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Change. Pagbabago. Wala nang mas permanente sa buhay ng tao kundi change, pagbabago.

Ang lahat ay nagbabago at patuloy na nagbabago. Pero hindi po lahat ng pagbabago ay mabuti. Ang mabuti ay maaaring maging masama. Gayundin, ang masama ay maaaring maging mabuti. Tignan natin ang kalagayan ng ating bansa.

Noong 2016, nanalo ang administrasyong ito sa plataporma ng change, pagbabago. May nagbago nga ba pagkaraan ng apat na taon? Sa mabuti ba o sa masama? Kayo na ang humatol. 

Pagbabago. Change. Iyan din angpaksa ng ating mga pagbasa ngayon. Sinabi ni propeta Ezekiel, “May matuwid na nagiging masama. May masama na naging matuwid. Ang mahalaga ay saan tayo dinatnan ng wakas.

Ang mabuti na nagpakasama at dinantnan siya ng wakas na masama, wala siyang mapapakinabangan sa kanyang dating kabutihan. Mamamatay siya, paparusahan siya dahil sa kanyang kasamaan. Pero kung ang isang tao na masama ay naging makatarungan at nagwakas ng mabuti, hindi na isang alang alang ang dati niyang kasamaan.

Ito ay isang mabuting balita at isang warning. Mabuting balita ito sa mga makasalanan. May pag-asa palagi. Magpakabuti sila at kahit gaano pa sila kasama noon, hindi sila parurusahan. Ito ay isang warning din sa ngayon sa mga mabuti. Huwag umalis sa landas ng kabutihan. Kapag lumihis tayo dito, wala nang saysay ang anumang kabutihang ginawa natin.


The same idea is presented in the Gospel. The first son said no. But he changed his mind. He worked in the vineyard. He did the Father’s will. The second son started well. He said yes to the request of the Father but he did not go. He disobeyed the Father. May nagbago tungo sa kabutihan, may nagbago tungo sa kasamaan. Pero may isa pang punto sa parable na ito. Ang tinitignan ng Diyos ay hindi an gating mabuting balak o ang mabubuting salita. The road to hell is paved with many good intentions pero ang tinitignan ng Diyos ay ang ating gawa. Words can be re-assuring but it is deeds that count and not just any deed but the good works of doing the Father’s will.

Naalaala ba ninyo na pagkatapos ng mahabang aral ni Hesus sa Sermon on the Mount, sinabi niya na, “Everyone who says to me, Lord, Lord shall enter the kingdom of heaven. But only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord, it will not prophesize in your name? Did we not drop out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name? Then I will declare to them solemnly, I never knew you. Depart from me, you, evil doers.”

Kahit na nagpalayas ng demonyo sa ngalan ni Hesus o nagpagaling o gumawa ng milagro pero kung hindi gumagawa ng kagustuhan ng Diyos, evil doers ang tawag niya sa kanila.

Deeds are important. Deeds in obedience to God. Iyan ang ginawa ni Hesus. Naging masunurin siya. Hindi lang sa salita. Pinakita ni Hesus ang pagiging masunurin sa kanyang pagkamatay sa krus. Iyan ang sinabi ni San Pablo sa ating Ikalawang Pagbasa, “Dahil sa kanyang pagiging masunurin hanggang sa wakas, niluwalhati siya, dinakila siya ng Ama.”

Our times call for deeds. Because of the internet, there are a lot of exchanges in words and ideas. Kahit na sino ay maaaring magdagdag ng salita sa internet. There is a multiplication of words and  nice words, too. Maraming salita ay mabulaklak, mga analysis na malalim. Pero hanggang diyan na lang. There is such a thing as analysis paralysis. Dahil sa kaaanalisa, nawalan na ng ganang kumilos. Dahil sa kaaanalisa, wala nang ginawa. The Father expects us to work in the vineyard and not just to say yes.

This Sunday is National Migrant’s Sunday. Kaya nga nandito tayo sa Parokya ng San Jose Manggagawa sa Manuguid, Tondo kasi ang parish priest dito si Fr. Tem Fabros ay ang minister Archdiocese para sa mga migrants.

