? Meron ba? Baka nga wala eh. Pang aircon meron kaya it’s not just about managing money, it is about discipleship.

If I don’t follow Jesus, I might put my priorities in things that may be good but not the priority of Jesus who is the true owner and I am a caretaker.

Kung magpa-fund-raising ba ako halimbawa, ministry to the people with disabilities para dun sa mga nagsa-sign language, ewan ko kung ilan ang makukuha ko dyan. Pero kung para sa ano ho, meron pa nga ano eh, o sige magbibigay kami sabing ganun, “Ipapangalan ba sa amin yung buong building na mag-co-contribute kami?”  “Ah, ganun ho ba?” Anong tawag dun, custodian?

Tama na. Tama na. Maano ho tayo doon ho, kaya maganda ang paalaala ng ating Pagbasa ngayon ano ho. And let us, let us allow these readings to continue reverberating in our minds and our hearts as we continue reflecting on the many things that had surfaced and had been shared today and with the common orientation of stewardship in your parish, in your locality, in your concrete situation. Hanapin ninyo. Ano ang panawagan ni Hesus sa inyo diyan sa inyong lugar? Papaano iyan isasabuhay?

Marami pa sanang ikukuwento kaya lang bukas na doon naman sa Season of Creation. Pero magkasama po talaga yan eh, magkasama. Ang pag-aalaga sa mundo, pag-aalaga sa kapwa and all of that rooted in our identity - I am not an owner, I am a steward. And so, a steward follows an owner. I am a disciple. And I execute what my master wants me to do.

Simbahan ho kayo bukas kala nyo exempted na kayo ha kasi Season of Creation bukas para naman maano natin yung isang aspeto pa ng stewardship.

Let us pause and allow the Lord to speak again in our hearts. (Archdiocesan Office of Communications - RCAM AOC)

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