Heavenly Father, you are the Creator and we are all your children. Make us truly one. Protect us from the division in families, in communities, in the Church and in the world.
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Savior who died for us and saved us. Now as your disciples, you send us forth to proclaim the good news of salvation in you throughout the world. May we be worthy witnesses. Show us the way to self-denial, embrace of the cross, and following you. Raise among us true servant leaders who have a passion for souls.
Holy Spirit, you are the agent of evangelization who sends us to engage in spiritual warfare. Equip us with the armor of God and weapons of righteousness. Help us to preserve unity in the Spirit through the bond of peace. May we stand together as your holy warriors.
Triune God, you are three Persons in one God. In you we have one baptism, one faith, one hope. We are one body. Help us to truly become united in mind and heart, in vision and mission, to be one with the Father through the Son and in the Spirit.
Mama Mary, you are our beloved Mother. We are your offspring who strive to keep God's commands, bear witness to Jesus, and wage war in the Spirit against the enemy. Cover us with your mantle of protection, keeping us in your loving embrace always.
We as the people of God live by the Spirit and not by the flesh. “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires.” (v.24). We are to avoid the works of the flesh. “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like.” (v.19-21a).
December 12, 2016 (C-Fam) – With his job still on the line, the newly appointed UN independent expert for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights laid out a provocative agenda for his 3-year term a couple weeks ago. “This mandate will cover every country under the sun and under the moon,” Thai Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn is reported to have said, further antagonizing countries that have already promised not to cooperate with him.
Most Holy Father,
Before you this morning are representatives of the bishops, priests, religious men and women and lay faithful of the Philippines and of Asia. In their name I welcome you to our country, to the city of Manila and to the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. We are filled with joy for you are with us, especially in the first Eucharistic celebration of your pastoral visit.
The Manila Cathedral was the first cathedral church in the Philippines. It can be considered a symbol of the Filipino people. Fire destroyed the first cathedral. The succeeding five cathedrals were either partially or totally damaged by earthquakes, the most massive of which struck in 1863 burying in rubble the members of the cathedral chapter, the choir and lay faithful. The seventh cathedral was mercilessly bombed along with edifices in the Walled City of Manila (Intramuros) during the battle of liberation in 1945. We are gathered today in the eighth cathedral building that we closed three years ago for repairs. Now it warmly welcomes you. This cathedral has been razed to the ground many times, but it refuses to vanish. It boldly rises from the ruins - just like the Filipino people. Yes, Holy Father, we bishops, priests and religious men and women have seen and lived the suffering and determination of our people. "We are afflicted in every way possible, but we are not crushed." (2 Corinthians 4:8).
What is the secret to the resilience of Filipinos? Fr. Horacio de la Costa, SJ, historian, writer, priest, religious and nationalist provided an insight. He said that the Filipino has two treasures: music and faith. Our melodies make our spirits soar above the tragedies of life. Our faith makes us stand up again and again after deadly fires, earthquakes, typhoons and wars. And now, as many of our poor people are just beginning to rise from recent natural and human-made calamities, you, Holy Father came to us. You bring fire, not to destroy but to purify. You bring an earthquake, not to shatter but to awaken. You bring weapons, not to kill but to assure. Indeed, "you are Peter, the Rock upon which Jesus builds His Church" (Matthew 16:18). You are Peter who comes "to strengthen your brothers and sisters in faith" (Luke 22:32). We welcome you, successor of Peter, to this blessed land of untiring hope, of infinite music and of joyful faith. With your visit we know Jesus will renew and rebuild His Church in the Philippines. Mabuhay!
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Last updated: Monday, April 3, 2017