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FROM BISHOP MYLO

HOMILY REFLECTIONS OF BISHOP MYLO HUBERT C. VERGARA during the Holy Land  Retreat of the Diocese of Pasig (November 11-19, 2013)

 

Nov. 11: Some Pointers as we begin our Holy Land Pilgrimage retreat coming from God's Word today (Church of Mary of Nazareth)

 

Personal Context: mixed feelings to go on in this retreat due to the Yolanda victims, but perhaps God is calling us to different form of intercession--intense prayer for them at this time; to lift the up to the Lord in faith, hope and love.....

1. Wisdom1:1-7--wisdom of God is his spirit who will overpower any distraction- let us allow God's spirit to desire him, to encounter him, to be focused on Him during this retreat.

2. Luke 17:1-6-- obstacles will be there but God invites us to set our gaze on him, on what is good and holy-- let our prayer at the beginning of this retreat be: "Increase our faith!"

3. Psalm 138-- Lead me Lord to the path of the eternal-- lead us Lord to you in this retreat.

 

 

Nov. 12: Why did Jesus choose Peter, James and John to go up Mount Tabor.? Why dis Jesus choose us to be with him up this mount in our journey to a Holy Land? (Mount of Transfiguration)

 

1. Was it because they were the favorites of Jesus?

2. Peter seemed strong who professed his faith in Jesus at Ceasaria Philippi; he was called Rock (Cephas); he also boasted that he will never abandoned the Lord but denied him as the cock crowed thrice.

3. James and John were called Sons of Thunder; they asked Christ if they could each be at the right and left of Jesus; they were asked: Can you drink the cup?; James fled and hid when Jesus was crucified and died; only John showed up attched foot of the cross.

4. We are here at the tent of James because like them we are weak and sinful companions of Jesus.  We cannot boast of anything. We are here because of Jesus' merciful and forgiving love.

 

Nov. 13: The Beatitudes and Blessedness in the Priesthood (Mount of Beatitudes)

 

1. The Remnants of Israel or the Anawin  ( poor, widow and orphans) called the Poor of Yahweh ( ex. Mary); St. Paul says the foolish are chosen to shame the wise-- recognize that to be chosen is God's gift. life and priesthood is a gift (Fr. Renier's two celebrations)

2. Blessedness from God's vantage point in the eyes of a believer is to realize that our share of suffering in the world is the way to God's kingdom--will bestow on us the gift of heaven. This is the life of a priest, knowing that priestly life is not a bed of roses. Also our life as human beings and Christians.

3. To recognize our giftedness is to share this gift especially to those in need (ex. Rona who worried and went home to her family in Samar.)

 

Nov. 14: The Miracle at Cana and the Priesthood (Church at Cana)

 

1. The intercession of Mary: "Do whatever he tells you."- How laypersons, co- workers in the Church are the ones who encourage us what to do to better serve the Church. Like Jesus ("Woman, how does this concern affect you. My hour has not yet come."),we also say: "How does this concern you? It is not yet time." We are sometimes slow to respond.

2. Six stone jars which contained water turned into wine: the miracles Jesus was able to do in our ministry then, now and always through our preaching and healing ministry.

3. Best wine served last: whatever age and year in the priesthood, we should give our best, no room for mediocrity (example of Fr. Roque Ferriols, SJ)

 

Nov.15: The Motherhood of Mary and The Priesthood (Church of the Nativity)

 

Four Moments of Mary's Motherhood and Priestly Life

 

1. Conceiving- Cardinal Sin when I was ordained a priest: "Today you conceive Christ."

2. Giving Birth- Labor pains of delivering Christ to the world.

3. Nurturing- Nurturing Christ through our ongoing formation - study of the word and the spiritual life.

4. Accompanying- Ministerial  Accompaniment to the "least, last and lost" in whom we should see Christ.

 

Nov.16: The Message of the Incarnation and Paschal Mystery of Christ for the Priest (Church of the Holy Sepulcher)

 

1. One highlight yesterday was our visit to the Church of the Nativity-- the birthplace of our Lord. We fell in line and did homage to the traditionally accepted place of birth of Jesus as well as his wooden manger.

2. There is a movement from the wood of the crib to the wood of the cross since one highlight today is falling in line and doing homage to the place where he was crucified, to where he was laid to rest, and to the tomb from where he rose from the dead.

