“Ipagdasal natin na pagkalooban tayo ng Diyos ng kapayapaan. Ito po ay hinahangad ng lahat. And from experience, hindi natin maaabot ang kapayapaan sa ating sariling pgsisikap lamang. Ito po ay biyaya ng Diyos especially the peace that we are hoping for.”
This was Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo’s exhortation to the faithful during the at the New Year’s Eve Mass at the Manila Cathedral last December 31. Apart from the incoming new year, the celebration was the vigil mass for the Solemnity of Mary as Mother of God, which is celebrated on January 1.
In his homily, the Bishop explained that Catholic faith holds that Mary is not God, but is the Mother of Jesus, who is truly God. Hence, he encouraged everyone to hold unto Mary’s hands, the Mother of Jesus, the closest to God and so can intercede for us.
As a new year begins, the Bishop encourages the people to contemplate, pray and seek the meaning of their lives after all of the unfortunate events that happened in the country. Despite the difficulties, one must see the graces from God and keep them in their hearts to reflect on, as how Mary did especially when things became difficult for her to understand.
“Sa simula ng bagong taon kasama ni Maria, manahimik tayo, magnilay at magdasal. Hanapin natin ang kahulugan ng mga pangyayari sa buhay natin… Let us keep all these things in our heart, reflecting on them. Kaya ang magandang pagdiriwang ng bagong taon ay tulad ng ginagawa natin ngayon, nananahimik, nagdarasal. Ipaubaya natin sa Diyos ang taong 2021,” Bishop Pabillo said.
The Bp. Pabillo brought up the approaching celebration of the 500th year anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines, and pointed out that it is actually an assurance that God is faithful and He has been with the Filipino faithful all throughout the years.
“Paano natin nagawa ang mga ito kung hindi dahil sa Diyos. Kaya kailangan tayong magpasalamat sa Kanya sa halip na sisihin Siya. Magpasalamat tayo kasi hindi niya tayo pinabayaan. Kaya kasama ng Mahal na Ina, kasama ng bendisyon ng Diyos, mahaharap natin ang 2021 ng buong pag-asa. God is with us. We are not alone. We can face the new year together with God,” he said.
In 1521, Christianity was brought to the Philippines when Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer, landed in the country. In preparation for the 500 years, the Church has been on a 9-year preparation since 2012 and in every year there is an assigned theme.