Ang maraming mabigat na naapektuhan ng pandemya ay ang mga migrants at ang kanilang mga pamilya. Mahigit na 124 thousand ang mga OFWs natin na bumalik na sa bansa at may nagtatansiya na aabot ito ng kalahating milyon pagdating ng December. Ilang mga pamilya ang naapektuhan diyan - higit na isang milyon na mga families kung bibilangin natin ang mga nawalan ng trabaho sa abroad. Hindi nga nakauwi o pinauwi sa Pilipinas pero wala namang trabaho.

At isang usapin ngayong pandemya ay ang mga LSIs (Locally Stranded Individuals). Ayaw silang paalisin at ayaw din silang tanggapin kahit na sa kanilang mga bayan

Ang mga issues ng migrants ay pag-uusapan lang ba natin? Ano ang ginagawa natin? May dapat gawin ang gobyerno pero may dapat din tayong gawin bilang indibidwal at bilang simbahan. Kaya nga meron tayong National Migrant’s Sunday taun taon para may gawin tayo. Pwede tayong magdasal at yan ay ginagawa natin sa ating Banal na Misa ngayon. Pwede rin tayong mag-contribute ng pagtulong sa kanila. Kaya ano bang donation na maibibigay ninyo sa simbahan sa Linggong ito ay para sa mga mirgrants at sa kanilang mga families. Mayroon tayo sa CBCP na Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant Peoples na nag-aabala sa mga migrants at sa kanilang mga pamilya. Mayroon din tayong Apostleship of the Sea na sila naman ang mga nangangalaga sa ating seafarers at mga pamilya nila. Mayroon tayong mga internal migrants tulad ng mga LSIs na mga evacuees at pati na nga sa mga taong walang tahanan tulad ng mga street people. Malaki po ang magagawa natin upang makatulong sa mga ito.

Ngayon din ay National Laity Week, National Laity Sunday. Ang mga nabibilang sa mga layko ay ang lahat ng binyagan na hindi pari o madre. Ibig sabihin higit na 99.99 percent ng simbahan, kayo po iyun, kayo yung mga laity, mga layko.

Kung ang mga layko ay kumilos lang, malaki ang mababago, ang mangyayari sa lipunan natin. At ang mga gawain ng layko ay ganun nga – panibaguhin ang mundo. Ang pagkikilusan nila ay ang politika, ang business, ang education, ang market place, ang sports lahat iyan ay kailangan ng kaligtasan.

Okay na magdasal ang mga layko natin. Pero kung ang dasal nila ay sinasamahan ng pagkilos, malaki ang pagbabagong mangyayari sa bansa. Kaya kumilos na mga laity natin.

Nasa mga huling linggo na tayo ngayon ng ating Season of Creation. Nagsimula ito ng September 1 at magtatapos sa October 4. Ang usapin sa kalikasan ay nagtatawag din ng pagkilos, ng paggawa. At hindi lang talumpati o kaya ay pag-aaral. Sapat na ang pag-aaral na sinisira ng tao ang baance ng kalikasan. Kailangan ng magkaisa na pigilin ang patuloy na pagkasira nito.

Dito sa Kamaynilaan mayroong project na ilulubog ang higit na tatlong daang hektarya ng gubat ng Sierra Madre sa Quezon Province paa gumawa ng Kaliwa Dam para daw sa tubig ng Metro Manila. Utang yan sa Tsina ng 12.2 billion pesos, ang dam na ito. Maraming mga manggagawa dito ay mga Instik. At kung may hindi pagkakasundo sa kontrata, ang korte ng Tsina ang magpapasya at hindi korteng Pilipino. Bakit ba tayo pumapasok sa ganitong kontrata na kagubatan natin ang sinisira at ang dayuhan ang masusunod? Kailangang kumilos na tayo alang alang sa bayan, alang alang sa Inang kalikasan.

Ngayong araw ay piyesta ni San Vicente de Paul. He is known as the Apostle of Charity and the Father of the Poor. Inilaan niya ang kanyang sarili sa pagtugon sa lahat ng uri ng kahirapan – mga may sakit, mga ulila, mga may kapansanan, mga bilanggo, mga alipin. Itinatag niya ang CM (Congregation of the Missions) o kilala dito sa Pilipinas na mga Vincentians at ang DC Sisters (Daughters of Charity) na may mga asilo, may Hospicio de San Jose, may pagamutan at mga paaralan. At ganun din sa mga layko, Ladies of Charity.

