Holy Mass on the Fourth Day of the Novena
in Honor of Our Lady of Manaoag
Homily by Rev. Fr. Bienvenido S. Trinilla Jr., OP
Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag, Manaoag, Pangasinan
23 April 2020
I was born in the year 1953, some years after the second world war. And according to my mother in her story, life during that time was not easy, there’s still some remnants of Japanese people soldiers around and people were afraid and that is why people were still hiding and the means of livelihood is not easy. My Father is a farmer and they remember everytime he commanded me to bring the Carabao in the farm, he always told me “Magpasalamat ka dahil binuhay ka ng Kalabaw. Yung gatas ng Kalabaw yung bumuhay sa iyo dahil wala nang gatas ang nanay mo.” So, with that kind of argument, I cannot but obey my father. Ang laki ng utang na loob ko sa Kalabaw dahil kung wala sa Kalabaw, patay siguro ako. So, we have to bring those animals, five of them, in the farm and feed them and even bathe them, kaya natuto akong maglangoy dahil kasama ko ang kalabaw maligo, lumangoy.
My dear friends, I am reminded of these things, of the good things that we do not even expect to happen. You can just imagine yung Kalabaw na nagpalaki sa akin, no wonder nagaya ko siguro yung ibang trait ng Carabao; hardworking dahil ginapang ko ang aking bokasyon at naging matatag. so somehow what we take in has something to do with our selves. Kaya nga sabi nila yung mga nagbebreast-fed, yung mga bata for 6 months na nagbebreast-fed ay malakas at hindi nagkakasakit dahil mayroong immune -malakas yung immune system nila, so we become most probaby what we take or what we eat.
Kaya nga sa ating Ebanghelyo sa hapong ito, pagkatapos makita ng mga tao ang ginawa at ginagawa ng ating Panginoon; ang kanyang kapangyarihan sa pagturo, ang mga milagro na ginawa niya, isang babae ang nagobserve at expressed herself what she feels, what she observes. “While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, ‘Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.’” (Lk 11, 27). Napakaswerte, masaya yung sinapupunan, yung tiyan na nagdala sa iyo at lalong-lalo na yung nagbigay sa iyo ng nourishment, the breast that nourished. Certainly, this words from a woman is being referred to the Mother of Jesus, of Mary. Para kay Maria ito, compliment ito para sa Ina ng Diyos and most probably the fulfillment of her own prophecy; “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior.” (Lk 1, 46-47).
Mary is the main source of our nourishment. Our love and confidence to her through our prayers, through our Rosaries, our Novena somehow brings us near to Jesus. To Jesus through Mary. And that is why because Mary brought us to Jesus, we are being nourished both body and soul. Jesus brings us to birth and nourishes us in Church that he founded, that we also considered as a mother, Mother Church. We are born again through that different Sacraments that Mother Church provided us.
We are being nourished in the Sacrament of Baptism, by being born again, by cleansing us from the original sin and allow us to inherit Eternal Life. We are being nourished by Eternal Life.
Just like in the Sacrament of Confirmation, we are being nourished by the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, we were given the courage to Profess our Faith, to remember what the Lord had been teaching us, what the Church had been teaching us.
We are being nourished in the Sacrament of Penance, and that is because the compassionate love of God, that Merciful Father that forgives our sins and bring us back to life by absolving us from all the sins that we have committed, gives us strength again.
That Sacrament of the Eucharist that nourished us by no less than the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ as we receive him in Holy Communion. That is the greatest nourishment that we can have and that is because we share in the life of the Lord himself.
And the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick, we are nourished by strength, both body and soul by being accompanied in our pilgrim way going to the house of God, going by giving us that last Viaticum to nourish us as we walk in our life.
That Sacrament of Marriage strengthen and nourish the love between husband and wife. The Sacramental grace of the Sacrament of Marriage allows them to overcome all trials and problems in their life as long as they are faithful to it.
And the Sacrament of Orders nourish us with Pastors, who bring us to greener pasture of the Word of God. Who brings us to the truth.
These are the nourishment that came from our love and devotion to our Blessed Mother. However, the final verse of Jesus after hearing these words from a woman, Jesus answered “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Lk 11, 28). We will be more blessed and more nourished when we hear the word of God and live it, profess it in our daily life. Not just hearing it from one ear and let it go to another ear but listen, listen to him because when we listen, the heart is also concern. When what we listen, it goes down to the heart and when it is in the heart then out of the heart, the actions will just be performed. Kaya mas effective ang buhay natin, mas effective ang mga dasal natin, mas effective ang ating mga natutunan kapag ito ay isagawa natin. Believe it.
We are now in the midst of pandemic, we heard a lot of things, a lot of instructions, a lot of warning and I believe this is also comes from God because God would not allow all these things without his consent. But we need also is to listen to these instructions, to listen to what the experts are telling us and observe it and put it into action in our life. We are being advised to stay at home, we will be nourished by staying at home when we put that into practice, when we observe it, when we obey.
So my dear friends, to be more nourished by the word of God let us obey, let us be faithful and let us continue praying with love and devotion.