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Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, Holy Spirit Mass, Opening of Academic and Formation Year, San Carlos Seminary

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My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we thank God, who is the source of our good, the God who has sent the Holy Spirit to us in the name of Jesus, and who gathers us this morning as we open the new academic in formation year.

This occasion which marks the beginning of the year is always special for it reminds us of so many things about seminary formation, seminary life and our purpose. We also congratulate again Monsignor Noli the new rector of Lorenzo Ruiz Mission Institute and we also congratulate his predecessor as rector, who is now the moderator general si Father Joe Yu.

Thank you Father Joe for the years that you have given to seminary formation, but now that you are a moderator general, I’m sure you’re still be involved in formation and on-going formation of the members of the institute.

What are some of the things that we get reminded of by this mass of the Holy Spirit? First, the mass of the Holy Spirit is an act of humility on our part, act of humility on the part of the seminarians, the formators, the professors and the staff.

By celebrating this mass, we acknowledged that we left our own human resources cannot learn everything and cannot teach everything.

Yes, we tried hard, yes, we planned but in the end, it is the Holy Spirit who is the teacher, the spirit of truth that Jesus promised to his disciples. The spirit who will remind and teach the disciples of everything that Jesus had taught, it is the Holy Spirit that will transform poor Galileans even ignorant Galileans into speakers of different languages, it is the Holy Spirit who can emboldened a person like Peter who had no courage to confess Jesus but now is unstoppable in proclaiming who Jesus is.

By invoking the Holy Spirit, we all say we have talents, you seminarians you passed exams but do not be proud, babagsak din kayo kung mayabang kayo. Be humble, try hard, but when you try hard do not think that you can achieve everything by your sheer talent and power, especially when we are studying ecclesiastical, biblical, theological, philosophical truth especially when we are being formed into the truth who is Jesus. We cannot do it by ourselves and to the professors, no matter how accomplished we are in our different fields, it is the Holy Spirit in the end who will teach, it is the Holy Spirit who will not only teach intellectually but who will form Jesus in the seminarians and hopefully in ourselves.

So we are a humble community now saying to the Holy Spirit, “Come, come take our gifts, take our weaknesses and do marvels, do marvels.”

Secondly, by invoking the Holy Spirit, we are also doing a communitarian or ecclesial action. While the different gifts, different temperaments, the different personalities, the different backgrounds, the different languages.

Our present as gifts of the spirit, they could lead to a one, one community, to one family also by the same spirit. Same spirit that is the principle or the source of diversity is the same spirit that enables us to bring our unique gifts and unique status in life for the common good, especially to testify as St. Paul says in the second reading, “To Jesus as Lord.”

Yesterday with the universal church, we joined in the opening of the Global Week of Action, sharing the journey with migrants, and we had a beautiful celebration in Binondo, focusing on Chinese migrants. There are many migrants here also, the Chinese students, please raise your hands… any other none Filipino here… Father… We have Thai, from India, who are not from Manila but every day you migrate to Manila to study here in San Carlos. OO nga pala from Imus… and even those who are staying here, I’m sure you come from other provinces, other cities, all of us are migrants, all of us are journeyers, we bring our particular gifts, but hopefully by the Holy Spirit, we will journey together, we’ll be one community.

It is not any, just any spirit that can produce a community out of diverse persons and personalities, without the Holy Spirit, our specific gifts could be our tool to destroy one another and to destroy a sense of community.

So openness to the Holy Spirit really makes us stand in awe, and look in awe and wonder at how people who are different from one another could be one, could be brothers, could be neighbors to one another, so open yourselves to the Holy Spirit and do not allow others’ spirits to divert the Holy Spirit’s action of unity and diversity, do not be suspicious of people who are different from you, do not look with suspicion at people whose gifts may differ from your gifts, people who do not do it the way you do are not necessarily evil or your enemy.

Maybe they are doing something that is proper to them as gifted by the spirit, now do what you have to do according to what the spirit has given you and together share your gifts, exchange gifts rather than destroying the gifts of the other.

Now only the Holy Spirit can do that, so we open ourselves as a community to the spirit who will give us diverse colors, diverse shades yet we’ll have the power to bring that together into a woven tapestry called the community.

Huwag yung, bakit ganun yun? Kase ginagawa ko ito dapat ganun din ang ginagawa niya, kpag iba ang ginagawa, mali sya.

Hindi, hindi, huwag kayong basta ganoon kase walang tao na natanggap ang lahat ng biyaya ng Espiritu Santo, kaya kailangan natin ang isa’t-isa.

Kung merong madaldal kailangan din ng tahimik, napaka-pangit ng mundo kung lahat madaldal, napaka-pangit din ng mundo kung lahat tahimik, kung merong palangiti, kailangan din ng mundo ang medyo pormal, huwag lang sisimangutan yung nakangiti, di kailangan nila.

And the third is our gathering invoking the Holy Spirit is a recognition that we are here on a mission. In the gospel, the Holy Spirit was given by Jesus to the disciples, but it is not a spirit only to make them feel at ease, to restore peace, yes, that’s part of it, but the peace and reconciliation that the Holy Spirit gives also pushes them, sends them on a mission.

Being in the Seminary is a mission, both for the students, the staff and the formators, we are here so that we could fulfill a calling, so that we could be equipped to be sent by the Lord and so it is not just to acquire knowledge and a degree.

Sa mga seminarians, hindi lang yung kasi maganda yung aral sa seminaryo, mura pa, safe pa, may pagkain pa.
Di na ako magluluto, di ako mamamalengke, kung nasa labas ako magboboard ako, bed space, ako pa ang magluluto, ako pa ang mamamalengke, mag seminaryo na lang ako.

Nababasa yan ng Espiritu Santo, at tayo naman mga formators, ganun din, hindi lang yung, in-assign lang naman ako dito, ayaw ko naman talaga dito. In-install ako, pinalakpakan pa ako, nakakahiya naman. Covered pa ng Radyo Veritas.

Lahat tayo may misyon, and it is a mission so that the word of Jesus and the very person of Jesus may be known. It is not that we are the ones to transform the world, time and again the churches teaching affirms, it is the Holy Spirit who is the main evangelizer.

It is the Holy Spirit that is a main missioner sent by the Father through the Son, we can be missioners only because the Holy Spirit is the lead agent and so we beg the Holy Spirit, transform us to true missionaries for without you, we will not be sent, we will go where we want to go, we will do what we want to do, but that’s not mission, that’s building our own kingdoms.

It is the Holy Spirit that will blow and we should be the docile disciples that would allow the Holy Spirit, the wind, the mighty wind to carry us where God wants us to be.

So this is a special day, marked with humility, marked with the sense of community and also an affirmation of mission so may the Holy Spirit be poured into our hearts profusely and may we welcome the Holy Spirit again into our lives as we begin our academic and formation year.

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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