FULL TEXT | Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo during the online Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Manila Cathedral on April 9, 2020, at 10 a.m.


It is very ironic we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Holy Mass, the institution of the Holy Mass and yet most of the Christians can only watch it online.

Tonight, the Lord Jesus gives his body to be eaten and his blood to be drunk and we cannot receive communion. This is really very extraordinary. The situation itself, ito ang sitwasyon ay bumubuo ng atin hindi sana maging dahilan ng galit o kaya ng kalungkutan kundi maging dahilan ng malaking pananabik – tatanggapin kita Panginoon sa Banal na Komunyon sa lalong medaling pagkakataon. Ngunit ngayon, ngayong gabi pumasok ka saaking puso. Alam kong mahal mo ako ibinigay mo ang sarili mo sa akin. Halika ka na pumasok ka sa buhay ko. Ito sana ang pananabik natin sa Panginoon sa gabing ito.

With this celebration this evening, we start the sacred Paschal Triduum. Big words. We know sacred which means holy, we know Triduum this means three days. So, this would be today, tomorrow and Saturday evening. The key word here is paschal. It comes from past translated in Tagalog Pascua. This word comes from the Hebrew - “Pesah” meaning the crossing over.


This is a celebration of the crossing over or the passing over of the angel of death on the houses of the Hebrews while they celebrate the meal of their liberation. Kumakain sila sa loob ng bahay ng nilitsong kordero o tupa. Ang dugo nito ay nangawisik sa kanilang mga pintuan. Naligtas sila hindi sila namatayana habang sa lahat ng bahay ng mga Ehipsiyano ay may panganay na anak na namatay.

The passing over also refers to the Hebrew people’s passing over o pagtawid sa dagat sagisag ng pagtawid nila sa pagkaalipin patungo sa kalayaan. Pero sa ating mga kristiyano, Passover is the crossing of Jesus from this life to the life of the resurrection which is not just a restoration to life but a coming to new life. Ito rin ang karanasan natin ng bawat isa sa atin sa pagtawid natin mula sa kasalanan tungo sa bagong buhay bilang mga anak ng Diyos nung tyo ay bininyagan. We were divinized because of Baptism. Living a life of the children of God.

We will be undergoing this crossing over these three days. Today, we are celebrating in this suffer the meal that Jesus instituted as the memorial of his death and resurrection. It is a memorial not a souvenir. A memorial because it is a participation in a sacrifice, death and resurrection. Hindi lang ito isang alaala isang souvenir, ito’y pakikisa. We do this in obedience to what he said, “Do this in memory of me.” Tomorrow, this offering will be actualized in his offering of himself on the cross. On Saturday evening, the crossing over from this life to his death to a new life will be completed with his resurrection.

Ito po ang buod ng ating pagiging Kristiyano – ang pakikiisa natin kay Hesus sa kanyang kamatayan tungo sa bagong buhay na ibinibigay niya sa atin.

In the First Reading, we heard the origin for the Paschal Meal. The first Paschal Meal that the Jews celebrated as they awaited their salvation from slavery. In the Second Reading, we heard the earliest account of the Last Supper which is found in the Letter of Paul to the Corinthians. He clearly said that he himself received this tradition that they were then doing. So, it was handed over by the apostles and being practiced by the Christians since the Last Supper of the Lord. Jesus transformed the yearly Paschal Meal of the Jews giving him new meaning. It is no longer partaking of the meal of the lamb. Siya na ang Kordero ng Diyos ang tinapay na naging kanyang laman ay siya ngayong pinagsasaluhan natin. Naligtas tayo sa kasamaan hindi na ng dugo ng isang hayop kundi ng dugo ni Hesus sa pamamagitan ng alak na ating iniinom. Since the Last Supper of Jesus up to this time we keep the memorial of the Lord every time we go to the Holy Mass whenever we celebrate tis then, we are one with all the billions of Christians ahead of us who have partaken of this sacrifice in the past two thousand years and with the rest of the Christians who will come after us until the Lord comes again. Kaya wag nating isipin ang Misa bilang Misa ko lang o Misa lang ng aming parokya. Ang bawat Misa ay Misa ng buong Simbahan mula kay Hesus hanngang saw akas ng panahon.

Yes, the Holy mass is the offering of Jesus but this too, is the offering of each one of us. We do not just attend the Mass as we are attending a concert. Hindi lang natin ito pinanonood tulad ng pinanood ninyo ang online Mass. We do not just participate in the Mass by being there in the Mass. Not even just by answering the prayers and singing the songs. We live the Mass. Hindi lang pinanonood, hindi lang nakikiisa, isinasabuhay natin ang Banal na Misa.

All the four gospels have the narration of the Last Supper. But in the Gospel of John, there is no narration of the Institution of the Eucharist in the Last Supper account. We have instead, chance account in the Gospel and we have heard it proclaimed just now. Instead of the Institution of the Mass, he has the narration of the washing of the Feet of his disciples. This is found only in John at tulad ng utos ni Hesus pagkatapos ng pag-aalay ng tinapay at alak na ptuloy natin itong gawin, ganun din ang utos ni Hesus pagkatapos ng paghugas ng mga paa.

I have given you a model to follow so that what I have done for you, you should also do. At tulad na-conscious na conscious si Hesus ng kanyang kinuha ang tinapay at ginawang pagkain na pinakain sa atin, ganun din, conscious na conscious si Hesus sng paghugas ng paa ng kanyang mga alagad.

