Misa de Gracia of Annunciation of the Lord Parish
Bonuan Gueset, Dagupan City
& Sto. Thomas Catholic School
Homily by Rev. Fr. Alvin Platon
Parish Priest, Annunciation of the Lord Parish
Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag,
19 May 2020
My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, as we celebrate the “Misa de Gracia” for the Parishioners of the Annunciation of the Lord Parish in Buluan and also the thanksgiving Prayers of the students and the teachers of the Sto. Tomas Catholic School in Mangaldan, we offer this Mass in thankful prays and glory despite the situation we are in, we still have God with us.
The readings for today, particularly the Gospel, speaks to us, narrates to us about the farewell discourse, ang pagpapaalam ng ating Panginoong Hesukristo sa kanyang mga Disipulo (the farewell of Our Lord Jesus Christ to his Disciples). And it always as good-byes, farewells would always as an experience for us, it is always sad. Kaya nga sabi ng ating Panginoong Hesukristo, “wala kayong matanong dahil (you have nothing to say because) you are sad, grief has filled your hearts.” (cf. Jn 16, 5-6). But Jesus assures his apostles that another helper, another companion will be given to them, hindi sila mangungulila, hindi sila mag-iisa (they will never be lonely, they will never be alone) and he was speaking about the advocate which is the Holy Spirit.
Now, bakit kaya sabi ng ating Panginoong Hesus (why is it that our Lord Jesus says) it would be better for him to go away? Well the reason is because if he doesn’t go away then the Advocate cannot come. The Advocate is the same presence of Jesus but more intimately. Kung titignan natin (If we look at it), if Jesus had the physical body, he cannot be everywhere with his disciples. If Jesus had a physical body, then cannot enter into the minds, the hearts and the conscience of people. The spirit is everywhere, body has limitations.
Kaya nga sabi ng ating Panginoong Jesus (Thus says our Lord Jesus), “it would be better that I go back to my Father and the Spirit would be given to you that the Spirit would dwell intimately in you.” Ito yung sinasabing dapat matuwa, magalak ang mga disipulo (This is to say that the disciples should be glad, rejoice) beause they will have an intimate companion, they will have a guide, hindi lang nasa labas kundi isang kalakbay na nasa kanilang kalooban (not just outwardly but as a force within them.).
Jesus continues in the Gospel na sabi niya (he said), “ano ang gagawin ng Espiritu?” What will the Holy Spirit do? Jesus tells that the Spirit will convict the world of its sin (cf. Jn 16, 8). Conviction ang ibig sabihin nito ang Espiritu Santo ang magsasabi sa atin ng ating mga pagkakasala, wala na ang ating Panginoong Hesus (it means that the Holy Spirit will tell us of our sins, our Lord Jesus would be no longer) physically but he will be intimately present within us.
That is why if we really look hard, we can see positive things in negative events in life. Halimbawa, itong sitwasyon natin ngayon (For example, our situation today), we are so to say in darkness; marami tayong kinakatakutan, maraming pag-aalinlangan, marami tayong mga tanong na hindi masagot (we have many fears, many doubts, we have many unanswered questions). But despite these trying times, there is still someone who accompanies us, there is still someone who gives us life, who gives us hope and that is the presence of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. That is why we thank the Lord there is so much to thank for because God hasn’t left us. This is the fulfillment of Jesus to his Apostles “I will be with you until the end of time.” (Mt 28, 20)
Jesus accompanies us through the presence of the Spirit today. Our Blessed Mother also accompanies us and envelopes us with her maternal care. May we always be aware of all this graces because God has always loved us from the beginning of time until the end of our life. Amen.