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My dear Edsa Shrine friends,

Fifteen years ago, Bishop Ted Bacani ordained me as a deacon. Fifteen years ago, I promised to dedicate every moment of my life, every ounce of energy I have, and every drop of blood in my body to the service of the Church. I also vowed to do everything that the Church would ask of me.

Over the past fifteen years, the Church has asked me to do many things – a few times to be a student again, to be a clown, to be a housekeeper, and so many other roles. The task I enjoy most is being a clown – to make people happy, put a smile on their faces, tickle their funny bones, and remind them that Christ laughed too. Making people happy, blessing them, and giving them the peace of God even when deep in my heart, I wanted to cry and say, “I need those gifts more than the people who are asking for them.” Ten years ago, when I was made a monsignor, I accepted the red buttons on my cassock to please my beloved Archbishop. The path to happiness lies in making others happy.

Today, the Church asks me to do something peculiar again for her – to become a knight. Like my clowning when I was made a monsignor, this feels strange, but I accept it because the Church wills it. There must be a reason for the Church to have such ceremonies and insignias.

I invite you not to focus too much on the medal and special attire. The message of today lies not in what the eye can see but in what the heart experiences. This knighthood of the Holy Sepulchre is an invitation to share in the passion and death of Christ for the life of the world. I am staking my whole life to follow this call, with or without the medal. This is my life’s mission.

This is my dream and sole ambition.

The second meaning of the knighthood is that it is an invitation to ensure that the sepulchre remains empty all the time. While Christ has indeed risen from the sepulchre, there are still so many in the world who want to bury Him again. There are many who would rather have a dead Christ than a resurrected one. To such people, I must proclaim the Good News that Christ is alive and must live in our hearts. Lastly, the motto of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre is Deus lo vult. God wills it. If it is the will of God, it must be the best. If it is the will of God, that is the only path to take.

I thank you for joining my fellow knights this afternoon on this joyous occasion of our knighting. If this knighthood made you happy this afternoon, then I share your happiness. Remember, I am only going through all of this because of you, because I was told that it would make you happy. My life is for you. I will do everything for your happiness and holiness. I know that it is only by living for you that I can truly live for Christ.

Looking For Jesus