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(Homily delivered by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle during the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 7:00 a.m. at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish church the temporary official church of the Archdiocese of Manila.)




It is good to be gathered as a family of God, as a Christian community as we begin the observance of these holy days. And our celebration is made more special by the presence of our beloved Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines, His Excellency The Most Reverend Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, our two auxiliary bishops, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Bishop Bernard Cortez. We also have the Bishop Emeritus of Daet, Bishop Ben Almoneda. We have the two companions of our Nuncio, Msgr. Pinter and Msgr. Horgan.  We have our jubilarian priests.   And, of course, the big crowd of the faithful, the religious and our brother priests. 

In this Eucharistic celebration we shall bless the oils that will be used for baptism, for anointing the newly baptized; the oils for confirmation; the oils that will be used also to anoint those who are ordained to the priesthood and the episcopacy; the oil that is used to bless and consecrate sacred objects like the altar and the walls of the churches; the oil to be used to anoint the sick and those who are suffering; the oil that symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit of God, very life of God who transforms the face of the earth, who is the Lord, the giver of life and through this Spirit, Jesus Himself was consecrated to God. Sa pamamagitan po ng mga langis na ating babasbasan atin pong sinasariwa ang ating paniniwala at pananampalataya na ang Espiritu Santo ay ibinubuhos sa atin. Ang Espiritu na nagbibigay buhay, ang Espiritu na nagpapabago sa mukha ng sangkalupaan. At iyan ang karanasan ni Hesus. 

In the Gospel from St. Luke, we find Jesus at the start of his ministry going to the synagogue as was his custom and read from the scroll of the Prophet Isaiah, that portion of Isaiah that we heard in the first reading, talking about a servant of God, anointed by the Spirit. “The Spirit is upon me for the Lord has anointed me.” The anointing of the Spirit that brings the anointed to be a messenger, to be a witness according to the second reading, a witness to the love of God for the poor and the suffering; the love of God that liberates the captives; the love of God that announces Good News, a year of favour to those whose lives are bad news. This is what the anointing of the Spirit does to God’s chosen servant. And Jesus reading from the scroll of Isaiah engages in a tremendous claim, “This is fulfilled in your hearing This passage is fulfilled as you listen to me. This prophetic discourse is fulfilled now in me.” Jesus is actually saying, “this mysterious servant that Isaiah talks about is in your midst.” So we turn to Jesus, the anointed one, anointed as servant of God and possessing the fullness of the Spirit, not only at that moment but already possessed in the Spirit for it was through Holy Spirit that He was incarnate in the womb of the Blessed Mother. The earthly existence of Jesus was marked by the outpouring of the spirit of love, filled with the spirit, the spirit urges Him on  to witness to His Father. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is for service, is for mission, to testify to a God who loves, especially to those who do not experience love. 

Si Hesus po ang nagsabi na sa kanya natutupad ang  nakita bilang pakitain ng Propeta Isaias. Isang lingkod na pinili ng Diyos, puspos ng Espiritu Santo. Pinahiran ng Espiritu Santo upang magdala ng Mabuting Balita sa mga dukha, paninging sa mga bulag, paglakad sa mga pilay, kalayaan sa mga bihag. Kasama natin ang ating mga kapatid na hearing impaired. Tingin naman kayo dito. Dumating si Hesus para sa inyo. 

But the readings especially the First two Readings also say that it is not only this servant whom we now know is Jesus who is anointed by the Spirit. In Jesus, according to the Book of Revelations, we the baptized have become a nation of priests, anointed by the Spirit in baptism and becoming a nation of priests we have been consecrated to minister to God. In fact, already in Isaiah in the first reading, it was not only the servant who was described as anointed by the Holy Spirit, the whole people Israel was also called a priestly people, a priestly people that enjoys the anointing of the Spirit and therefore as a people will be consecrated for the service of God. Hindi lamang pala si Hesus ang puspos ng Espiritu Santo. Ang bayan ng Diyos mula pa sa Israel, at ang bagong Israel na bininyagan sa pananampalataya kay Hesus nakatanggap ng Espiritu Santo, tayo  ay bayan ng mga pari para maglingkod sa Diyos. 

And that is what we are celebrating today. First our common anointing as a community of the baptized. We are celebrating the gift of the common priesthood of the baptized, thanks to our common anointing by the Holy Spirit. And we also celebrate a unique anointing of the Spirit through those called to the ministerial priesthood. And they are intimately connected. But let me focus on two simple points. Whether we are talking about a common priesthood of the baptized or the ministerial priesthood, the priesthood as anointing by the Spirit is first and foremost a consecration to the service of God. All of us, baptized, ordained we belong to the priesthood that means we have been called by God, consecrated, dedicated by God to be His own, to belong to Him and belonging to Him means to make ourselves available to the service of God. 

