Rev. Fr. Paul Talavera, our parish priest, beloved Dominican Fathers, dear lay leaders of the parish, the devotees of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, brothers and sisters, all beloved in Christ.
Masaya akong makasama kayo sa pagdiriwang ng kapistahan ng inyong patrona, ang Mahal na Birhen ng Santo Rosaryo. Happy Fiesta po sa inyong lahat!
We heard the disciples request to Jesus in the Gospel, “Lord, increase our faith.” We need faith because we need the assurance that despite all the seemingly bad things that are happening in our lives, in our society, and in the world, God is in control. We could empathize with the cries of the people to God, as we heard in our first reading today. They were crying for help because destruction and violence seemed to prevail. What was God’s reply? He gave them a vision of the good things to come. In their hopelessness and despair, God gave them a promise to hold on to. In their wavering faith, God invites them to wait, to be patient, and gave them the assurance, “if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late.” Yes, if we have faith in God, nothing is delayed. Delays are only from our human perspective. God is never late. His acts are always right on time. To be able to believe that is faith.
We need faith because faith gives us the courage to follow the Lord and to do our mission. In our second reading today, St. Paul says, “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord . . . but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” That strength that comes from God is faith. By faith, God gives us the courage to face the challenges of mission. Without faith, we may easily give up when difficulties come our way. Faith enables us to endure the sufferings of this world. A person with faith will always persevere.
We need faith because only in faith can we completely give ourselves over to the will of God. We learn this from the parable of Jesus in today’s Gospel. The sincerity of our faith is seen in our capacity to serve, without calculations and without expecting any appreciation or reward. Faith is being able to say, “we are unworthy servants.” Pope Francis said that this expression, “we are unworthy servants,” is something that the Church very much needs. He said it “is an expression of humility and willingness, which does much good for the Church and recalls the right attitude for working within her: humble service, of which Jesus gave an example, by washing the feet of the disciples.”
My dear brothers and sisters, we beg God to increase our faith. Let this prayer not only be for our own spiritual benefit. Let this also be an apostolic and missionary prayer. Let us pray for an increase of faith so we can also help strengthen the faith of others. Let this community be a place where faith is strengthened and nourished through the different activities and programs so that we can form missionary disciples who will, in turn, strengthen and nourish the faith of their brothers and sisters.
It is with great joy that I join your community in celebrating the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. Pope Francis once said that “The rosary is a school of prayer, the rosary is a school of faith!”
Sa pamamagitan ng santo rosaryo, tinuturuan tayo ni Maria na manalangin, at magtiyaga at maging tapat sa ating buhay panalangin. Sa marami niyang apparitions, ilang beses niya itong pinaalala. Sa Lourdes at Fatima, tangan niya ang rosaryo na animo’y tinuturuan pa ang mga bata kung paano ito dasalin. Pinapamanahan tayo ng ating Mahal na Ina ng pananampalataya, at ng isang panalangin na magpapalalaim dito.
The rosary is a school of faith because it is a contemplation of the life of Jesus through the eyes and heart of Mary. Kapag nagdarasal tayo ng rosary, hinihiram natin ang mata at puso ni Maria na laging nakatuon kay Hesus. Kung taimtim nating pagmumunihan ang mga misteryo ng tuwa, hapis, luwalhati, at liwanag, matatanto nating ang lahat ng ito’y patungkol kay Hesus. Kaya naman minsang nasabi ni Pope Pius XII na ang rosaryo ay ang “compendium of the entire Gospel.”
Through the rosary, Mary teaches us to grow in faith by constantly saying yes to God’s plan. The fourth and fifth glorious mystery is the assumption and the crowning of Mary. This is Mary’s reward for a life spent in fidelity to God’s will and plan of salvation. Bagamat marami siyang pinagdaanang mga misteryo ng HAPIS sa kanyang buhay, ngayon ay tinatamasa niya ang walang katapusang kaganapan ng buhay, pag-ibig, at kaligayahan sa langit.
Ito ay mabuting balita rin para sa atin: na maging matatag at matapat sa buhay sa lupa, na magtiwala at sumandal sa karunungan at plano ng Diyos, at na laging alalahanin na hindi siya madadaig sa kabutihang loob. Lahat ng tumutulad kay Maria na nagdadala ng LIWANAG at TUWA sa mga taong matagal nang lumalakad sa kadiliman at binabalot ng dilim — lalo na sa mga aba, kapus-palad, at may mabibigat na pasan — ay may puwang sa langit.
We join the disciples in today’s Gospel, we also pray to Jesus, “increase our faith.” We ask Mary to lend us her eyes and heart in contemplating her Son, Jesus. We pray, that like Mary, we may grow in faith by constantly saying yes to God’s plan. (Photos from TomasinoWeb Facebook Page)