Monday, 13 April 2020 09:11

Homily delivered by Bishop Broderick Pabillo during online Easter Sunday Mass at the Manila Cathedral on April 12, at 10 a.m.

 If you were given only ten minutes to proclaim the Christian message to a non-Christian, what would you say? Will you give the Ten Commandments? Will you explain one by one the Seven Sacraments? Will you speak about Mary and the saints? You have only ten minutes to summarize the Christian message.

Ano ba ang sasabihin mo? Itong summary ng Christian message ay tinatawag natin na Kergyma at iyan ang ipinahanyag ni San Pedro sa ating unang pagbasa. Ito ang ipinahayag ni Pedro kay Kornelio, na isang roman officer at sa kanyang household. Ang kanyang ipinahayag ay hindi doktrina and hindi code of ethics or rituals of worship. Ang kanyang ipinahayag ay ang kuwento ni Hesus.

The Kergyma is the story of Jesus, how he was baptized by the Holy Spirit through John the Baptist. He was powerful in his deeds and words doing good to all people. He was caught by the Jews, hanged on a tree and put to death but was raised up by God.

 

The apostles are all witnesses to all these. Jesus is appointed by God to bring forgiveness to all who believed in him through the testimony of the apostles. This is the Kergyma. This is the proclamation of the Good News and as you see, the resurrection is part and parcel of the Good News.

Ito po ang ipinagdiriwang natin ngayon. Kung walang resurrection wala pong Good News, wala pong Kerygma. Dahil sa resurrection, nagkaroon ng bagong kulay ang lahat ng pangyayari tungkol kay Hesus. Kahit na si Hesus ay matagal nang nagsasalita sa mga alagad tungkol sa resurrection na siya ay papatayin at mabubuhay nang muli sa ikatlong araw. Kahit na siya ay bumuhay sa mga patay tulad ng anak na babae ni Jairo, ang anak na lalaki ng balo sa Naim, ang kanyang kaibigan na si Lazaro. Pero itong muling pagkabuhay ay malayo sa isip ni Maria Magdalena at ng mga alagad ni Hesus.

Si Maria Magdalena ay pumunta sa libingan upang tumangis. Para sa kanya, patay na si Hesus. Magluluksa na lang siya kaya’t nung makita niya na bukas ang libingan, ang unang paniniwala niya ay kinuha ang bangkay ni Hesus. Bakit ba hindi makuntento ang mga kaaway ni Hesus na siya ay patayin pati ang bangkay niya ay lalapastangan pa rin. Ito siguro ang naglalaro sa isip niya. Nung isinumbong ito ni Maria kay Pedro at kay Juan, sila rin ay naguluhan. Wala naman sa kanila ang nakakita ng resurrection. Ang tanging ebidensiya lang ay walang laman ang libingan. Para kay Maria Magdalena at marahil kay Pedro walang laman kasi kinuha ang bangkay.

John saw it differently. If the body was taken away why were the burial clothes left behind and the cloth around his head set apart.  John saw and believed. What he believed in we do not know because we are told that they did not understand the scriptures that he had to rise from the dead.

My dear friends, we are fortunate that history and a lot of theological thinking all through these centuries make us understand the resurrection a little bit more. Pero tungkol po sa bagay na ito at tungkol sa maraming bahagi ng ating pananampalataya, hindi po gaano ang pagintindi ang mahalaga. Ang mahalaga ay ang pagsasabuhay nito.

It’s not so much understanding the mystery. We cannot fully understand the mystery. It is participating in the mystery. Living the mystery.

Ang resurrection ay hindi lang tungkol kay Jesus. Ito ay tungkol sa ating lahat na naniniwala sa kanya. Tayo ay nakikiisa sa buhay at muling pagkabuhay ni Hesus.

Jesus participated in our human condition by taking up on human flesh. Thus he suffered. He was tired. He was thirsty. He was angry. He was sad. He died just like all of us. But he shared his divine life with us when we were baptized. So, we participate in his resurrection. We live our life now, our human life but heightened, elevated by his divinity. So, we can say with St. Paul, “It is no longer I who lived but Christ who lives in me.”

Napakaganda po ng sinabi ni St. Paul sa ikalawang pagbasa na ating narinig kanina, “If then we will raise with Christ seek what is about, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above and not what is on the earth for you have died and your life is...with Christ in God.”

Noong tayo ay bininyagan, namatay tayo sa mga makamundong bagay. Tulad ni Hesus na namatay sa mga taong kalagayan niya. Kaya tayo’y binaon sa tubig. Ang buhay natin ngayon ay pakikiisa na sa resurrected life of Jesus which is a new kind of life. Kaya ang mga konsiderasyon natin ay hindi na ang mga makamundong bagay kundi ang mga bagay kung nasaan si Hesus.

