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Jesus’ Resurrection Is the Work of God; Purely the Work of God


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(Homily delivered by His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, at the Easter Vigil Mass on April 18, 2014, at the Manila Cathedral.)



The Lord Jesus is truly risen! Alleluia, Alleluia! Nabuhay pong maguli ang Poong Hesukristo, alleluia. Huwag po tayong matakot. Huwag po tayong mangamba.

Dahil napakaraming pagbasa, asahan ninyo na ang homilyang ito ay dalawang oras. Sasabihin ninyo, ang haba haba na nga, hahabaan pa! Eh gaano ba katagal naghintay si Hesus para tayo ay mapalaya. Hanggang ngayon pa nga naghihintay pa siya. Hindi ba tayo maaaring maghintay kasama niya? Pero huwag kayong magalala. Hindi po dalawang oras ang aking homily; isang oras at kalahati lang. Huwag matakot, hindi po.



There is so much to reflect on, that’s why the Church gives us this Mother of all Vigils leading us to an approximate experience of the darkness that leads to light. Binibigyan po tayo ng kaunting patikim ng dilim na hindi nananatili sa dilim kundi nagiging daan, pasinaya, sa isang napakagandang bukang liwayway.

Let me share a few points. First we know what led Jesus to the tomb. His death was the work of human beings and institutions that failed to see the action of God. And these persons and institutions tried their best to keep Jesus dead. Ang kamatayan ni Hesus ay gawa ng mga tao at mga institusyon at sinigurado nila  patay  si Hesus, hindi lamang inilibing, nilagyan pa ng bato ang libingan, dinagdagan pa ng guwardiya para walang kawala si Hesus. Mananatiling patay. At pag patay na si Hesus, ang kanyang salita, ang kanyang gawa, ang kanyang adhikain, gusto nila mamatay rin, kasama niya.

With the death of Christ people, those who plotted His death, wanted to make sure that His words, His vision, His actions, His inspiration would all die with him. Jesus’s death was the work of human beings. His resurrection is the work of God; purely the work of God. That’s why the Gospel could talk of the resurrection of Christ only symbolically, through an earthquake, through angels, dazzlingly white in appearance, to tell us that this event is not the work of human hands but the work of God. The resurrection of Christ is pure, divine grace. And it reverses the evil done by human beings. Kung ang kamatayan ni Hesus ay kagagawan ng tao; ang muling pagkabuhay ni Hesus ay gawa ng Diyos. Tangging Diyos lamang ang nakagagawa at binaligtad ng Diyos ang kamatayang  na dulot ng tao. That’s why the resurrection is also a warning to the unjust, to those who trample on the lives of the innocent; those who lie; those who sell and betray friends. You think, you think you have succeeded but God will reverse what you have done.

Have no fear. You may be weeping now; you may be suffering now, have no fear. God will raise you up; God will vindicate you; God will reverse your suffering into joy. Only God can do it. kaya po mga kapatid, sa araw na ito at sa buong season ng Easter, lagi po nating imulat ang ating mga mata, sa mga gawa ng Diyos at tanging Diyos lamang ang makagagawa. Yung asawa niyo na laging pinagsasabihan ninyo,  ayaw magbago, aba, isang araw parang mabait. Diyos ang gumawa niyan. May muling pagkabuhay. Teacher ka, may estudayante wala ng ginagawa sa klase kundi magbulakbol. Aba, nagbago, naging masigasig. May muling pagkabuhay. Hindi mo gawa iyan; Diyos lamang. Nung isang araw po pinatawag nung isa kong dating teacher. May sakit na po. Nung pinuntahan ko umiyak. Sabi nung nurse, basta may dumadalaw po, napapaiyak siya. Akala ko naman eh sa akin lang umiyak. Napahiya pa ako, akala ko espesyal ako. Kahit sino palang dumadalaw napapaiyak siya. Amerikano po ito. Nung nakita na ako sabi, “Chito, Chito, you used to sleep in my class.” Sabi niya,” but look at you. You are now a Cardinal.” Totoo po ang resurrection. Ang isang tutulog tulog lang sa klase mukhang kayang baguhin ng Diyos. Sabi ko nga pagnaghahanap ako, mayroon bang katotohan ang kilos ng Diyos? Hindi na ako lumalayo. Tinitignan ko na lang ang sarili ko at ng napakarami sa atin. We were all dead because of our doing. But how come we can think good thoughts; we can cry with the suffering; we can rejoice with those whom we do not know. How come we can dream, not only for ourselves, but for others. God is alive. And if he raised Jesus from the dead, he continues to raise us from the dead. This is pure grace. We thank God and we rely on God.