Lahat po ng bininyagan ay kabilang  sa pangkahalahating pagkapari ng bingyagan. At ang mga inordinahan ay bahagi  naman sa pagkapari na naglilingkod sa sambayanan. Pero inordinahan man o ang mga binyagan, kapag sinabing pari, bayan ng mga pari, tinanggap ang Espiritu Santo, ibig sabihin tayo ay para sa Diyos. Katulad ba nung sinabi nang awit nung ako ay bata pa. (Sa bagay, bata pa rin naman ako. Sa pangarap.) “Ikaw ay akin, ako ay sa iyo.” You are mine, you belong to me. Iyan ang sabi ng Diyos sa kanyang mga pinahiran, at nakakatugon tayo, “Ako ay sa iyo.” Lahat ng pinahiran ng langis sa binyag at kumpil. At ang pinahiran ng langis sa ordinasyon, “you belong to God.” 

Now we ask ourselves, “As a priestly people, to whom do you belong?” God says you are mine, but to whom do you say, “I am yours.” Ang Diyos malinaw, sasabihin niya, “Ikaw ay akin.” Eh, tayo ba agad agad magsasabi, “Lord, ako ay sa iyo.” Sasabihin ng Diyos, “Ikaw ay akin.” Sagot naman natin, “Ako ay para sap era.” Sasabihin ng Diyos, “ikaw ay akin.”  Sagot naman natin, “Ako ay para sa sarili ko.” “Ikaw ay akin.” Ang tugon ng iba, “Ako ay para sa rangya.” “Ikaw ay akin.” And sagot ng iba, “Ako ay para sa poder.”

This day, let us not waste our anointing. We belong to God by our consecration but do we make a deliberate, conscious response to own that consecration, to own this initiative of God claiming us for Himself, so that we can also say, “Yes, I belong to you and because I belong to you, I will serve you.” Sinabi na iyan ni Hesus, eh, hindi ka makapaglilingkod sa dalawang amo. Kapag dalawa ang amo mo – yung iba nga hindi lang dalawa, eh,  dalawampu’t dalawa.. Kapag marami kang amo, mayroon kang kamumuhian diyan, itatakwil mo ang isa diyan or ang iba diyan. At ang malungkot baka ang maitakwil pa ay yung tunay na dapat na paglingkuran. 

So today ordained and all of us baptized, we renew our belonging to God in order to serve God, to serve His Word, to serve His Kingdom of justice, of truth, of liberation, of love. 

But the second point is this. If we are consecrated to God, if we belong to God, then we also belong to each other; we belong to each other who make up the body of Christ. I cannot say I belong to Christ and hate those whom Christ loves in His body, especially the poor and the neglected. To say I belong to God as a priestly people fulfils the vision of Saint Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians, we are members one of another, belonging to Christ. Belonging to Christ means belonging to one another as brothers and sisters and being a servant to one another because you are not an-other. You are not distant from me, we belong to each other as neighbors, as brothers and sisters. And so we are bound together by love. And it is not romantic love. It is the love called the Holy Spirit. Divine love and that love impels us to serve one another. 

Kaya po sa mga kapatid nating laiko, salamat po sa inyong pagmamahal at paglilingkod sa mga pari. Pero huwag lang po pari ang inyong mahalin at paglingkuran. Mahalin din po ninyo at paglingkuran ang inyong kapwa laiko lalo na po ang maliliit na tao. Kagabi po pag-uwi ko may apat na basket na regalo ng iba’t ibang uri na tinapay. May bilog, may tinapay na hubog tupa, mayroon pa yatang tinapay na mukhang litson. Hindi ko naman mauubos ang lahat ng tinapay na iyan. Pero iniisip kung ako nakatatanggap ng napakaraming tinapay, sana naman magbigay kayo ng tinapay hindi lang kay cardinal, magbigay kayo ng tinapay doon sa halos walang makain. Baka si Father, si Monsignor, si Eminence, iyan ang palaging nasa isip niyo. Di niyo nakikita na yung inyong kapitbahay na baka sa umaga ang kinakain ay ang katawan ng tuyo at sa gabi ang ulo ng tuyo. Di ko naman sasabihin na gutomin ninyo ang ating mga pari. Sinasabi ko lamang po na kapag inaalaala niyo sila, alaalahanin pa ninyo ang napakaraming kapatid natin. Ang pagibig niyo sa amin sana ay magupaw din sa pag-ibig sa mga kapatid na kapus palad.