3. The circumstances of the hard wood where Jesus was born and the hard wood where he was crucified and died points to what our priesthood is all about-- a life participating in the paschal mystery of Christ.  Even our tiring and rigorous falling in line in these two pilgrimage churches invites us to sacrifice. This reminds us that our life as priests should be a life of sacrifice. How many times have we given in to a life of comfort and convenience in priestly life, even evading the cross.

4. The stone rolled away from the tomb symbolizes the blocks to living out a good priestly life.  For some priests, the stone has not been rolled away but covers the tomb, making our lives smell like stench, no life in the priesthood, not a resurrected or renewed life as a priest. Recall how when the women announced that the tomb is empty, the disciples still did not immediately believe. It was Peter who ran to the tomb and was amazed at what he saw.

5.  Message of our readings is Forgiveness--addressed to us priests.  Remember first word in the seven last word: Father forgive them...By Christ's resurrection, we are forgiven of our sins, our sins in the priesthood.  By his mercy, we are chosen to proclaim his forgiving love.

 

Nov.17: Becoming a Priest of Hope (Church of the Visitation)

 

1. Since it is the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time and we approach the Solemn Feast of Christ the King as we'll as the Sundays of Advent, our readings talk about the end-times.

2. The first reading from Malachi pictures the fires of judgment day when the wicked will be burned and the just will be gifted with healing rays. The psalmist echoes this theme saying that the Lord who judges us will rule the world with justice.  The context of St. Paul's Letter to the Thessalonians, in our second reading, is that they felt the end-times was near; because of this they were lax and thought they did not need to work. So Paul was instructing them not to be mediocre in what they do.  In our gospel Jesus warned those awestruck by the adornments of the temple to realize that this will be destroyed (understand the remains of this temple in Jerusalem's wailing wall).  For the Jews, the words of Jesus seemed to point the end-times when it was unimaginable that the house of God would be destroyed.

3. The message of our readings are fitting to the current situation in the Philippines where the unimaginable just happened because of the super typhoon Yolanda literally almost wiping the Central Visayas especially Tacloban.  In this situation, we can have to dispositions: despair or hope.  The first few days made us witness a desperate people fighting for survival.  But as the days pass, there is light at the end of a dark tunnel for the typhoon victims, there is hope. We witness a propel clinging to their faith, resilient amidst the devastation.  Relief and help are coming both locally and abroad: children from Japan sending savings from their piggy banks, Korea raising over 100 million pesos, millions of dollars coming from the US, UK, etc..  We are becoming hopeful.

4.  In your life as a priest, you been through storms and crisis, you have experienced maybe the lowest point of your life.  You have been tempted to despair.  But because of Jesus, you are here, you have hope.  You have also been used by Jesus to be an instrument of hope for others. There will always be problems and ordeals in our life.  But God will never tire understanding us, forgiving us, showing mercy to us. Are you a priest of hope?

5.  It is a blessing that we are in this Church where we draw inspiration from Mary who was with child and was still an instrument of hope when he visited Elizabeth who was in need. She gave hope to Elizabeth by her mere presence to assure her that she was not alone.

6. As priests of a God like others who believe, we are saved by hope.

 

Nov.18: The Challenge to be Trustworthy Priests (Oratory at Mount Nebo, Jordan)

 

1.  Yesterday, the question I posed each of us is : Are we priests of hope?  Today, I ask another question: Are we trustworthy priests?

2.  Our first reading from the book of Maccabees (Macabees1:10ff) tell us of how some Israelite men became allies of the Gentiles to save their lives.  They betrayed God and even seduced their fellow Israelites to worship pagan idols.  They were no longer trustworthy unlike those who stood for their faith in God (remember the seven brothers and their mother who were martyred because they refused to eat unclean animals which was against their faith).

3.  As we are about to end our pilgrimage retreat (like any other spiritual exercise), we know that the test case of the fruit of our encounter with God will be what happens after: How will we be after this beautiful retreat experience?  Will there be change in our life? Will we show ourselves as trustworthy priests before God and the people we serve?

4.  Our gospel from Luke 18:35-43, invites us to respond to these questions as we listen to the story of the blind man.  Jesus passed by and he was at the roadside. He cried to the Lord: "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!".  Like this blind man, we express our prayerful plea to Jesus to have pity on us for we know we are weak and sinful, we need his mercy to be trustworthy.  But you observe, Jesus still asked the blind man: "What do you want me to do for you?"  This question might sound foolish for Jesus knew he was blind.  It was common sense that he needed to be healed of his blindness.  Yet, this could be interpreted as a question directed to a personal circumstance. In this sense, the Lord is asking each of us this question:  What do you want me to do for you?  What do you want me to do for you so that you can become a good, trustworthy priest?  Each us knows what we need from the Lord. We may not be able to open this up to the bishop or your best friend.  But before Jesus, he already knows what we need and he still asks us to articulate it to him.