Ulitin ko ang aking narinig kanina, “Fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, he rose from supper took off his outer garments, he a towel and tied it around his waist.” Alam ni Hesus ang kanyang karangalan. Alam niya ang kanyang kapangyarihan. Alam niya na galling siya sa Ama ngunit nagpakababa siya. Ginawa niya ang gawain ng inaka-abang alipin – ang paghuhugas ng paa ng mga bisita. At ito ang pinagagawa niya sa atin – lowly service, this makes us great. This is the way we live the Mass.

Ang paghuhugas ng paaangkatumbas para kay John ng pagbibigay ng kanyang laman at dugo sa atin. Nakikiisa tayo sa Misa hindi lang kapag sinusunod natin ang utos niyang kainin ang kanyang katawan at inumin ang kanyang dugo. Nakikiisa tayo, isinasabuhay natin ang Misa kapag nag-se-serve tayo sa isa’t isa. Ano man katas ang posisiyon natin kahit na gaano man kababa an gating pag-se-serve na iyan – paghuhugas kaya ng plato, pagwawalis ng bahay, pagpupunas ng lamesa o pagbibili ng mga patis at mga gulay. Yang service na iyan, yan po ang pagsasabuhay natin ng Banal na Misa.

Kaya ngayong gabi, isasadula natin we will dramatize once again the Washing of the feet. At ito po ay may pinili tayo na mga iilan na kumakatawan sa mga taong nagse-serve sa atin na siyang paghugasan natin ng paa. Ang aking driver na si Roland na kumakatawan sa mga…in service; si Sharon na nagse-serve sa atin sa TV Maria na siya po ay kumakatawan sa media na nagpapadala sa atin ng maraming mga balita at nakikiisa sa atin sa mga pagdiriwang; si Rowena na isang pulis na patuloy na nagse-serve nagbibigay ng kaayusan sa ating mga komunidad; si Aileen na isang doctor na alam natin na tinataya ang kanilang buhay para po sa pagpapagaling ng mga may sakit. Mga frontliners natin sila at sila’y naglilingkod sa atin at sila po yung paglilingkuran natin.

Not only do we do this - to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus in Holy Communion or to serve others even in a lowly way but we do this with love. It is love that gives meaning to our communion. Let us be…not to receive communion just out of habbit na hindi na napapansin kung sino ang tinatanggap natin si Hesus ito. Hindi lang ito isang ostiya na sinusubo natin. Tanggapin natin siya ng may pagmamahal at pananabik. Ganun din ang ating pages-serve, wag nating gawin ng padabog o kaya napipilitan lang. Gawin natin ito ng may pag-ibig at hindi lang pag-ibig sa ating magulang o kapatid na pinaglilingkuran ngunit pag-ibig kay Hesus. O how differently we would do our service if we realize if we do it for the Lord Jesus.

In this way, we live the Mass. In these days, you cannot participate in the Mass in the church but you can live the Mass in your homes by living your acts of service with love just as Jesus did.

You have heard in the Gospel before the Passover feast, Jesus knew that his hour have come to pass from this world to the Father. He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. Sabi natin kanina, na-conscious si Hesus sa kanyang kalagayan. Kaya conscious siya sa kanyang Passover –to pass from this word to the Father. Ito ang maganda, he loved his own in the world and he loved them up to the end.

Ginawa ni Hesus ito, itong paghugas ng paa, itong pag-aalay ng kanyang katawan at dugo, itong pagbibigay niya ng sarili sa kamatayan because of his love and he loved them up to the end not only the end as chronology hanggang sa wakas ng kanyang buhay. Ngunit to the end which also means fully, completely binuhos niya ang lahat sa pag-ibig na ito.  He loved his own to the end kasama dito si Hudas. Hinugasan din ni Hesus ang paa ni Hudas tulad ng ibinigay din ni Hesus ang kanayang katawan at dugo kay Hudas. This is good news for us. Baka sabihin kasi ng ilan sa atin, oo,mahal ni Hesus ang mga alagad niya. Kasama ba ako diyan? Marami akong kasalanan. Matagal na akong nakalimot sa kanya. Kasama ang bawat isa sa atin na minamahal ni Hesus hanggang saw akas. Sinasama niya si Hudas na alam niyang magtra-traydor sa kanya.

Yes, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. Surely not our sins. He indeed gave himself because of our sins. Huwag lang sana tayong magpaka-Hudas na tanggihan ang kanyang alok na lumapit sa kanya. Si Hudas ay hudas. Hindi dahil sa nagtraydor siya kay Hesus. Siya ay Hudas dahil ayaw niyang maniwala na kahit nagtraydor siya mahal pa rin siya ni Hesus.

My dear friends, we cannot be at the Lord’s table tonight because of the corona virus but we can still accept the Lord in our lives through that deep desire to receive him by our spiritual communion and surely we can live the Eucharist in our lives by serving one another, washing each other’s home, each other’s feet in our homes.

After the Last Super, Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane and asked and even pleaded with his disciples to pray with him at least for an hour. We express this desire to be with Jesus in our Visita Iglesia which again we cannot do now. But can we not stay with the Lord for an hour of prayer tonight after this online Mass? Makiisa tayo sa kanya sa ating dasal. Manahimik tayo, magdasal tayo ng rosaryo, magdasal ng Bibliya. Just stay with him to watch and pray with him. Damdamin natin sa ating puso ang bigat ng damdamin ni Hesus sa pagharap ng kanyang kahirapan. Napakaraming kahirapan ng mundo na dalhin din natin sa Ama sa gabing ito. Isa-isang banggitin natin mga ito sa ating mga dasal at tulad ng dasal ni Hesus, ito din sana ang dasal natin nagyong gabi, Äma mangyari ang iyong kalooban.” (RCAM-AOC)

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