Saturday, 20 June 2020 04:48

Homily delivered by Most Rev. Broderick Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila during the online Corpus Christi Mass at Sta. Cruz Parish, on June 14, 2020, at 10 a.m.


Happy fiesta po dito sa community sa Sta. Cruz, ang Archdicoesan Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament. Ito ay dakilang kapistahan ng parokya, ng komunidad. At gayundin po, happy feast day din po sa Blessed Sacrament fathers and brothers na siyang namamahala nitong community dito sa Sta. Cruz.
 

During this community quarantine, we have been deprived of many things. We are deprived of travel, of visiting friends, of our work and for us religious people, we have been deprived of the Holy Mass. 

Yes, we have these online Masses but these are not the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. It is the same as watching a birthday party or a Christmas party online. It is not the same as being in the party itself. Besides, in these online Masses, we are deprived of the Holy Communion. We may do with this very temporary arrangement of online Mass because of the extraordinary situation we are in.  But it is not the Mass itself.


Participating in this online Mass, yes, helps you spiritually. You’ll hear the Word of God, it helps you to pray, you become part of a worshipping community. But deep down we know that it is not the Mass. Our celebration with God and our relationship with Him is something that is real, actual and cannot be reduced to virtual. We all long to go back to participate in the Mass in the Church. Virtual is not enough. We want the real thing.

Totoo, makakarinig tayo ng Salitang Diyos sa virtual. Pwede tayong makipag-usap sa virtual. Kumanta kasabay ng iba sa virtual pero hindi tayo makakakain sa virtual. At ibinigay sa atin ni Hesus ay ang kanyang katawan na tunay na pagkain at ang kanyang dugo na tunay na inumin.

Marami pong mabibigat na salitang binitawan si Hesus na natanggap ng mga alagad niya. Noong sinabi ni Hesus na siya ang tunay na pagkain na galing sa langit, natanggap ito ng kanyang mga disciples. Noong sinabi niya na ang kakain nito ay magkakaroon ng buhay na walang hanggan, natanggap din ito ng mga disciples. Ngunit noong sinabi niya na ang pagkaing ito ay ang kanyang laman na magbibigay ng buhay sa mundo, umalma na ang kanyang mga disciples. Paano niya maibibigay ang kanyang laman bilang pagkain? Yan po yung protesta nila.

Noong nagsimula nang umalis ang kanyang mga disciples, mind you, they were disciples and not just part of the crowd. Hindi sinabi ni Hesus, “A, mali lang ang pagkaunawa niyo. Hindi ko naman talagang tinutukoy ang aking laman. Hindi.” Diniin pa ni Hesus, “You heard right. It is really my flesh.” So, he repeated, “Amen, Amen, I say to you and this means truly, truly I say to you.” Totoong sinasabi ko sa inyo, “Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you will have no life in you.” Ang aking laman ay tunay na pagkain. At ang aking dugo ay tunay na inumin.

So, we really receive the Body and Blood of Christ. We believe this because Jesus said so. He also said clearly at the Last Supper. While they were eating, Jesus took bread and said the blessing, broke it, gave it to His disciples saying, “Take this, this is my body.” Then, he took the cup, gave thanks and gave it to them saying, “Drink this all of you for this is the blood of the covenant which will be shared on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.”

Hindi ba ito ang mga salita na naririnig natin tuwing tayo’y nagsisimba? Naniniwala tayo kasi sinabi ni Hesus. Ginagawa natin ito sapagkat ito’y pinagagawa ni Hesus.

This is the firm belief of the Church that is why St. Paul reminded his Christians in Corinth, “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not the participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ?”

So, this has been taken by the early Church as part of their belief. It is but right then, that there is this great longing among us. Now, to soon participate in the real Mass and to receive the body of Christ. The Eucharist is so important for us and we have been deprived of this for the past three months, exactly ninety days today. We need it. The Eucharist sustains us in our journey.

Ang mga Israelita ay nakatawid ng disyerto dahil sa may pagkain ng Mana na nagpalakas sa kanilang paglalakbay. Ang Komunyon ay higit pa kesa sa Mana.

Those who ate the Mana, all died in the desert whereas the promise of Jesus is that, who eat his body will live forever. This is essential for us. Jesus told us clearly, “Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me.” We will get life, real life because of Jesus whom we receive in Holy Communion.

For this, we clamor to the IATF to consider religious services as essential services and not just consider us in the category of entertainment among movies and beauty salons.