We have to live behind our usual way of thinking and doing. But think and do things where Jesus is. We live his values.

Mahirap ba itong isipin na magbago ang value natin? Na magbago ang buhay natin? Marahil ang karanasan natin nang halos isang buwan na ng quarantine ay makakatulong. Bago dumating ang buwan ng Marso, halos hindi natin maisip na makukulong tayo sa bahay, na hindi tayo makakabiyahe. Ano kaya ang buhay na walang mall, walang barkada, walang trabaho sa opisina? It was unthinkable to think of that kind of life at that time.

Pero isang buwan na ang nakaraan at nakayanan naman natin. Harinawa, mas mabuti ang buhay natin ngayon. Hindi na nagmamadali. Mas simple na lang. mas nakikilala natin ang mga mahal natin sa buhay. May panahon tayong magdasal. This is another kind of life. The life we live now is different from the life that we were used to before.

Parang ganun din huwag isipin na hindi natin kaya ang buhay na hindi naaayon sa mundong ito. Sapagkat alam po natin, ang mundong ito ay lilipas. Maaari ring mabuhay na mas maayos ang relationship at walang masyadong pera; na natutuwa sa mga maliliit na bagay; na nagbibigay ng panahon sa panalangin bilang pamilya; na mas nababahala sa iba at hindi lang sa sarili ang iniisip.

These and similar things are the values where Jesus is now. Seated at the right hand of the Father. Think of what is above and not what is on the earth. Dahil sa muling pagkabuhay, hindi na tayo nag-aalangan, hindi na tayo natatakot na sundin ang values ni Hesus tulad ng paninindigan para sa katotohanan at sa katarungan. And going out of our way to help the poor and the down…

These values may bring persecution, may bring difficulties as it did to Jesus. But Jesus is risen. These values of Jesus will ultimately bring us new life as it did to Jesus.

Every Easter, every year, Easter is prepared by forty days of Lent. The disciplines of Lent are meant to make us celebrate Easter with a new life – a life closer to Jesus.

This year, the disciplines of Lent have been imposed on us by the coronavirus. The pandemic has made us stay home; has made life more simple; has forced us to relate with our loved ones; has given us a lot of time to pray and to read the scriptures; it brought the worship of God into our homes by online service; it hopefully has made us more generous to others especially to our frontline people.

I hope we have undergone this discipline not gradually but with a sense of inner liberty, inner freedom.

At ngayon na Linggo na ng Pagkabuhay, may mga pagbabago na sana na dala ang Kuwaresma natin. Namatay tayo sa maraming bagay noong nakaraang buwan. Ngayon naman pangalagaan natin ang ating bagong buhay at bagong values na natanggap.

Totoo hindi pa tapos ang quarantine, pero alam natin na malapit na itong magtatapos. Nababalitaan na natin sa China na bumabalik na dahan dahan ang normal na buhay. Sa Europe, pumapantay na ang curve. Lumagpas na ang pagdagsa ng contamination. Darating din yan sa atin. Sana hindi tayo datnan pagkatapos ng quarantine sa dating pagkatao natin na walang nangyari sa ating pag-uugali, sa ating relationships, sa ating pakikiisa sa Diyos.

Jesus is risen. Let us live the new life that is his which is also ours by baptism. That’s why we renew our baptismal promises in this mass and in the other masses in order to remind us of the new life and the new values that we now have as baptized. We still have three weeks to consolidate and firm up the new values that we have taken during this forced discipline of Lent that the pandemic has imposed on us.

Hindi man natin ito inasahan at ginusto, pero may mabuti rin itong idinulot sa atin. Talagang ang Diyos ay magaling. He can write straight with crooked lines. He can bring out good. e can bring good out of evil. He can bring light out of darkness; health out of sickness.

Purihin natin ang Diyos at sumakay tayo sa daloy ng pamamaraan na palaging patungo sa buhay at sa ikabubuti natin.

May isa akong suggestion na activity na pwede ninyong gawin ngayong araw. Bilang pamilya o bilang magkaibigan, mag-sharing na kayo sa isa’t isa kung anong mga values ang natutunan ninyo sa quarantine experience na ito. Pakinggan natin ang sharing ng bawat isa pati na ng mga anak, ng mga apo, ng mga bata. Ang mga values na ito ay ang liwanag ng resurrection na sumisilay sa lockdown na ito. Pati na dito ay nagbibigay kulay sa atin ang resurrection.

Happy Easter po sa inyong lahat! (RCAM-AOC)

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