HOMILY TRANSCRIPT | Manila Archbishop Jose F. Cardinal Advincula, Fiesta Mass, Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Bangkal, May 13, 2024  

Rev. Fr. Victor Allan Dichoso, our parish priest; brother priests and assisting deacons; men and women religious; civil and lay leaders of the parish; parishioners and devotees of Our Lady of Fatima; dear brothers and sisters in Christ: Happy fiesta po sa ating lahat!

Today, we commemorate the first of the six apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta, in Fatima, Portugal, in the year 1917. Given the tumultuous context of war, oppression, and strife during that time, and taking seriously her Son’s mandate to take the Church under her care, Our Lady appeared several times to the shepherd children to impart vital reminders for the world. Hindi matiis ng isang ina ang pagdurusa at pagkawala sa landas ng kanyang mga anak. Kaya naman ang mga pagpapakita ng ating Mahal na Ina, kasama na ang sa Fatima, ay pagpapamalas ng kanyang konkreto at walang patid na maka-inang pagkakandili sa atin. Ang kanyang mga paalala noon ay nangungusap pa rin sa atin ngayon, sapagkat laganap pa rin sa atin ang mga giyera, kahirapan, pagka-makasalanan, at kawalan ng pananampalataya sa Diyos.

In the said apparitions, the Blessed Virgin Mary introduced herself as the Lady of the Rosary and called for the daily praying of the rosary for repentance, conversion, reparation for sins, and world peace. For the same ends, Our Lady also mandated the spread of the devotion and consecration to her Immaculate Heart. During this Marian month of May, when we see the children of flores de mayo recite the rosary and offer flowers to our Blessed Mother daily, let us revisit our practice of praying the holy rosary. Guided by St. John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, let us appreciate its ultimate meaning, value, and intention. Ayon kay San Juan Pablo Ikalawa, ang pagdarasal ng rosaryo ay ang pagmumuni-muni sa mga misteryo ng buhay ni Kristo tungo sa mas malapit na pagtulad sa kanya. Ito ang naging gawi at pamamaraan ng Kalinis-linisang Puso ni Maria na, bilang kanyang mga anak, ay tinatawag tayong tularan.

Firstly, the Rosary is Christ-centered. While unmistakably a popular Marian devotion, the holy rosary is markedly Christocentric. All the mysteries of the rosary refer us to our Lord Jesus Christ. The joyful mysteries pertain to his incarnation and hidden life; the luminous mysteries to significant events during his public ministry; the sorrowful mysteries to his passion and death; and the glorious mysteries to his resurrection and glorification. If you think about it: “The centre of gravity in the Hail Mary, the hinge as it were which joins its two parts, is the name of Jesus”. Therefore, in the rosary, we find “the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety”.

Sa pagdarasal natin ng rosaryo, katabi natin ang ating Mahal na Ina, at ginagabayan niya tayo sa paggunita at pagtunghay sa buhay ng kanyang anak. Walang hangaring matuon at maiwan ang ating atensyon sa kanyang sarili, itinuturo niya tayo sa ating Panginoong Hesukristo at sinasabing: “Gawin ninyo ang anumang sabihin niya sa inyo”. As St. John Paul II writes: “among creatures no one knows Christ better than Mary; no one can introduce us to a profound knowledge of his mystery better than
his Mother”.

Secondly, the Rosary is Contemplative Prayer. While the holy rosary can be considered a formula prayer, it is not meant to be a mechanical and robotic prayer. According to St. Paul VI: “the recitation of the Rosary calls for a quiet rhythm and a lingering pace, helping the individual to meditate on the mysteries of the Lord’s life”. The repetition invites and facilitates the focusing of the mind and heart toward deeper contemplation, penetration, and assimilation of the mysteries prayed upon. Reading a short scripture passage, using an icon, and pausing for a few moments of silence can also contribute to a more felt and fruitful meditation on the life of Christ. Praying in this manner leads to the discovery of its unfathomable riches and unleashes the fullness of its saving power.

Sa pagdarasal natin ng rosaryo, katabi natin ang ating Mahal na Ina, at tinuturuan niya tayong tumingin nang mas malalim at may pag-ibig sa mukha ng kanyang anak. Kung paanong hindi nawala ang kanyang pagtuon dito mula sa kanyang kapanganakan, hanggang sa paanan ng krus at sa kanyang muling pagkabuhay, gayun din ang paanyaya niya sa atin. Sa ganitong paraan, madarama natin ang malalim na pag-ibig ni Hesus at mabubuo ang matimyas na ugnayan at buhay na pakikiisa sa Kanya. According to St. John Paul II: “although the repeated Hail Mary is addressed directly to Mary, it is to Jesus that the act of love is ultimately directed, with her and through her”.

Thirdly, the Rosary intends Configuration to Christ. Praying the mysteries of the life of Christ in a contemplative and heartfelt manner brings one to develop an intimate friendship with Him. As friends influence our interests, values, and choices, so does friendship with Christ form and configure our persons to him. We begin to think as he thinks, feel as he feels, and live as he lived. Configuration to Christ is the rosary’s ultimate end. St. Louis Marie de Monfort once affirmed: “since Mary is of all creatures the one most conformed to Jesus Christ, it follows that among all devotions that which most consecrates and conforms a soul to our Lord is devotion to Mary”.

Sa pagdarasal natin ng rosaryo, katabi natin ang ating Mahal na Ina, at hinuhubog niya tayo kung paano niyang hinubog ang kanyang anak na si Hesus. Sa ganang ito, patuloy siyang nagluluwal ng mga mabubuti at banal na anak na bubuo sa Katawan ni Kristo sa lupa, ang Simbahan.

As we continue this celebration, we heed the invitation of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate ourselves to her Immaculate Heart — a heart that lovingly contemplated her son Jesus in her heart, toward configuration to him as his most perfect disciple. Ang anak ni Maria, kahawig ni Maria. Ang kahawig ni Maria ay kahawig ng kanyang anak na si Hesus. We pray the rosary with intention and devotion, guided by our Mother, toward life everlasting. Amen. Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us. (Photo by Austin Reyes/RCAM-AOC | Photogallery)

 

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