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Homily of Cardinal Tagle during the Opening Mass of PCNE 3 on July 15, 2016
Homily of Cardinal Tagle during the Closing Mass of PCNE 3 on July 17, 2016



(Talk delivered by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle on July 17, 2016 at the Philippine Conference on New Evangelization at the UST Quadri-centennial Pavilion.)


Good morning! Magandang umaga po muli sa inyong lahat!

This third day of PCNE, “Awa, Unawa, Gawa” and this third day is focused on mission. I want to think that it is the gawa component. Sabi nga kahapon, in a very eloquent way by Bishop Ambo, habag ng Diyos, habag natin hindi lamang damdamin kundi umuuwi sa gawa, kawanggawa. But for us gawa is not just work. For us it is mission. It is one thing to work, it is another thing to do something with a sense of mission. Yung mga nanay dito, puede naman kayong magluto, pero hindi yung nagluluto ka with a sense of mission. Puede ka naman maglaba pero iba yung pakiramdam na yung ginagawa mo ang isang bagay dahil may misyon. 

Ito magsalita: Puede naman akong magsalita para magpa impress, puede akong magsalita para magkaroon ako ng Fans’ Club. Puede akong magsalita para magpatulog. Pero iba yung magsasalita ka dahil mayroon kang misyon. And we want to close the PCNE today with that sense of mission. After all evangelization means mission: to proclaim in word and deed that Jesus is Lord.

Missionaries. A missionary is someone sent—sent by God. Kaya nga mamaya we will close with a sending ceremony. All of us have been invited so that we could be sent. Hindi pupuwede, umattend ako sa PCNE dito na lang tayo. Hindi. Darating ang oras, ang pinapunta kailangan isugo. We are missionaries of Jesus Christ who is the missionary of God the Father. He is the original missionary and the one who sent Him is God the Father. In John 20  He said, “as the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  This is both a privilege and, at the same time, a big responsibility. 

Maganda nga na tayo ay isinusugo ni Hesus. Sino nga ba naman tayo para isugo niya? Di naman tayo karapat dapat. Pero ang mas nakakabigat, sabi niya, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”  So we pattern our missionary life after His and the way He was sent by the Father, and the way He fulfilled the mission He had received from the Father. Hindi pala tayo dapat nagiimbento ng ating sariling mission. Kung si Hesus ang nagsugo sa atin, sinusugo niya tayo kung papaano siya isinugo ng Ama. Kaya balik tayo ng balik kay Hesus. Papaano ba siya isinugo? At papaano ba niya isinabuhay ang misyon mula sa Ama. 

And when he appeared to the disciples in Saint John after telling them that He would send them as the Father has sent Him, He breathed the Holy Spirit on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Our mission, following Jesus, happens in the power of the Holy Spirit. Hindi natin kayang sumunod kay Hesus at magpasugo katulad niya kung hindi sa bisa, lakas, at pagibig ng Espiritu Santo. Jesus depended on the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; He has anointed me so He sends me to bring good news to the poor. Ganoon nagsimula ang misyon ni Hesus sa fourth chapter ni Saint Luke. Ganoon din tayo. Openness to the Holy Spirit so that we may be sent by Jesus, the way the Father had sent Him. 

Kaya bagamat naghahanap tayo ng mga new expressions, new methods, new fervor in mission, dapat tinutuklas iyon by going back to Jesus, listening to Him, and being open to the Spirit, the spirit of discernment. 

If we are missionaries of Jesus in the power of the spirit then like Jesus we are called to be missionaries of God’s mercy. Jesus was sent to be the face, the living presence of God’s mercy. Minana natin kay Hesus iyon, to be missionaries of mercy. How did Jesus describe His mission to Nicodemus? In the third chapter of Saint John, he said: “God did not send His Son to the world to condemn the world but that the world might be saved through Him.”  Jesus was very clear that He was sent to be a missionary of love and salvation: A love that saves. He was not sent by God to condemn. Hindi siya ginawang misyonero ng Ama para maging daan ng damnation. Ipinadala siya para maging daan ng kaligtasan sa pamamagitan ng pagibig. And as the Father has sent Jesus that way, we are also being sent not as signs of condemnation but as signs of mercy. The love that saves. 

Kaya nga when Jesus had a meal with Matthew and Matthew was a public sinner, a tax collector, the Pharisees were surprise: How come Jesus mingles with the sinners? He should be mingling with the poor kung siya ay talagang rabbi, prophet. Hindi siya dapat narurumihan ng mga makasalanan. But Jesus said, I did not come to call the righteous but sinners. 

So, as missionaries of mercy like Jesus, we are being called and being sent to people that the world considers as not worthy of God. But Jesus came precisely for them and so we have to accept that. We will be called and we will be sent to be messengers, missionaries of mercy to them. 