5.  The blind man responded and said: "I want to see."  This response applies to all of us. We have our own share of spiritual blindness (pagbubulag bulagan). Each of us must pray and express to Jesus that we be healed of our spiritual blindness so we can be able to see...to see Him.

6.  If remember, we had our first mass at the Mount of Tranfiguration.  As I shared, like Peter, James and John, Jesus chose each of us to witness his transfiguration not because we are his favorites but because we are weak and sinful like the three disciples; we were chosen to encounter him because of his love and mercy.  Today, before we come back tomorrow to the Philippines, we celebrate mass here in another mountain, Mount Nebo.  This was the place where Moses was able to vie the Promised Land but was not able to enter it.  He was able to lead the Israelite people to the land Jesus promised but he aged and died before he could enter it. It was Joshua who accompanied the Israelites to the beautiful Land of Promise.

7.  We are like Moses and Joshua, pastors entrusted to lead our flock to the place God has prepared for us in eternal life.  My hope is that we become renewed, trustworthy pastors of the Diocese of Pasig after this retreat, willing and able to lead our communities to the place the Father has prepared for us in his Kingdom.

 

Nov.19: Some Pointers as we end this Pilgrimage retreat from God's Word today (La Maison Hotel, Petra)

 

1. The last leg of our pilgrimage brought us to Petra, one of the great wonders of the world. We were awestruck yesterday as we witnessed what is called the pride and joy of Petra--the Al-Khazneh, the Treasury.  But I think beyond what can gratify our senses, you will agree with me that we have experienced something greater than this wonder.  This special retreat has  made as spiritually awestruck by God's love and presence for the past eight or so days. We have received something spiritually fulfilling because of this special experience with the Lord.  So what now? What's next?

2. Perhaps a more practical question is: How do I want people see me after this retreat? We have two inspiring icons in our readings as we close this retreat:  Eleazar and Zacchaeus.

3. 2 Maccabees 6:18-31--What is striking about Eleazar, the scribe?  He was ninety years old and was courageous enough to die for his faith.  In our first reading, he thought of dying for his faith for the benefit of the young, to be an example for them so that they, too, will not give up their faith for alien gods. We, priests, are called to be living examples for the young, to inspire and motivate them to love and live their faith in God. And hopefully, to encourage young men and women to pursue priestly and religious vocation to serve the Church, especially our diocese lacking priests and sisters to serve our parish communities, ministries and apostolates.

4. Luke 19:1-10--What can we learn from Zacchaeus, the tax collector?  He was the chief tax collector, wealthy, small of stature, and, of course, hated by the Jews because of his work of collecting money from them.  He wanted to see Jesus, was able to see him from a sycamore tree, and was blessed to have him enter his house as his guest.  The Lord chose him from among so many, to be with him.  Jesus not only entered his house but his heart and brought him salvation. This brought him conversion and service to the poor and those he oppressed.  He received the grace for forgiveness from God and reconciliation with others.  We, priests, have received the gift of Jesus entering our hearts. We have encountered him in a very special way during this pilgrimage retreat. Since Jesus has touched our hearts, we are called to renewed service, renewed vigor in our love for the poor, renewed reconciliation by humbly asking forgiveness to those we have hurt in our priestly life and ministry.

5.  Let me end with one more question: What do people expect when we come back home? Obviously, our, "pasalubong" (olive wood rosaries, crucifixes, icons, etc.). But I guess they expect a special "pasalubong"-- a renewed priest, someone who personally encountered Jesus in his land of birth, ministry, suffering, death, resurrection and ascension. And because we have encountered the Lord, they want to see Jesus.  In the words of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: "Only Jesus. Always Jesus."

 

IMNO NI STO. TOMAS

STO. TOMAS ON KINDNESS TO SINNERS: Let them ask if Augustine or John Chrysostom used anathemas and excommunication to stop drunkenness and blasphemy.
– Saint Thomas of Villanova after being cricized for his gentleness with sinners

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FIRST FRIDAY HOLY HOUR AT DEVOTION

 

SA APRIL 4, 2014 AY FIRST FRIDAY. 