Pero si San Vicente de Paul na malaki ang nagawa para sa mga mahihirap ay hindi nagsimula ng ganoon. Naging pari siya sa France noong 1600 na ang balak lang ay makaalis sa kahirapan kasi galing siya sa mahirap na pamilya. Gusto niya iahon ang kaniyang pamilya sa kahirapan at magkaroon ng disenteng…at ang paraan niya ay ang pagiging pari niya. Kaya padikit dikit siya sa mga may kaya noon at naghahanap ng magagandang posisiyon.

In a way, he was a mediocre priest. Pari nga pero ang puso niya ay wala sa Panginoon. Paraan lang ang pagpapari niya, hanap buhay lang ito. Pero nagbago siya. Binago siya. Binago siya ng Panginoon at ang ginamit ng Diyos na baguhin si Vicente de Paul ay ang mga mahihirap mismo. Nakadalaw siya sa mga ospital na ang inaagawan ng may sakit ay ang mga higain ng mga kamamatay lang. Ang mga tao noon ay nasa ospital upang doon mamatay. Nandiri siya sa pagpupunta niya sa mga barrio na magbigay ng mga Anointing of the Sick dahil sa karamihan ay madudumi at talagang mababaho, mahihirap lamang na mga tao. Pero pinagtiyagaan niya ang mga gawaing ito at dahan dahan nabago ang kanyang pananaw sa buhay at ang kanyang pananaw sa mga mahihirap. Niyakap niya ang kahirapan at ang mga mamahihirap. Iyan na ang naging layunin ng kanyang buhay – tulungan sila.

Si San Vicente de Paul ay ang taong hindi naman masama pero maligamgam sa kanyang bokasyon ngunit nagbago siya. Naging masigasig siya sa kanyang pagsisilbi. Siya yung anak na nagsimulang sumagot ng ayaw, pero nagtrabaho sa ubasan ng Panginoon. Hindi lang siya nagbalak, siya ay nagtrabaho.  Siya ay gumawa. Siya ay kumilos.

That is the change that God asked from us – change for the better. Change not only in intentions and in words but change that is shown in our deeds. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications / RCAM-AOC)


With the difficult situation that the Covid-19 pandemic has put the nation, the scheduled events for the celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity in 2021 has been adjusted and made to extend until 2022.

This was the decision that has been made by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP. The original schedule for the  culmination of the celebration, which was is April 2021, will now instead serve as the launching of the year-long celebration that will end in April 2022.

 In a report by CBCP news, Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, acting president of CBCP, stated that the changing of the dates was necessary to lessen the health risks caused by the pandemic.

“Due to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, it was necessary to change the schedule of our celebration of the 500 years of Christianity…So it is now going to be a whole year celebration until 2022,” said Bishop David.

The year-long celebration will begin on April 17, 2021, to commemorate the First Easter Sunday Mass in the Philippines at Limasawa Island in Southern Leyte. This celebration will be spearheaded by the Diocese of Maasin.

On April 14, 2021, the Church in the Philippines will also celebrate the First Baptism in the Philippines. This celebration will be spearheaded by the Archdiocese of Cebu

Meanwhile, the International Mission Congress (IMC) and the 2nd National Mission Congress (NMC) was also moved to April 2022.

Bishop David announced that the National Retreat for the Clergy which was set on August 4 to 6, 2021, has been also canceled. 

Instead of a retreat, the bishops’ Commission on the Clergy decided to organize conferences on the Church’s history in the Philippines along with the parish.

“Each (CBCP) Commission will also have adjustments of their plans due to the crisis that we are going through,” said the Bishop.

Christianity was brought to the Philippines in 1521 when the Portuguese explorer, Ferdinand Magellan, landed, heading a Spanish expedition in his bid to reach the East Indies, sailing west. The country has about 85 percent Christian but mostly Roman Catholic. (Fatima Llanza / RCAM-AOC)


His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed His Excellency Most Rev. Charles John Brown, D.D. as the new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines.
 

The announcement was made to the public today, September 28, 2020, at 12 noon (Rome time) and 6 pm (Philippine time.)

