I read the pastoral letter of the CBCP issued a week ago, penned by the CBCP president Bishop Soc Villegas, not just once or twice but three times. I purposely read it thrice because I wanted to understand the real and core message of the letter albeit numerous references of it in expressing sentiments, stance and commentaries by some people or sector. In best effort to comprehend what I had read, I sensed fishy-smelled colors in most if not all reactions, political or otherwise, against the present government, particularly against the administration and the one who administered the present national government.
Attending the Holy Mass this morning, I was expecting that the pastoral letter will be read before the Catholic faithful of our parish. To my disappointment, it was not shared during the mass. If only it was read, I understand that all the parishioners attending will take the pastoral message as pure and simple guidance and pastoring intended for the God’s flock in strengthening the faith in the church of Christ, and not singling out anyone or any cause, anyhow.
However, my dismay was exonerated by the homily of our parish priest, Fr. Marlon Avenido, who by his deep yet logically lucid translation of the day’s reading reminded the mass-goers of the importance of choices in life. He managed to let and allow his listeners to understand the biblical message through citing basic examples and sharing practical teachings of how the people of God should understand everyone’s experiences as repository of making choices. That life offers options and it’s up for everyone to choose which from among these alternatives to take. Fall or exaltation, sin or good deeds, loneliness or happiness, isolation or oneness, we all have choices. But as people of God, given our human limitations and in the presence of temptations, the parish’s chief pastor emphasized that we need not be hypocrite and say “business as usual”. In making choices, we need to go back to the fundamental teachings of the church- LOVE, COMPASSION and SERVICE to our fellowmen, regardless social awareness, economic status and political inclination.
Relating the homily to the pastoral letter, as Catholics and faithful children of God, we all have choices whether to take the pure pastoring based on the merit of the message of the pastoral letter OR join those who are propagating personal hatred and/or collective political anguish and insecurities which are now flooding mainstream media outlets and social media platform (esp. on Facebook).
I already have chosen a side. You can also choose yours. There’s no fence-sitting here, one must take one. Whatever our choices will be, let us all the time remember, God is watching us from a distance.
Happy Sunday everyone!
(Photo credits to globalnation.inquirer.net)