Category Archives: Prophet

Easter Is New Life

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Jesus Christ has risen! Alleluia (cf. Mt. 28: 6; Mk. 16:6; Lk. 24: 6 and Jh. 20:10)

Easter celebrates Jesus Christ’s victory over sin, death and the devil.

For us, Christians, Easter means overcoming our sins: pride, greed, lust, slot, etc.  It means resisting evil with God’s grace.

Easter is, for us believers, hope in our own resurrection by God.

Christ’s resurrection impels us to a more vigorous prophetic ministry.

Like the prophet Jeremiah we are sent “to root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant” (1:10).

What to uproot?  Primarily corruption.  Corruption is the principal cause of poverty, incompetence in government and environmental destruction.

What to tear down? Unjust, oppressive and dehumanizing structures: ideologies like secularism, materialism, and neo-colonialism.  Economic policies that favor global corporations.  Anti-life laws such as Mining Act of 1995 and HB 4244 or “The Reproductive Health Bill”.

What to plant? The Good News. St. Paul writes: “ I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God made things grow” (1 Cor. 3:6).

Prophets are also sent to build.  Benedict XVI in his address to the Bishops of the Philippines during their “Ad Limina” visit said: “…the proclamation of the Gospel brings about its life changing fruits” (cf. Mk. 16: 15-18).  He continued: “The Church contributes most toward the building of a just and charitable social order when by preaching the truths of the Gospel and bringing to bear on all fields of human endeavor the light of her doctrine and of a Christian witness, she respects and fosters the political freedom and responsibility of citizens” (Gaudium et Spes¸76).  (Boletin Ecclesiastico de Filipinos, March-April 2011, p. 170).

What to build?  God’s Kingdom on Earth, Jesus sent the apostles to “proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal” (Lk. 9:2). St. Paulsays: “This Kingdom of Godmeans righteousness and peace and joy brought by the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14: 16-18).

What, then, is our plan?  To build a more humane, just and free Philippines where people live “in harmony with one another, in harmony with creation, and in harmony with God.  Ours shall be a civilization of life and love” (PCP II, n. 255).

Happy Easter!  Happy New Life in the Risen Christ!”

Chrism Mass

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Seventy priests – Trappist, Dominican, Passionist and Diocesan, renewed their commitment to service during the Chrism Mass presided over by Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez on 19 April 2011 at Christ the King Cathedral.

The Cathedral “overflowed” with parish delegates to lend support to the priests.

Outline of Bishop’s homily.

Priests serve as prophets, priests and pastors.

a)      Prophet.  God sent Jeremiah “to tear up and to knock down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant” (Jer. 1:10).

Uproot corruption, principal cause of poverty and environmental destruction.

Knock down the Mining Act of 1995 and HB 4244.  Both are anti-life, violate human rights and environmental justice.

Plant the Good News. “I did the planting, Apollos did the watering, but God made them grow” (1 Cor. 3:6).

Like the Apostles priests continue the building of God’s Kingdom (cf. Lk. 9:32).

This Kingdom of God “means righteousness and peace and joy brought by the Holy Spirit”. (Rom.14: 16-18).

Priests also build a “just and charitable social order” (Benedict XVI address to Bishops of thePhilippines, 29 November 2010).

b)      Priests.

Priests administer the sacraments, specially Eucharist and Penance.

“The Eucharist is the efficacious sign and sublime cause of that communion in the divine life and that unity of the People of God by which the Church is kept in being” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1325).

Eucharist and Penance are closely connected.  John Paul II writes: If a Christian conscience is burdened by serious sin, then the path of penance through the sacrament of reconciliation becomes necessary for full participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, n. 37).

Both are needed to build a just and charitable social order.

c)      Pastor or Shepherd.

Shepherding is an essential service.  Benedict XVI declared: “foremost role is to be a shepherd to his flock” (May 26, 2010).  QuotingSt. Augustine, Pope continued: “it is a labor of love to graze the flocks of the Lord”.

The Good Shepherd lays down his life for his sheep; knows his sheep and his sheep know him; protects his sheep from thieves and wolves; pastures them. (cf. Jh. 10: 1-18).

Priests nurture their flock with the Word of God and the sacraments.  Defend the rights of people to: life, dignified life, a healthy ecology.

Two Passionists Deacons Ordained Priests

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Bishop Dinualdo Gutierrez ordained priests Rev. Jeffty Madura Mendez, CP and Rev. Ramel Sumatra Poquita, CP on 12 April 2011 at the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage Parish Church, General Santos City.

Forty priests concelebrated: 10 diocesan and 30 Passionist.

Bishop’s homily.

God sent the prophet Jeremiah (cf. Jer. 1:4-10).

A prophet has two roles: (1) to announce God’s will; build God’s kingdom and promote the integrity of God’s creation; (2) to denounce evil, destroy unjust, sinful structures and speak against immorality.

Specifically, a prophet-in-mission builds the church as a community of Christ’s disciples and church of the poor; inspires the establishment of Basic Ecclesial Communities; promote a healthy environment; and exhorts people to construct a more human, free and just society.

On the other hand the prophet campaigns against corruption, the Mining Act of 1995, coal-fired power plant, exploitation of women and children.

More specifically the prophet must campaign against the passage of H.B. 4244 or Reproductive Health Bill.  Reasons: (1) Human life is sacred because it comes from God; (2) The State has no right no arrogate to itself parents’ primary, inalienable right and duty to educate offsprings, including sexual education; (3) RH Bill 4244 peddles lies: a) condom prevents the spread of HIV/AIDS (Thailand where condom use is prevalent has the most number of HIV/AIDS victims in South East Asia; b) the Philippines is overpopulated (Density per sq. km. is only 73); c) overpopulation causes poverty (several reasons like corruption, greed, but no correlation between population and poverty); d) women are owners of their bodies (God is the owner; women are stewards, etc).

 Priests tend Christ’s flock, willingly; a motive for tending is not profit but service.  This service is a humble service (1 Pet. 5: 1-4).

Effective service is the result of love.  Jesus said: “Love one another as I have loved you”.  Christ’s love is sacrificial, universal and forgiving. (Jh. 15: 12-17).

Rev. Jeffty Madura Mendez, CP was born on 10 July 1982 to Jaime and Eflida in Poblacion Loon, Bohol.  Degrees: AB Philosophy,University of San Carlos, Cebu City.  Bachelor of Sacred Theology, Loyola School of Theology, Quezon City.

Rev. Ramel Sumatra Poquita, CP was born on 19 October 1983 to Rafael and Erlinda in Monkayo, CompostellaValley.  Degrees: AB Philosophy, San Carlos University, Cebu City and Bachelor of Sacred Theology, Loyola School of Theology, Quezon City.