His Excellency Most Rev. Charles John Brown, new Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines. | Photo Credit: www.catholicnews.ie


Archbishop Brown was born in New York, USA on October 13, 1959. He was ordained priest for the Archdiocese of New York City on May 13, 1989.

From 1994 up to his appointment as nuncio, he worked for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. On May 6, 2000, he became a Chaplain of His Holiness. Then, in September 2009, he was appointed Adjunct Secretary of the International Theological Commission.

The 61-year old archbishop was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland on November 26, 2011, and Apostolic Nuncio to Albania on March 9, 2017.

He was consecrated Archbishop on January 6, 2012, by Pope Benedict XVI.

An apostolic nuncio (also known as a papal nuncio or simply as a nuncio) is an ecclesiastical diplomat, serving as an envoy or a permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See to a state or to an international organization. A nuncio is appointed by and represents the Holy See, and is the head of the diplomatic mission, called an Apostolic Nunciature, which is the equivalent of an embassy. The Holy See is legally distinct from the Vatican City or the Catholic Church. A nuncio is usually an archbishop. (Jheng Prado / RCAM-AOC) 


Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, shared how his being connected to the people and to the Lord have helped him coped up with isolation during the time when he was in quarantine after testing positive with Coronavirus.

“Getting out of the quarantine I realized that for you to survive you need a deep, deep sense of interconnectedness. Deep sense kasi your enemy will be the feeling that you are isolated, that you are a threat now, that you don’t even trust yourself, that you are a danger to yourself. And you could be a danger to others and then you feel like baka nga better na lang to isolate yourself and then the isolation also bothers you but it is the sense that you are interconnected, you are connected to God,” Cardinal Tagle said.

Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples | File Photo of RCAM-AOC

The former archbishop of Manila was the keynote speaker during the 2020 Online Catholic Education Association of the Philippines Congress (CEAP) on September 25. He expounded on the topic “Mission: Dialogue of Faith & Life and Culture Beyond Creed, Beyond Borders, Beyond COVID.”

CEAP is a non-stock, non-profit organization. It is the national association of Catholic Educational Institutions in the Philippines founded in 1941. It now has more than 1,525 member-schools and more than 120 superintendents of Catholic Schools. It is a voluntary organization which operates through regional educational associations located in the 17 regions of the country.

The Cardinal’s talk also focused on the significance of dialogue among Christians now that the country is in tough times. He said that a lack of communication among people would worsen the situation.

“But when there is lack of dialogue when there are borders that we set up if I do not see a neighbor, a brother or a sister or someone who is in need how could we address a pandemic, wala, the pandemic will just continue. A pandemic also requires a pandemic response as well a general response and it has to be done with dialogue,” said Cardinal Tagle.

On September 11, 2020, Cardinal Tagle tested positive for COVID-19 after his arrival in the Philippines to have a short visit to his family in Imus, Cavite. He underwent a 14-days quarantine. He tested negative after a swab test on September 23, 2020.

“In my case, I am very grateful to the many, many people who pray, assuring you that you are not alone, that’s why I could say for the survival either mentally of those who go through this crisis this connectedness what we call dialogue is important, your existence depends on a rediscovery of the reality that you are not alone,” said Cardinal Tagle. (Jheng Prado / RCAM – AOC)


Pondo ng Pinoy, a Church-based organization that gathers fund to support social service programs was able to contribute cash donations on the programs to Caritas Manila as well as to different dioceses that are affected by the CORONA virus pandemic. This was through the help of the 25-centavo coins that the organization has been gathering in their fund-raising program, according to former Ambassador to the Vatican Henrietta de Villa, sub-committee chairman of the community foundation in a release from Veritas News.

Aside from cash donations, Pondo ng Pinoy also distributed relief goods and face masks.

In the news article, Ambassador de Villa shared how Pondo ng Pinoy caught the imagination of the people that inspired them to gather their unused 25-centavo coins and to donate them to Pondo ng Pinoy fund raising advocacy to help those who are in need.

“Ang pag-iipon ng 25-sentimos para sa Pondo ng Pinoy ay pinanggagalingan ng katuwaan, feeling of fulfillment. Caught the imagination of the people, kaya marami ang nagbabahagi. The habit become a virtue,” said de Villa.

