HOMILY TRANSCRIPT | Easter Monday Mass with RCAM Employees, Manila Cathedral, April 1, 2024, 9 am

Reverend Monsignor Reginald Malicdem, Vicar General and Vice Moderator Curae, my dear brother priests, assisting deacon, religious sisters, seminarians to be admitted to the candidacy for holy orders, and our dear lay collaborators in the Archdiocese of Manila, my brothers and sisters in the Lord,

It brings me great joy to celebrate this Holy Mass with you on Easter Monday, commemorating together the grace of new life brought about by the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As St. Paul affirms, the Resurrection is the foundation of our faith: “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor 15:14).

The Resurrection stands as the ultimate proof that God is not a God of the dead but of the living. It is God’s response to the unavoidable reality of death, which entered human history due to sin and the breaking of the first covenant. Thus, the Resurrection becomes a powerful message of hope and life.

Regrettably, from the very beginning until now, there have been those who question the veracity of the Resurrection. In today’s Gospel, we hear how the chief priests were already aware that something supernatural had occurred. The guards’ account of an earthquake, an angel, and an empty tomb all pointed to the fact that Christ had risen. Nevertheless, they chose to circulate a different story: that the apostles came at night and stole Jesus’ lifeless body. Sadly, “this story has circulated among the Jews to the present day” (Matthew 28:15).

At times, we find ourselves grappling with the Good News. Ayaw agad nating maniwala sa Mabuting Balita. Given the multitude of falsehoods we encounter in our surroundings, we often doubt the authenticity of good news. Totoo ba ito, o hindi?

My dear friends, today, we are reminded to embrace the truth and to be bearers of that truth. Christ is truly risen! We are an Easter people, and our song is Alleluia! Allow me to leave you with these three points for reflection:

First: Truth Will Triumph: The story of Jesus’ resurrection has been passed down among the Jews for generations. The chief priests opted to propagate an alternative narrative—that the apostles had stolen Jesus’ body. However, over time, the apostles’ firsthand account prevailed. Why? Because it was true! They had witnessed the risen Christ not just once but repeatedly. Their unwavering testimony stood firm even in the face of persecution and death. Tandaan natin: anumang totoo, anumang mabuti ay laging magtatagumpay.

Second: Easter Is a Life-Giving Encounter: The apostles didn’t merely “see” the risen Jesus; they encountered Him. Divine mercy enveloped them when Jesus said, “Peace be with you,” despite their past abandonment. Divine revelation unfolded as He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. And divine love ignited their hearts in His presence. These encounters transformed their lives, reinforcing the authenticity of their message. Mga kapatid, buksan natin ang ating puso sa maraming pagkakataon na magpapakita sa atin ang Panginoong Muling Nabuhay, lalo na sa ating pagiging mga lingkod ng Simbahan. Huwag nating kakalimutan na Siya ang ating pinaglilingkuran.

Third: Easter Is Our Spiritual Treasure: As church workers and as seminarians, you carry this same truth—the risen Christ lives! Your baptism connects you to this life-changing story. During this Easter Season, seek deeper encounters with Jesus. Open your heart to His presence, and let Him reveal Himself to you. He longs to encounter you, just as He did with the apostles. Ang muling pagkabuhay ang ating kayamanan. Ito ang dapat nating inaasam-asam: Ang buhay na walang hanggan sa piling ng ating Poong mahal.

Finally, we turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first to share in the Good News of her Son’s resurrection. Let us ask her to help us be bearers of the truth of the Gospel to the whole world.

Happy Easter! May your proclamation of the Good News continue to inspire and uplift those you serve. Amen. (Photo by Mio Angelo Hermoso/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)

 

 

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