Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lenten Recollection with the Most Reverend Bishop Teodoro Bacani, Jr. D.D.

Parish of the Last Supper of Our Lord 
Manila Times Village, Las Pinas City
Diocese of Paranaque

March 09, 2013 


Pope Benedict XVI has decreed, that the Catholic Church will observe the Year of Faith, from October 11, 2012 until November 24, 2013. The Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church and sustain it until the very end of our life. 

But for most Catholics, FAITH is seasonal. We focus on our faith through the occasions we celebrate. During Lent, we go through penance, reflection and fasting which prepare us for Christ’s suffering, death and on Easter, His resurrection. In the season of Advent, we prepare Christ coming through the Simbang Gabi and His birth on Christmas day. We pray the novena to lift up our petitions, like passing the board exams, healing the sick, promotion at work, trip abroad and many others. 

But what happens after Christmas, after Easter Sunday, or after our prayers and petitions are answered? Sad to say, this is how we practice our Catholic faith. We have learned a lot from the numerous Catholic teachings we heard and read, but we do not consistently act them in our lives.

As Bishop Bacani said, our life should be a life of faith. It is not seasonal or occasional. Rather, every breath that we take should be a life of faith.

Most Reverend Bishop Teodoro Bacani, Jr. D.D. during his talk.

What is a Life of Faith? 

1. FAITH IN OUR BELIEFS (“paniniwala”) – our Catholic beliefs are professed in the Apostles Creed 

Normally, a person believes in something if there is evidence manifested through the five senses. If one sees, hears, tastes, smells or feels something, then he believes. The most common saying we have is “to see is to believe”. 

Another way by which we believe is through logical reasoning: major premise, minor premise and then we arrive at a conclusion. 

And lastly, belief is established because we were told about it. 

With FAITH, we believe that God’s words are true. It is a belief that is not based on proof. We don’t use our senses or logical reasoning. 

2. FAITH IS TRUST (“pagtitiwala”) – this is faith through the heart. When we believe in our heart that God will take care of all our needs, because He is not only the most powerful, but He loves us so much and will never forsake us, that is trusting the Lord with all our heart. God makes all things work together for those who love Him. With His Divine Mercy, we say, “Jesus I trust in you”. 

3. FAITH IS OBEDIENCE (“pagsunod”) – The prayer of faith consists not only in saying “Lord, Lord”, but in disposing the heart. In Matthew 7:21 it says, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven will enter.” Indeed, faith without action is dead. 

4. FAITH IS LOVE (“pagmamahal”) – God’s first and greatest commandment is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) and the second is “Love your neighbour as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). 

In closing, Bishop Bacani’s advice is to: 

1. Read the Holy Bible daily – God speaks to us through the bible. 

2. Hear Mass – God speaks to us through the readings and the Gospel. 

3. Attend prayer meetings – God says in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” 

The recollection was capped with a final blessing from the bishop. 

(Write-up by Deity Lim, parishioner/CFC-FFL)

Closing prayer.

Rev. Fr. Angel Sanchez, parish priest, thanking Bishop Bacani.

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