She also assured that Pondo ng Pinoy is constantly doing its mission to guide individuals to God and also to love others fostering unity in society.

“Hangarin ng Pondo ng Pinoy na itaguyod ang pagbabago sa sarili para sa kabutihan ng iba. Tatlong P: Pagtataguyod, Pag-aaruga at Pagmamalasakit sa kapwa,” she added.

Pondo ng Pinoy was established by Manila Archbishop Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales in 2004 and was formed through Cardinal Rosales’ motto and principle: “Anumang magaling kahit maliit basta’t malimit ay patungong langit.” (Fatima Llanza / RCAM-AOC)


Caritas Manila, the Social Service arm of the Archdiocese of Manila celebrated its 67th year anniversary through an online Mass presided by Most Rev. Broderick S. Pabillo, Apostolic Administrator of Manila on September 26, 2020, at 8 in the morning.

With the theme, “Thriving In Crisis Through Faith And Charity”, Caritas Manila for the past 67 years has developed programs such as Caritas Margins, Restorative Justice Ministry, Segunda Mana, Youth Leadership and Education Program (YSLEP) which educates 5,000 scholars all over the country. This year, YSLEP will extend its assistance to the children of the jeepney drivers who were affected by the coronavirus pandemic to enter college and technical vocational courses.



Fr. Anton CT Pascual, executive director of Caritas Manila said in his message to Radio Veritas, that the social service arm will continue to respond to the needs of the people especially during this time of crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Sa harap ng pandemyang ito huwag takot ang manaig kung hindi ang kapangyarihan ng pagkawanggawa; pag-ibig at pagmamalasakit sa kapwa ang papawi sa takot at pangamba na dulot ng krisis na ito,” Fr. Pascual told Radio Veritas.

For the past six decades of helping the poor and the needy, Fr. Pascual expressed his gratitude to all the donors and benefactors including various groups, public and private institutions and even individuals who consistently support all the programs of Caritas Manila.

“Nagpapasalamat tayo sa ating mga donors at benefactors throughout the years walang sawang nagtitiwala at sumusuporta sa Caritas Manila para matulungan ang poorest of the poor,” said Fr. Pascual.

When the government implemented the Enhanced Community Quarantine in Manila in March, Caritas Manila through the help of business groups have distributed one billion gift certificates to more than one million individuals in the country.

Fr. Pascual also acknowledged all the priests and lay volunteers who fearlessly went out their way to help despite the danger of acquiring the virus.

“Nagpapasalamat din tayo sa mga pari at mga lay volunteers na hindi ininda ang takot at pangamba na lumabas upang matulungan ang poor communities; walang sawang bumababa para maramdaman ng mga mahihirap na hindi sila nag-iisa sa krisis na ito,” said Fr. Pascual. (Jheng Prado / RCAM-AOC)



As the Todos Los Santos approaches, environmental groups were pleased about the temporary closure of cemeteries in the country due to the health risks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The increasing amount of wastes in cemeteries every Undas has become a perennial problem as people flock to visit their departed loved ones. According to Rodney Galicha, Living Laudato Si Philippines Executive Director, aside from the safety of people from virus exposure, there is also the ecological benefit of this move.

“Kapag wala tayo dun sa sementeryo, marami ‘yung mababawas na mga basura at karamihan naman doon siyempre ‘yung pinagbalutan ng ating pagkain, pinagbalutan ng kandila at marami pang iba,” Mr. Galicha said in an interview in Radio Veritas.

He also pointed out that remembering and offering prayers for their departed loved ones, which is the essence of the tradition, may still be done in their homes.

“Ang espiritu naman kasi nung ating pag-aalaala sa ating mga yumao, espiritu naman talaga ‘yun ng tunay na pakikipag-ugnayan sa Panginoon, ay ‘yung siyempre pagpapanalangin sa ikabubuti at ikakapayapa nung kanilang mga kaluluwa,” he added.

In 2018, 8 garbage trucks were collected from Manila North Cemetery which  accommodated 1 million people. (Fatima Llanza / RCAM-AOC)

 


Former Archbishop of Manila, Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle has recovered from the infection caused by the coronavirus.

