HOMILY TRANSCRIPT | Easter Tuesday Mass with RCAM Employees, Manila Cathedral, April 11, 2023, 9 am

Mga kapatidnapari, mgaminamahalnakapatid kay Kristo,

Masaya akong makapiling kayong lahat na bukas palad na naglilingkod sa mga ministries, offices, departments, seminaries, institutions at parishes ng Archdiocese of Manila.  Kay gandang tinipon tayo ni Hesus sa umagang ito upang pagsaluhan natin ang biyaya ng kanyang muling pagkabuhay.

Mary Magdalene may not have been part of the list of the Twelve Apostles. But she has been bestowed the title that is even greater than the apostles, “Apostle to the Apostles”. All the four evangelists are unanimous in describing Mary as the one who has always been there for Jesus. Unlike the apostles, except for John, she never abandoned her Lord. She was there all throughout. When everybody else left Jesus. Mary Magdalene stayed.

Brothers and sisters, our dear lay collaborators, you are Mary Magdalene. You are always there for the Church. When our priests are having their vacations or busy with other affairs, you are there. When the priests come and go for their new assignments, you provide stability and consistency to our offices and parishes. Without you, the Archdiocese must have already collapsed.

In 2016, the Holy Father Pope Francis has elevated the memorial of St. Mary Magdalene into a feast. This is to show that her role is as necessary and important as the apostles. Today, we honor you in the same way. Your presence, your service in the Archdiocese is as significant if not more valuable than the clergy. Thank you very much for your dedication and commitment. Thank you very much for your silent but powerful witness of love for the Church. Kung wala kayo, paano na kaya ang ating mga opisina at parokya?

Ngunit ang katapatan ni Maria Magdalena ay nanggagaling sa kaniyang malalim n apag-ibig kay Hesus. Mula nang makilala niya si Hesus, nagbago na ang lahat sa kaniyang buhay. This is the same challenge for all of you. Ang ating paglilingkod ay dapat na kaugat sa pag-ibig kay Hesus. Humihingi kami ng paumanhin kung minsan hindi kami nagiging mabuting halimbawasa inyo. Paalalahanan ninyo kami kung kailangan. Huwag kayong matakot. Kagaya ninyo, nagsisikap din kaming maging tapat sa Panginoon.

Mary Magdalene did not recognize the Risen Lord. She thought He was a gardener. But when Jesus called her name, she instantly recognized His voice. She exclaimed, “Rabounni”, Teacher. What a beautiful encounter. Nawala lahat ng kaniyang lungkot at pagod. Napawi ang lahat ng kaniyang pangamba at luha. My dear co-servants in the vineyard of the Lord, when sometimes you don’t see or feel the presence of Jesus, listen to His voice. Listen to His call. He knows each one of you by name. He loves you very much.

Jesus asked Mary Magdalene not to cling to Him. “Noli me tangere”. Touch me not. This is because Jesus wants her to take on the mission of proclaiming the Good News of His resurrection to His disciples. My dear friends, our encounter with Jesus always leads to a mission. You have a mission to fulfill. Or in the words of Pope Francis, “You are a mission”. You are a living witness to the joy of the Gospel.

In the Archdiocese of Manila, we have just launched a renewal program called, “Traslacion RCAM Roadmap”. This is the next phase of our synodality. We would like to embark on a journey of renewing our local Church. Conversations should lead to conversions. Listening should be substantiated by concrete actions. I would like to call on each and every one of you, “Let our Audiam, I will listen, be translated into Serviam, I will serve.”In the next few days, our Traslación RCAM Roadmap Team will be going around our ministries, offices, vicariates and parishes to explain and expound on the dynamics and specifics of the Traslación RCAM Roadmap.

There is no better time than today to start the renewal of our parishes, ministries and offices. Easter is the season of new life, of personal and pastoral conversions. Ang panahon ng Pasko ng Pagkabuhay ay napakagandang pagkakataon upang simulan natin ang paglalakbay patungo sa pagbabago at pagpapanibago ng ating mga buhay, pamilya at pamayanan. Gisingin natin ang mga natutulog na mga parokya at mga ministry. Isaayos natin ang mga magulong pamamaraan at gawi. Unti-unti na tayong nakakabangon sa pandemya. Ngunit hindi maaaring bumalik tayo sa dating gawi. Sabi nga ni Pope Francis, “The basic rule of a crisis is that you don’t come out of it the same. If you get through it, you come out better or worse, but never the same.”

We ask our Mahal naPoongNazareno to guide us in our Traslación, in our desire to walk together towards the fullness of life, to becoming a Church of the Poor. We ask Our Lady, Nuestra Señora De Guia, to intercede for us in our mission to proclaim the Good News that her Son is truly risen, that He is alive and calling us to renew the face of the earth with His love. Amen. (Photo by Maricar Santos/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)


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