Online Masses are not the same as the real Eucharist. Religious activities also should not necessarily be considered as Mass gatherings because we have safeguards to control the people who come to our Masses and religious activities.

So, it is not fair for them to limit our attendance in the GCQ to only ten persons irrespective of the sizes of our Churches. Where is the scientific basis for limiting us to ten persons only? How come when people were allowed to go to work in the offices, they do not put a limit to only ten persons in an office? They say one meter or even six feet apart. Why not say the same for the Churches instead of saying of only ten persons can come to attend in the Mass?

Kailangan magsalita kasi para sa atin mahalaga ang Eukaristiya. Mahalaga ang Misa at ang mahalaga ay ipinaglalaban. Kung hindi nila ito nakikita na mahalaga, igalang nila ang ating paniniwala na ito ay mahalaga para sa atin.

So, Jesus did not water down his statement that his body is real food when his disciples were leaving. Not only that, he really gave up his life even dying on the cross so that we can partake on his body. From his fierce side, his body’s blood was poured out for us. This is how serious Jesus has taken the giving of his body for us. I hope we are also that serious in receiving him.

Mahalaga ang katawan ni Kristo kasi ito ay nagbibigay ng buhay sa atin. Anong klaseng buhay? Eternal life. Ang eternal life ay hindi lang buhay na kadugtong ng sa buhay natin ngayon na ito ay magsisimula kapag namatay na tayo. No, eternal life is not only a prolongation of this life as we know it. It is another kind of life. It is the life of God himself. Jesus said, “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”

This is the life of Jesus that we receive when we receive Communion.  It is not like the ordinary food that we eat. When we eat food, the food is transformed in us. In the Eucharist, we are transformed into what we have eaten. Nabubuhay tayo dahil kay Hesus.

This is the challenge for us. We allow Jesus to transform us into His likeness.  We become Christ-like if we allow Him because we receive Him. At ano ba si Hesus? Ano ba ang buhay niya? Siya’y matulungin sa kapwa. Siya’y malakas ang tiwala sa Diyos Ama. Naninindigan sa katotohanan. Siya’y nagdarasal. Siya’y nakikiisa sa mga dukha. Ginagawa niya ang kalooban ng Ama at hindi yung gusto niya. Ganyan ba ang buhay natin? O kung hindi pa naman, patungo ba tayo sa ganyang katangian? Ganyang klaseng buhay?

The presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is not limited during the Holy Mass. He remains with us in the tabernacles of our Churches. We reserve the presence of Jesus in our Churches so that people can come and adore Him when they visit the Church.

Our Churches are now open as quarantine rules are... Ugaliin po natin na dumaan sa simbahan at magdasal sa harap ng Blessed Sacrament. Maraming mga Adoration Chapels ay sarado pa kasi ang mga ito ay maliliit at airconditioned kung saan madaling kumalat ang virus. Pero ang mga simbahan natin ay maluluwang. Dalawin natin si Hesus. Ang mga larawan ng mga santo ay yan nga, mga larawan, mga sagisag, mga paalaala sa mga santo. Ang Eukaristiya ay hindi lang paalaala kay Hesus, ito’y si Hesus mismo. Kaya dalawin natin siya at magdasal sa harap niya. At dito po sa atin sa Sta. Cruz, sa gitna ng Maynila mismo ay mayroong exposition ng Blessed Sacrament ng buong araw kaya lumapit po tayo. Dalawin natin. Ugaliin natin na kausapin mismo si Hesus sa Blessed Sacrament.

While the Eucharist is a great privilege, it is also a great responsibility. The privilege is that we have God as food. God enters into us. We are so united with Him in a very intimate way. The responsibility is we allow God to transform us. We become like Jesus by following Him day by day.

I like that music in the play and the movie Godspell, “Day by day, O dear Lord, three things I pray, to see the more clearly, to love the more dearly and to follow the more nearly, day by day.” Hindi ba maganda? At yan nga ang buhay Kristiyano na lalo nating makilala si Hesus. Lalo natin siyang mahalin. Lalo natin siyang tularan. Maging tulad tayo ni Hesus.

We become and when we follow Him, maging tulad tayo ni Hesus, we become truly who we are as God the creator intended us to be. Magagawa kaya natin ito? Maging tulad ni Hesus? Oo, kasi si Hesus mismo ay nananahan sa atin. Yan ang Eucharist sa atin – ang katawan ni Kristo. Si Kristo mismo na sumasaatin. Talagang siya ay ang Emmanuel - the God who is with us and always with us. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)

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