According to Fr. Gregory Gaston, rector of Pontificio Collegio Filippino in Rome where Cardinal Tagle resides after he was appointed Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in February said that Cardinal Tagle tested negative for COVID-19 and his recovery is “indeed a great joy for the whole Church.”

“God wants him to continue serving in the Vatican's office for the Missions, to bring God's Good News of love, joy, peace, justice, forgiveness and reconciliation -- all of which the world needs in a special way these days,” said Fr. Gaston.

Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples | File Photo of RCAM-AOC

“The Collegio Filippino in Rome has witnessed his hard work, dedication and prayers,” he said. “We wish him all the best in his short visit to the Philippines, to rest a bit and be with his family back home,” he added.

Cardinal Tagle who is also the president of Caritas Internationalis has tested positive last September 11, 2020, after he arrived in the Philippines to have a short visit to his family in Imus, Cavite.

Though he shows no signs of the infection, he was immediately placed under quarantine for two weeks. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)


An Misa ta sa aldaw na ini, inorganize ng mga Bicolano para sa selebrasyon kay Ina ng Peñafrancia. Digdi sa magayon na simbahan kan Balic-Balic, Holy Trinity Parish. Pinag-gigibo ta ini ta kita mga deboto sa pagselebrar kang Ina kan Penafrancia. Makisaro kita sa gabus na mga Kristiyano especially na hali sa Bicol, mga Bicolano, sa satuyang pagharani sa satuyang Ina.
 

Sinasabi ko po na nandito tayo sa parokya ng Holy Trinity, magandang simbahan ng Holy Trinity sa Balic-Balic upang i-celebrate po ang patron ng mga taga Bicol, ang Ina at ang Divino Rostro. Kaya nakikiisa po tayo sa mga Bicolano na nandito ngayon at nakikinig sa atin, sa atin pong pag-dedebosyon sa ating Mahal na Ina.

Mahigit anim na buwan na tayong nasa lockdown kaya anim na buwan na rin tayong nag-o-online Mass. Salamat po sa pakikiisa sa ating online Mass tuwing alas diyes dito sa TV Maria. Siguro napansin ninyo na sa mga homily ko sinisikap ko na iugat ang mensahe sa Salita ng Diyos na matatagpuan po natin sa ating First Reading at sa ating Gospel at kung minsan sa Second Reading din.

I also try to point out the relevance of the readings to our present social issues and not only to our personal lives. We are following the Gospel of Matthew this year. The First Reading which comes from the Old Testament is chosen in view of the Gospel passage. The two therefore are connected to each other.


The Second Reading, on the other hand, has its own continuous reading taken from the Letters of Paul. In the past few months, we have been following the Letter to the Romans. And now we start from the Letter to the Philippians.

The Second Readings are not intended to connect with the Gospel. Para mas ma-appreciate ninyo ang message, I suggest that you read the Readings before Mass so that you have an idea what you are about to hear.

Let us place special attention to the Word of God so that we may know the ways of the Lord. This is not easy because we are told in the First reading, “My thoughts are not your thoughts nor are my ways your ways,” says the Lord. Kung paano ang langit higit na mataas sa lupa, ang daa’t isip ko hindi maaabot ng inyong akala.

Because of this, many times we need to adjust and change our natural way of understanding in order to know and accept God’s message. Hindi sana natin i-adjust ang mensahe ng Diyos sa ating pananaw. Babaguhin natin ang ating pananaw ayon sa mensahe ng Diyos. This is why the Word of God invites us to conversation. It is our way that you change not the message of the Lord.

Kitang kita itong pagkakaiba nitong pagkakaiba ng pananaw natin sa paraan ng Diyos sa ating gospel reading today. Para sa marami, parang unjust ang Diyos. Bakit naman pinareho niya ang suweldo ng nagtrabaho ng buong araw sa nagtrabaho ng isang oras lang? Unfair.

Bago natin talakayin ito, mabuting ipaalam sa atin na noong panahon ni Jesus, ang isang araw ng tranbaho ay hindi otso oras kundi labing dalawang oras from sunrise to sundown. Ang sahod sa isang araw ay isang Dinaryo, that is the day’s wage.