 

DUMALO TAYO SA MISA,

 

HOLY HOUR AT PARISH RECOLLECTION

SIMULA 6 PM,

 

KUNG SAAN MARIRINIG NATIN ANG MENSAHE

 

NG SACRED HEART PARA SA ATIN SA BUWANG ITO.

 

MAYROON DING PAGPAPAHID NG LANGIS SA

 

KARANGALAN NI STO TOMAS.

 

MAGKITA-KITA PO TAYO!

 

 

PAANYAYA PARA SA MGA KABATAAN

kabataan,

MAGING malapit sa diyos at DAGDAGAN ANG KAIBIGAN AT BARKADA! 

dumalo sa parish youth ministry,

ang kilusan ng mga kabataan ng ating parokya. 

magkita-kita tayo sa parish hall tuwing sabado

simula alas-7 ng gabi

para sa kwentuhan, pagdarasal,

pakikipag-kaibigan sa diyos at sa isat-isa. 

ISAMA ANG LAHAT NG mga TROPA!

 IBA ANG SAYA KASAMA SI KRISTO!!! 

PAANYAYA PARA SA LOVE OFFERING SA PANGINOON

ANG MGA LOVE-OFFERING ENVELOPES NA IPINAMIMIGAY SA ATIN SA HARAP O PINTO NG SIMBAHAN AY MALAKING TULONG NINYO PARA SA MGA GAWAIN NG ATING SIMBAHAN.  UGALIIN NATIN NA SUPORTAHAN AT TULUNGAN ANG ATING PAROKYA.  BAGAMAT ITO AY HINDI SAPILITAN, SANA’Y MAUNAWAAN NATIN NA ANG ATING SIMBAHAN AY PANANAGUTAN NATIN NA ITAGUYOD SA KANYANG MGA PROYEKTO, MAINTENANCE AT MGA PLANO PARA SA IKADARAKILA NG DIYOS.  MAAARING IBALIK SA OPISINA O KAYA’Y IALAY SA OFFERTORY PROCESSION NG MISA ANG ATING MGA LOVE OFFERING.    ANG BUKAS-PALAD SA DIYOS AY PINAGPAPALA NIYANG LUBOS.  SALAMAT PO.

SCHEDULE OF LITURGICAL SERVICES
HOLY MASS:

SUNDAYS        6:00 AM         

8:00 AM         10:00 AM
4:00 PM           5:00 PM

6:30 PM

MONDAYS    6:00 PM

TUESDAYS
    6:00 PM

WEDNESDAYS
   6:00 AM and 6:00PM

followed by Perpetual Help Novena

THURSDAYS
    6:00 PM

FRIDAYS          6:00 PM

followed by Sto. Tomas Devotion

1st FRIDAYS     6:00 PM

followed by Holy Hour and Parish Recollection                      

SATURDAYS    6:00 AM and
5:30 PM ANTICIPATED MASS

PANALANGIN NG PAROKYA NI STO. TOMAS DE VILLANUEVA

 

AMANG MAPAGMAHAL

TUNGHAYAN MO PO AT KAAWAAN

ANG IYONG MGA ANAK

SA DELA PAZ AT SANTOLAN

NA BUMUBUO SA PAROKYA

NI STO TOMAS DE VILLANUEVA.

NAWAY MAG-UMAPAW

ANG PAGKAKAISA, PAGMAMAHAL

AT PAGLILINGKOD SA AMING LAHAT

KAUGNAY NG AMING OBISPO, KURA PAROKO

AT MGA PARING LINGKOD.

MARANASAN NAWA NG BAWAT

PAMILYA AT PAMAYANAN

ANG IYONG PAGGABAY AT

PAGPAPALANG MATERYAL AT ESPIRITWAL.

ITAGUYOD NAWA NAMIN

ANG MISYON NG SIMBAHAN

NA MAY MALASAKIT SA AMING KAPWA

AT TUNAY NA PAGBIBIGAYAN.

SALAMAT PO SA PAROKYA

NAMING ITO NA SIYANG

TAHANAN NG AMING PUSO

AT BUONG PAGKATAO.

SA PAMAMAGITAN NI KRISTO

KASAMA NG ESPIRITU SANTO

MAGPASAWALANG HANGGAN.  AMEN.

STO. TOMAS DE VILLANUEVA,

IPANALANGIN MO KAMI.  

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