Opening Activity for Share the Journey Campaign - Global Week Action


Homily delivered by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle during Mass for the Opening Activity of Share the Journey Campaign - Global Action Week held at the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz, Binondo Manila on June 17, 2018, at 5:30 p.m.

Cardinal Tagle delivering his homily during Mass for the opening activity of Share the Journey Campaign
Photo by Eric Paul Guanlao

First of all we give thanks to God for bringing us together as one family, as one community of faith and I would like to thank the community of the Minor Basilica and National Shrine of San Lorenzo Ruiz for hosting this Eucharistic Celebration. I want to thank Fr. Andy Lim our Pastor and Rector for saying ‘Yes’ to this celebration.

You see that we have cameras because our celebration will be shared with the Vatican and with the more than 130 countries that are members of Caritas Internationalis. so smile kayo, smile makikita kayo sa iba’t ibang bansa

Today, we are opening the Week of Action which is endorsed by Pope Francis called “Share the Journey”, makibahagi sa paglalakbay. This is the program of Pope Francis and Caritas regarding a humane encounter, personal encounter with migrants all over the world especially forced migrants.

We have the right to migrate, to live where we want to live but many people in the world are force to migrate, they go to countries, to other places because of poverty, because of violence, because of hunger, because of lack of work, because of conflicts, because of environmental distraction.

Now we have 65 million people who are walking, who are sailing often in dangerous circumstances and they do not know whether there are people who will welcome them. Every day we hear reports, we see images and we Filipinos we know there are, they say around 10 million Filipinos who have also migrated to other lands.

I just arrive yesterday from Brazil and in the airport in Dubai, you know the airport in Dubai has many Filipinos employees. Yung unang punta ko sa airport ng Dubai akala ko nasa Pilipinas ako, kasi bagong gising ako ang narinig ko Tagalog. Sabi ko “naku nakabalik na pala ako sa Manila” and yesterday 2 Filipinas working in Dubai Airport recognize me and treated me well, they brought me to a parang restaurant, yun pala they needed someone to talk to.

One of them had a big problem with her daughter who is here (in the Philippines) and she is working in Dubai and you could see how her heart is broken and when she recognized me she said, “Your Eminence I see God’s hand tonight, he sent you here in this airport so that I could unburden my heart” this is one migrant.

There are 65 million forced migrant and Pope Francis and Caritas is inviting all of us, go encounter a stranger, meet a stranger person to person, welcome, promote human dignity, protect their lives, their rights and help integrate them into the community and he invites the migrants, be productive in the country that accepts you, learn the culture and be good citizens, add to the stability of your new home.

It is a personal encounter; person to person because I gave you number 65 million but they are not numbers they are human beings like you and me.

In the reading today teach us a beautiful lesson, the Kingdom of God in the hands of God is the grandest of all kingdoms, other kingdoms of this world begun and died. You have the Roman Empire, you have the Greek Empire, you have many other empires started by human beings but they disappear and one day all the human kingdoms pretending to be great will disappear, but God’s Kingdom will remain.

But how does God’s Kingdom operate? Through small little actions.

The Kingdom of God according to the first reading begins with a branch of a cedar tree, in the Gospel, it is like a mustard seed or a farmer sowing seeds and then not knowing how the plant grows. The Kingdom of God is like Saint Paul in the second reading, an ordinary person, insignificant but in the hands of God, his Kingdom will be great.

My dear brothers and sisters let us be small, let us be humble the proud will promote his or her kingdom not the Kingdom of God.

Maging mapagpakumbaba tayo, ang mayabang itatayo ang sarili niyang kaharian hindi ang kaharian ng Diyos. Ang kaharian ng Diyos manggagaling lamang sa mga maliliit at mapagpakumbaba. The kingdom of God will grow not through our grand grand plans as though we are the saviors of the world, no. The Kingdom of God is God’s action, our share is the little little actions.

Look at the sharing before the start of the mass, the Chinese migrant how was he helped? A simple act “kuya ihatid mo nga ako sa tricycle” yun lang simple, maghatid ka sa tricycle.

Simple, ngiti. Kagabi nginitian ko lang naman yung Filipina ngiti and then she said “Father” and then nagbiro pa ako “Sister” and I did not expect that small little act you smile, a joke became a profound sharing and when I woke up this morning there was already an email from her sabi niya “pakitulungan ang anak ko” this is the cry of a mother – a migrant mother.

But as we welcome the strangers, let us also welcome each other kasi po kung tutuusin kahit hindi naman tayo foreigner, each one is unique we need to welcome one another, personal encounter and promote human dignity.

As we focus on the Chinese migrants here, I know among the priest there are people from other countries. What other countries are here? (Looking at the priests who concelebrate in the mass) from India, Father Can you please (giving gesture for the priest to stand up) ayan from India (crowd applause) thank you; from Italy ayan Fr. Grattiano, you know Fr. Grattiano is from Modena, Italy he invited me to his parish, he takes care of Filipino migrants in his parish, so thank you Father thank you. other countries here? China (priest stood up then crowd applause); any other countries here? Korea? Japan? Philippines? (crowd applause).

And so we are happy that we are inaugurating this week in this Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz who is a Chinese-Filipino the meeting of two cultures can produce a saint, as we welcome the stranger we welcome Jesus who said “when I was a stranger you welcome me” so we pray for all those who are displaced, May they find brothers and sisters who will welcome them and recognize their human dignity so that the kingdom of God, of justice, truth, love, and peace may grow and bear much fruit.

Let us pause and open our hearts to the seeds of the word of God that the spirit wants to plant in our hearts.


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