Noong pinadala ng may-ari ng ubasan ang mga mangggawgawa noong alas sais ng umaga, nagkasundo na sila sa suweldo na isang Dinaryo. Kaya tama ang sinabi niya sa mga ito noong magreklamo sila, “Kaibigan, hindi ko naman kayo dinaya. Hindi ba nagkasundo tayo ng isang Dinaryo?” Pero ganun ka-generous ang may-ari ng ubasan. Nagpadala pa siya ng ibang manggagawa ng alas nueve, alas dose, alas tres at pati ng alas isngko ng hapon.

So many people were jobless. It is not because they were lazy. Noong tinanong niya sila, “Bakit kayo tatayo tayo dito ng buong maghapon?” Ang nakaklungkot na sagot nila ay, “Wala pong magbigay sa amin ng trabaho.” Hindi ba ito ang kalagayan ng maraming tao ngayon? Marami ay nakatengga, walang trabaho dahil sa wala naming mapagtrabahuan. In the vineyard of the Lord, however, there is always work. And he is generous in constantly sending workers to His vineyards.

I admire many owners of the business who keep their business open in spite of the hard times. Not so much for them but for the sake of their workers. To sustain the workers in their work is to give life and hope to them and to their families. So they burn midnight candles thinking how to keep their business going for the sake of their workers.

I also admire and praise the companies who gave salaries to their workers for several months even if they could not work because of the pandemic. These companies reflect the generosity of the owner of the vineyard. He did not just pay the workers for their work. He paid them because they are their workers.

Dito po magkaiba ang pananaw ng Diyos sa usual na pananaw ng mga may-ari o mga managers ng mga businesses o mga paggawaan. Ang binabayaran nila aya ng trabaho ng manggagawa nila. Ito lang ang nagawa mo, yan lang ang matatanggap mo. Halatang halata ito sa mga arrangements na ang bayad ay by the number of pieces produced. Eighty pieces lang ang nagawa mo, babayaran kita ayon sa halaga ng eighty pieces. Trabahao ang binabayaran. O kaya nagtrabaho ka ng anim na oras, anim na oras lang ang sahod mo.

Pero pwede ba nating tignan that we pay not the work but the worker? Hindi trabaho ang binabayaran natin kundi ang manggagawa. Ibig sabihin hindi trabaho, hindi yung ginawa niya ang binabayaran, kundi ang taong gumagawa ang binabayaran. We pay not the work but the worker.

In our Philippine constitution, the just wage is not simply the minimum wage but the living wage. The living wage is the amount of salary that a worker and his family can decently live on in a day.

Sa Pilipinas ang ating minimum wage sa Metro Manila ay P537.00. Pero ayon sa pagsasaliksik, ang living wage, the amount that can decently support a family of five in a day is P1,022.00. Hindi pa tayo sumusunod sa  Constitution.

Bakit naman pumasok sa usapin ng sweldo? Kasi sa ebanghelyo, iba ang pananaw ng ubasan kaysa nakasanayan nating pananaw. Ang isang Dinaryo ay ang sahod sa isang araw. Ang sahod na makakasuporta sa manggagawa ng isang araw. Kahit na nagtrabaho siya ng anim o tatlo o isang oras, kailangan ng manggagawa na mabuhay ng isang araw. Kaya minabuti ng may-ari na bigyan sila lahat ng tig-iisang Dinaryo kahit na sa ilang oras lang sila nagtrabaho. Ang binayaran niya ay hindi ang oras ng trabaho kundi ang nagtarabaho, ang taong manggagawa.

Can we adopt this way of looking at work? We do not calculate the salary just according to the amount of work done. But we pay the wage to support a human person, a brother and sister who work.

Hindi ba ganyan ang nangyayari sa ating pamilya? Hindi lang natin pinapakain ang nagtrabaho sa bahay. Pati si baby na hindi nagtratrabaho, si lola na mahina na ay nakikibahagi sa mga resources ng pamilya. In the family, it’s received according to each one’s need and each gives according to one’s capacity.

In the Church in Jerusalem, this way of life, this is the way of life of the early Christians. We are told in the Acts of the Apostles, “There was no needy person among them for those who own the property or houses would sell them, bring the proceeds of the sale and put them at the feet of the apostles”. And they were distributed to each according to need.