Naikuwento ko po sa isang gathering na nakadalo ako ng isang catechetical month sa isang parokya. Ininterview ko yung mga bata na tinuturuan ng mga catechists. “O, ano ang pinakamemorable ninyong memory ng catechism class at inyong catechists?”  Yung isang batang babae, bibang biba, kinuha pa yung microphone sa akin. So sabi ko, “ano ang naaalala mo tungkol sa catechism?” Ano ang memorable sa iyo? Sabi nung bata, “QUIET! QUIET! QUIET!!” Tapos umupo. Ayun, catechism! Peace! Alam ko maraming catechists dito. Pero kasi catechism is not just teaching. Akala ng iba to be a good catechist you should be an expert teacher. Catechism is much more than just teaching; it is formation. QUIET! Eh, sino ba naman ang babalik sa catechism class kapag ganoon ang memory mo. May tadyak pa yung bata, eh. Na-i-imagine ko yung teacher, “Quiet, quiet”, dalawa pa siguro sila. Eh, pag tinanong kaya kung ano ang naaalala sa confessional. Ano ang naaalala kapag pumunta sa office ng parokya? Ano ang naaalala kapag pumunta sa treasurer’s office ng iskuwelahan? QUIET! QUIET!

Itong topic natin nakakatakot ito. Itutuloy ko pa ba? Kasi, to be missionaries is not according to our brand, but as the Father has sent Jesus. So we go back to Jesus the face of God’s mercy. The true face of God. Can you imagine God not being merciful? What happens to the face of God when God is not merciful? Is that God? At least the face that Jesus revealed of God is the face of mercy.

To develop this theme of Jesus as the missionary of God’s mercy, forming us to be missionaries of mercy, this will take a whole lifetime to learn. At kailangan haluglugin natin ang buong bibliya, pero sa limitadong oras natin dalawang lang po sa buhay at turo ni Hesus at aking nais bigyan ng pansin. Pinili ko itong dalawang ito dahil nakikitang kong tugma sa ating situwasyon, sa atin pong kalagayan. But I am not saying that these are the only two aspects of the mission of mercy that we have received from Jesus. And I hope that when you are sent to your respective communities this afternoon, ituloy po ninyo ang pagninilay. Tignan si Hesus at tignan at inyong mga situwasyong; tignan ang inyong mga apostolates sa inyong mga parishes at tanungin: Papaano ba isinugo si Hesus, at tayo na isinusugo sa ganitong situwasyon, papaano natin siya maipapakita, maipapakilala. Dalawa lang po. 

The first the healing of betrayal through the gift of self. Ang habag ay ang paghihilom ng sugat ng pagtataksil sa pamamagitan ng paghahandog ng sarili. Alam niyo up to last night I was hesitating kung gagamitin ko ito, kasi napakahirap at napakasakit. Kailangan talaga ng tulong ng Espiritu Santo para maisabuhay itong ipinakita ni Hesus na habag, habag sa mga nagtaksil sa kanya. Natutukso ako na tanungin sa inyo, Sino sa inyo ang nakaranas na pinagtaksilan? Aba, marami. 

Pero hindi lang naman yung pagtataksil ng mga lovers; marami rin tayong nararanasan na ibat ibang uri ng betrayal: personal life, mga kaibigan, failed promises, failed dreams, even in social life, in economic life, in the political life, ang daming so-called betrayals. Sa karanasan natin bilang tao, the human experience of betrayal, it causes pain, sakit, and that pain often brings us to anger, sometimes, anger leads to hatred, and then hatred begets either cynicism or bitterness, and for some, unfortunately that bitterness leads to violent revenge. Marahas na paghihiganti. Ang puso at isip punong puno ng paghihiganti. Karanasan ng tao iyan na nasaktan. Kasi, betrayal is painful because it violates trust. Nagtiwala ka, eh at akala mo yung ugnayan niyo makakapitan mo.  Pero hindi pala kaya masakit, eh. Kung walang ugnayan na pinagkatiwalaan mo, hindi ka masyadong masasaktan, eh. Pero kapag may tiwala, at naniwala ka na okay itong aming samahan, tapos hindi pala ganoon, masakit. 

Jesus experienced this from different peoples but maybe the most painful was when the betrayal came from his closest friends, among the twelve. In Matthew 26, 14-16, Judas Iscariot asked the high priest, “what will you give me if I hand him to you?”  Masakit yun, ho. Ibibigay ko siya sa inyo, ano naman ang makukuha ko bilang kapalit? This is not just betrayal, parang may halo ang avarice. Thirty pieces of silver. Parang masakit dahil nilagyan ka ng halaga. Ah, iyan, isang tricycle lang iyan. Bigyan mo ng isang tricycle kuha mo na iyan. Ah, yan, bigyan mo yan ng isang kotse, kuha mo na yan. Parang, ganyan ba lang ang halaga ko? And Jesus knew that he was being handed over. And Jesus knew that he was being surrendered for a price. Di ba mayroon ganyang game show? The Price is Right. Kung tama ang presyo iyo na iyan. Yung mga kaibi-kaibigan, fide-fidelity, tapatan nyo lang ng tamang presyon, okay na iyan! And Jesus knew that. 

