Misa de Gracia of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish
Torres, Mapandan, Pangasinan
Homily by Rev. Fr. Muriel Uy, SSS
Parish Priest, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish
Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Manaoag,
20 May 2020
Heaven and earth are full of your glory. (Responsorial Psalm)
It was in May 2013 when I first stepped in this Church not as a priest but as a Seminarian, I remember the very words that I uttered before our dear Mother “Salamat sa Diyos, Salamat Mama Mary nakarating po ako dito.” That experience reminded me of my teacher in junior High School, a Dominican nun who said “in every time you express appreciation or thanksgiving, you are praying to God.” Thank you very much, Balbaleg ya Salamat (thank you very much in Pangasinense). A very powerful expression of acceptance, recognition, humility and hope. At home, we are thought by our parents to be grateful. At home, we are thought by our parents and elders to be instruments of gratefulness through sharing of our giftedness.
In our celebration today, we are all reminded that the veracity of our Christian life is thanksgiving, the Eucharist, ang banal na Santa Misa. There is goodness and giftedness in us in which we can share into others. Pagpapasalamat sa Diyos at pagbabahagi sa ating kapwa ng biyayang ating natanggap ay napakahalaga sa ikapagpapalalim ng ating relasyon sa Diyos. We are aware that God is always with us, alam natin na hindi tayo pinapabayaan ng Diyos, alam natin na mayroong biyaya ang Diyos sa ating buhay. What we can do then? Being aware of our giftedness. The readings tells us on what we do with it.
Una, be a witness. Maging isang saksi, maging isang nagpapatunay. In the First reading, St. Paul speaks to the people of Athens, he speaks of the unknown God for whom the Athenians have built a Shrine. Paul explains to them that the said unknown God is the God who is not far from them, he is the God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth and gives to everyone life, and breath and everything. Ipinapahayag at ipinapaliwanag ni Pablo kung sino ang Diyos sa buhay nila. Siya ang Diyos na hindi sila pinapabayaan. Tayo din, hindi tayo pinapabayaan ng Diyos; merong Diyos na umaagapay, mayroong Diyos na nagbibigay biyaya sa atin. We are called to be witnesses of the Good news, to preach the Good News and live the Good News.
The life of Mary is thanksgiving. Through the intercession of Mary, we can learn a lot on how to be grateful because our life is also thanksgiving. Our dear Mother, when she visited her cousin Elizabeth she proclaimed “my soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord for he has done marvellous things.” Her humility brings her to be instrument of redemption, to be the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour. When she received the Good news that she will become the Mother of God, she did not only respond with gratefulness but accepted the mission. All of us, lahat po tayo, we have our own giftedness in life which entrusted to us by God. Marami tayong pwede magawa para maibahagi ang ating Diyos sa ating kapwa. Sa loob ng tahanan lalong lalo na sa panahon ngayon ng pandemiya we can be agents of God’s love through our own simple ways; pagbibigay ng pagkain, pagdarasal para sa iba at apgsunod sa mga ordinansa para sa ikabubuti na lahat, iilan lamang ito para maipakita natin kung papaano natin pinapahalagahan, isinasabuhay ang turo at ang pagmamahal.
Pangalawa, be assured of God’s presence. In the Gospel, Jesus assures us of the Spirit, Jesus reassures his followers that they will come to a fuller knowledge and understanding of God’s plan when the Spirit of truth comes upon them. Indeed, the spirit will help us to understand and spread the seeds of Faith. Gaya ng ipinangako ni Hesus, ipinapadala ang Espiritu Santo sa atin para tayo ay mas maging malalim ang pagkakaunawa natin sa Diyos, mapalalim ang ating pakikipagugnayan sa kanya. Whatever we do, wherever we are, God is always with us, God will never leave us. Hindi tayo pinapabayaan ng Diyos, hindi tayo iniiwan ng Diyos. When Mary accepted the invitation to be the Mother of God, she is filled by the Holy Spirit, she is guided by the spirit. Like us, as we welcome God in our lives, let us be assured that God will never leave us, we’ll be filled by the Holy Spirit that will guide in our daily endeavours.
There are many reasons to be grateful of. Ano yung gagawin natin sa lahat ng mga biyayang nabigay sa aitn ng Diyos? Be a witness and be assured of God’s witness.
Our Lady of Manaoag is always leading us to her Son, Jesus Christ in the Eucharist as she told the waiters in the celebration of wedding in Cana “Do whatever he tells you.” As we ask her continuously her intercession, Mary is telling us like what she told to the waiters “Do whatever he tells you.” And every time we celebrate the Eucharist, we are gathered as one family, as one community and we are expressing ourselves the gratefulness that we have, sa lahat ng biyayang ibinigay sa atin ng Diyos. Kung babalikan ko po ang aking unang pagpasok dito sa Dambana, sa Basilica ng Mahal na Birhen, I’m not yet then a Priest but I entrusted myself to the care of Our Lady, of Our Mother.
Mga kapatid, brothers and sisters in Christ, let us entrust ourselves to the Maternal care of our Mother. She is leading us to her Son Jesus, she is leading us to be a Eucharist, she is leading us to be a witness and she assuring us that God will never leave us. God’s presence is with us. May God bless us all.