Siyempre nagreklamo ang mga nagtrabaho ng buong araw. Pero palagay ba ninyo magrereklamo sila kung walang ibang manggagawa na dumating na magtrabaho? Hindi. Iyan naman kasi ang kasunduan nila. Nagreklamo sila kasi nasilip nila na ang mga nahuli ay isang Dinaryo din ang tinanggap. Ang pagrereklamo nila ay bunga ng pagkainggit. Nainggit sila kasi mapagbigay ang may ari sa iba. Envy is a very dangerous sin. It blinds us to goodness. It is actually a form of selfishness.

We can get many insights from this parable of Jesus. First, there is a lot of work in the vineyard of the Lord. Ang iba ay bata pa tinawag na ng Diyos. Ang iba ay nasa kalagitnaan na ng kanilang buhay. Ang iba ay sa bandang huli na sila tinawag tulad ng magnanakaw na pinakos a krus sa tabi ni Hesus. Late na niyang nakilala niyang nakilala si Hesus at siya pa ang unang nakapasok sa paraiso. Talagang naging totoo sa kanya ang sinabi ni Jesus, “The last will be first. The first will be last.”

Makikita din natin sa pagbasa natin ang generosity ng Panginoon. Tapat siya sa Kanyang pangako. Ibinigay niya ang nararapat pero mapagbigay din siya sa iba. Let us not be envious. Let us allow God to be God. We are not short-changed because others are favored. God also gives us what is due to us and sometimes even more. Huwag lang tayo maging mapaghambing. In our highly competitive world, there are lots of hurts because we tend to compare. Compare positions, money, possessions, favors, etc. So, we are never contented. We are never satisfied. And we are never happy and contented.

But on another level, it is good to examine our view on salaries and wages. It is not just a strict tooth for tack. A more humane way of looking at work is that it is a way to care for each other as human beings. And to distribute the wealth of the company, we do not just pay the work or the number of hours of work, we pay the worker who is a human person.

Let us not just be contented to give the minimum wage and sometimes even less. We strive to give the living wage which is found in our Philippine Constitution.

Corollary to this, let us not view labor as an expense. If it is viewed as an expense, we cut it down. Thus, the ways and means being used to cut down the expense of labor like contractualization. Can we not see labor as an asset? As capital? As a resource? Is a person an expense or a resource? We cut down on our expenses. But we build up our resources.

Ay, malaki pang pagbababgo ang dapat magbago sa ating pananaw. “My thoughts are not your thoughts nor my ways your ways,” says the Lord. (Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications/RCAM-AOC)


In an interview by the Archdiocese of Manila – Office of Communications with Fr. Reginald Malicdem, rector of the Manila Cathedral, he encouraged the faithful to strengthen their faith especially during this time of COVID-19 pandemic where many people are threatened of physical health and devastation on the emotional and the well-being of a person.

“Hindi lang naman ito medical issue ng karamdaman. Ang dami ring emotional, mental issues na kasama dito kaya mahalaga din yung pananampalataya,” he said.

“Yung medical, yung physical concerns natin matutugunan yan ng doctor, matutugunan yan ng siyensiya. Pero yung emotional, yung mental malaking bagay magagawa ng pananampalataya natin para diyan,” he added.


Earlier in September the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) has lifted the restrictions to religious activities allowing churches to reopen with 10% seating capacity under the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

The reopening allows the faithful to come inside the church and attend the celebration of the Holy Mass, which was placed on hold when the government declared the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Manila because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

According to Fr. Malicdem, it is best to be physically present during Mass but the faithful are not forced to go out of their homes and attend if they don’t feel they are not yet safe to do so because of the risk of the virus.

“Recently naglabas ng letter ang Vatican office yung Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments na nothing beats, nothing compares to the physical presence doon sa misa. Kaya ine-encourage ng Vatican na as long as it is already safe and possible to allow the people to attend Mass, talagang mas maganda nandon physically ang mga tao. But of course we have to consider din yung safety ng mga tao at yung mga tao na hindi talaga makakalabas ng bahay at hindi makakapunta ng misa dahil hindi pa nila nararamdaman yung safety,” he said.

Fr. Malicdem further added that their online services and online masses are made available through their Facebook page and YouTube channel.

As of September 19, 2020, the total coronavirus cases in the country is 283,460. There were 4,930 who died while 209,885 recovered from the virus. (Jheng Prado/RCAM-AOC)

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