The second and final point. Jesus shares His risen life with us in two ways. First, through baptism. In a little while we will all renew our baptismal promises and we will so baptize new members of the Christian community. And tonight we have more than forty brothers and sisters who have completed the neo-catechumate. And now after thirty years of journeying and scrutiny they will now renew their baptismal promises. Congratulations ho.

According to St. Paul in the second reading, “In baptism we have died with Christ.” What does that mean? Simply put he said, with Christ, we have died to sin. And with Jesus’ life in God, the new life of Jesus is not a return to earthly life. The resurrection is life in God so in baptism we now live to God and for God. Madaling tandaan: Dead to sin; alive to God. Dead to sin; alive to God. Patay na sa kasalanan, buhay sa Diyos. At iyan po ang biyaya ng binyag. Hindi po natin kaya iyon. Ibinibigay sa atin iyon bilang biyaya. Kaya mamaya mangangako tayo bilang binyagan, talagang patay na ang kasalanan at buhay para sa Diyos. O iyong mangangako, huwag yung mapapako. Talagang pangatawanan. Lalo na po ngayong, the Year of the Laity. Let all the baptized show to the world that our lives are really a sharing in the resurrected life of Jesus for God. We do not exist for sin and evil. We exist for God. And if we are for God, we are for the good, for truth, for justice, for life, for love, not for evil.

And another way we share in the risen life of Jesus is through mission. Ang ganda po nung nangyari sa mga babae nang nakakita, yung nabalitaan na si Kristo ay muling nabuhay. Ano ang sinabi sa kanila, puntahan ninyo ang aking mga kapatid at sabihin ninyo magkita kita kami sa Galilea. I will meet them in Galilee. Encountering the risen Lord makes us bearers of the Good News. Nobody encounters the Lord and keeps the Good News to one’s self. If you have seen the Lord, Go! Tell the world He is risen. Tell the world he will meet us in Galilee. Galilee where he first met the disciples. Galilee where he called them. Galilee where love at first sight happened. But then these disciples failed him. The risen Lord wants to meet them in Galillee as though saying, let us start again, there is hope, we can forgive. May pag asa, maaaring magsimula muli. Iyan ang ating misyon. Nakita natin ang Panginoon huwag sarilihin. Ang bawat binyagan, misyonero. Kaya pagkatapos ng misa, pagkatapos sariwain ang pangako sa binyag, pagkatapos ng misa, huwag muna kayong uuwi! Pumunta kayo sa mga kalye; ginisingin ninyo ang inyong mga kaibigan at ipahayag, nakita ko na ang Panginoon; may pagasa tayo sa bagong buhay, halina mabuhay tayo para sa Diyos. Have no fear Jesus is risen, His light is with us. Keep the light burning the way people waiting for the Master eagerly keep the fire aflame.

Ngumiti naman kayo, hindi na Biyernes Santo. Sabi nga ng Santo Papa, bakit ba maraming Kristiyano, pag nasalubong mo mukhang galing sa libingan. Bakit wala silang Evangelii gaudium? Bakit wala silang joy of the good news? Joy that Jesus is risen; joy because we have seen the Lord.

Let us pause and in silence rekindle the joy of an Easter people.