Jesus was filled with anguish when they started the Last Supper. In the same chapter, Matthew 26, verse 23, Jesus plainly said it to them, “One of you will betray me.” One of you. And then later on He foretold, “Peter you will deny one.” One will betray me; one will deny me. And every time we celebrate the Mass; every time we connect with the Heart of Jesus, we say that: On the night He was betrayed. That is part of the church’s memory. Huwag kalilimutan ang gabi ng pagtataksil bahagi iyan. Bakit ipinapaala iyan ng simbahan? Bakit hindi nalang binura nila Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Sana pinaganda na lang nila yung Gospel. Sana yung gumawa ng misa alisin na lang yung, “on the night he was betrayed..” Bakit? Masokista ba tayo? Hindi naman. Una, it is being truthful; talaga namang nangyari. It is honesty; it is part of intellectual honesty on the part of the writers and on the part of the Church. Nangyari iyan. Pero siguro ang isang malalim na dahilan ay hindi lamang para ipaalaala ang pagtataksil kundi ipaalala ano ang naging tugon ni Hesus sa pagtataksil. 

Balik ako sa mga magasawa: hapunan na. Haghahapunan kayong pamilya. Nalaman mo may kaluguyo ang asawa mo. Ano ang gagawin mo sa hapunan na iyon? Ano? Yung kutsilyo na panghiwa na karne…grrr.. Siguro yung iba sa inyo, tatayo, magdadaboy papalayo, kumain kang mag-isa. O kaya aalis ka, pagbalik mo, o uminom ka! Lason na pala! Pinapaalala sa atin hindi lamang yung betrayal kundi what did Jesus do? On the night he was being sold, on the night he was being given away for a price, he took bread, broke it, and giving to his disciples said, take, take, and eat, this is my body. He took the cup, gave thanks, gave it them saying, drink from it, all of you, drink from it all of you, including you Jesus, including you Peter, all of you. This is the blood of my covenant which will be shed for all for the forgiveness of sins. Judas, this is for you, for your forgiveness. Peter, this is for you. I am praying for you. I am already forgiving you. 

Betrayal is handing over Jesus but he turned it into another form of handing over; not anymore betrayal but gift of self. That’s mercy. Turning betrayals into gift of self. For you, for you my enemies, for you my betrayer, even for you Judas. This is for you. I am for you. You may be for a time not for me. You may be for a time against me. But I tell you I am here for you. And my gift of self is for the forgiveness of sins. Sin as turning away is conquered by gift of self on the part of God in Jesus. Betrayal is a form of discarding someone; throwing away someone, someone that we find useless. 

Di ba pag may mga bagay, objects that you do not find useful anymore, you throw it away. You discard it. Or, if something or someone stands in the way, you throw it. Bakit ba iyan hadlang sa aking proyekto? Sagabal yan, itapon yan! Or, obsolete, luma na iyan, itapon na yan. Sasabihin nung iba, O, yung asawa mo, luma na, obsolete na, itapon mo na.  Hanap ka ng updated. Digital. Yung iba sabi sa akin, yung relo mo Cardinal na, ano ka ba, museum ka ba, palitan mo na? Kasi bigay ito nung parents ko, 1973, nung pag graduate ko nung high school. Sabi nung iba, Cardinal ka na, dapat i-level up mo na yung mga gadgets mo. Maraming bagong relo, na puedeng telepono, puedeng computer, puede nang pang kung anu-ano. Eh, dahil ba luma itatapon mo na lang? This is what our Holy Father describes as a throwaway culture. Tapon ng tapon at minsan hindi na yata nababagabag na tayo ay nasasanay na just to throw away, throw away, throw away. 

And we don’t even realize that sometimes it is a form of betrayal. We might be betraying without even realizing the gravity of our acts. Just to give you some examples. Consumerism teaches us, sige, accumulate, accumulate. Kahit hindi mo kailangan parang it feels good that mayroon ka nito. Kahit hindi bagay sa iyo. Iba pupunta sa mall nakita yung nakadisplay, uy, maganda ito. Maganda kasi nakasuot sa mannequin. Nag-ilusyon ka naman—wow, maganda iyan, maganda. Binili mo; isinuot mo. Eh, hindi ka naman mannequin! Eh, di naloko ka, bakit kanina maganda. Eh, hindi naman para sa iyo.