Misa de Gracia of Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Parish
David, Mangaldan, Pangasinan
Homily by Rev. Fr. Francisco Vargas, CM
Parish Priest, Our Lady of Miraculous Medal Parish
Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag,
18 May 2020
One of the traditions in Pangasinan is that every year, every Parish comes to this Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag in order to offer a Mass of thanksgiving, so we call this Misa de Gracia and it is always good that we appreciate what we are doing.
What does it mean Misa de Gracia? It is a Mass, first of all of thanksgiving, it is a Mass during which we acknowledge what we are, what we have are all blessing from God. But I think it is always good to realise that we should always characterise our life as a whole life of thanksgiving because everything that happens, whether favourable or unfavourable they’re all opportunities for us to acknowledge how gracious God is, how merciful God is towards us.
As a matter of fact, it’s always good to begin by recognising all the blessing that God has showered upon us especially particular our Parish, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. All the blessing that all the people in our Parish have received from God; good health, our faith, our acknowledgement, our dedication to Mary, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal and the cooperation of people that we live with. These are all positive.
But sometimes, things are not favourable to us do happen and it would be good like for example during this pandemic of COVID-19, we should not look at this merely from the negative point of view but also from the perspective of thanksgiving. What are we to thank God for during this pandemic? First of all, we should thank God for people are waking up to the reality that we are a people of community. Many people who are good hearted went out of their way, especially those who suffered because of the lockdown, poor people who have nothing to eat. So, we thank God for this opportunity to show to God that we care for each other
We also thank God for so many people who are so heroic, especially the Frontliners, all those who are trying to help, to control, to contain this sickness which we do not know everything about. For the patience people have with each other and we thank God for people who have even because of these difficulties asking God and acknowledging God that he is the Author of everything and acknowledging that Mary, the Mother of Jesus is our best intercessor so that she can also intercede for us to God during this time of pandemic.
So we thank God for these opportunities. Crisis is always an opportunity for people who want to do good. And as the Gospel tells us today, as we thank God for many things, we should thank God for the Advocate that Jesus promised to send us, the Advocate who is the Holy Spirit and I think that it is good that we pray so that we will be guided, all of us, by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will definitely guide us through this pandemic, saving us from the worst so that we can make the most out of it. We pray also for all those who have died, we thank God for the lives, for the lives that they have lived. We thank God for the opportunities that were given when they were healthy and for us to realise that health is something that we should care for.
That is why my dear brothers and sisters, when we follow these precautionary measures; Social distancing, sanitation, all of that is to express our care for our neighbour. So basically, one of the things that we should thank God for is to wake us up to the reality, to the importance of the commandment of God “to Love God above all things and to love our neighbour as we love ourselves” (cf. Mk 12, 30-31). And the more we ask for that, the more God will open our hearts and our minds so that we can put this into practice as we are told in today’s Gospel. Those who do this will be assured that whatever we ask of the Father will be granted us.
So let us in that spirit, join together in thanking God for this Mass of thanksgiving to Our Lady of the Rosary of Manaoag and we pray more guidance, more cooperation with the Holy Spirit, more cooperation with one another and try to contain the sickness that is in our midst.