22nd SUNDAY in ORDINARY TIME
Stewardship of Faith
September 2-3, 2017
 

Introductory Words of the Priest-Presider: 

 Mga minamahal na kapatid kay Kristo, noong nakaraang taon ay sumulat ang mga Obispo na nasasakupan ng Metropolitan Province of Manila patungkol sa pagiging “Mabuting Katiwala.” Ito ay paghahanda para sa pagtanggal ng “arancel” sa darating na Nobyembre sa taong ito.  Ang arancel po sa nakasanayang pang-unawa ay ang mga naitalagang bayarin sa binyag, kumpil, pamisa at iba pa.  Niloob po ng ating mahal na Obispo Mylo Hubert C. Vergara na maghanda ng mga pagninilay sa lahat ng linggo ng Setyembre upang tayo ay magabayan patungkol sa pagiging “Mabuting Katiwala.” Kaya po babasahin natin ngayon at sa mga darating pang linggo ng buwang ito ang homilia ng ating obispo.

 

STEWARDSHIP OF FAITH

Homily Series for Stewardship Month, Bp. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, September 2-3, 2017

 

Ngayon pong linggong ito ay sisimulan natin ang ating serye o homily series on stewardship. Ito’y gagawin natin sa lahat ng linggo ng buwan ng Setyembre.  Nais nating palalimin ang pag-unawa sa ating pagiging mabuting katiwala ng Panginoon.  Sa pagiging mabuting katiwala ng Diyos, nais nating maging bukas-palad sa lahat ng aspeto ng ating buhay.  Sinulat nga ng mga Obispo ng Metropolitan Province of Manila: “It is not difficult to be generous if we are convinced of the truth that we are all stewards.” (Stewardship Pastoral Letter, Oct. 1, 2016)

 

May pananaw na kapag narinig ang salitang stewardship, ito ay iniuugnay sa  tithing, kaya agad pumapasok sa isip ng nakikinig ang usaping pera o pag-aambag ng material na bagay.  Bagamat ito’y may katotohanan, dapat linawin natin na may iba pang aspeto ng pagiging mabuting katiwala o stewardship. Ang mga ito ay: Stewardship of Faith, Talent, Time, at Treasure. Kaya nga ang unang aspeto na pagninilayan natin sa linggong ito ay Stewardship of Faith o pagiging mabuting katiwala ng ating pananampalataya. Tandaan natin: Bukod sa biyaya ng buhay na ating tinanggap sa Poong Maykapal,  isang natatanging biyayang ipinagkaloob sa atin ng Diyos ay ang pagiging anak Niya nung tayo’y binyagan. When we were baptized, we were given the great blessing of being children of God.  By virtue of baptism, the seeds of faith were implanted in us.  This means we were already bestowed the gift of faith.  In the words of St. Paul: “For through faith, you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothe yourselves with Christ.”(Gal 3:26-27)

 

So what does it mean to be a steward of your faith? One basic question to ask is: How much and how deep do you understand your beliefs as a Catholic Christian?  After this homily, we will profess our faith or recite the apostle’s creed.  Can you honestly say that you understand the basic tenets of the faith in the creed like God the Father Almighty, God the Son, Jesus Christ, God the Holy Spirit, Mother Mary, the Church, the Communion of Saints, forgiveness of sins and eternal life? How much do you know about the Bible and the teachings of the Church, especially those coming from the Holy Father, our Pope?

 

Minsan nga po, naikuwento ng nanay ko ang isang nakatatawang karanasan nung naisipan niyang magturo ng katesismo sa ilang estudyante na nag-aaral sa public school sa tapat ng bahay namin.  Para mahikayat silang dumalo sa maikling oras ng katesismo, binibigyan niya ng kendi ang mga bata sa mga makasasagot sa mga tanong niya tungkol sa pananampalataya.  May ipinakita siyang larawan ni Pope John Paul II na ating Santo Papa nung panahong iyon.  Sabi ng nanay ko: “Bibigyan ko ng isang kendi ang sinumang makapagsasabi kung sino ang nasa larawan.” May mga batang nagtaas ng kamay.  Tinawag niya ang isang bata at biglang seryosong sumagot: “Si Jose Rizal po!” Napangiti at napailing na lang ang nanay ko sa sagot ng bata.

 

Some years ago, I tried teaching catechism in one of the public schools in our diocese.  As a starter to begin my catechism class, I asked the students if they could enumerate the 10 Commandments we were taught.  It was sad to know, that they could not even complete the ten.  They could not even enumerate the first three commandments in proper order!

 

In the Rite of Baptism, it is specified that the first catechists or teachers of the faith of those who are baptized are the parents.  Sometimes, I wonder if the parents gathered here know their faith.  Kayo pong mga magulang ang dapat may kaalaman sa ating pananampalataya at magturo sa inyong mga anak, dahil kayo po ang unang katekista sa tahanan. Ginagampanan po ba ninyo ito?  Kaya huwag kayong magtataka at magugulat kung may anak kayo na biglang magsasabi na sasali na sila sa ibang sekta o magiging “born-again” o sasapi sa “Dating Daan”.

 

So how can we be Stewards of Faith? Let me suggest three ways:

 

  1. First, read, contemplate, and share the bible. How many of us have bibles at home? It is sad to say that some of our bibles at home have gathered dust and have remained in our bookshelves and drawers.  Have we read the whole bible? The bible as God’s word is the basis of all Church teaching about our faith.  This means that we have to study, reflect and pray God’s word to know more about our faith.  Recall the words of St. Jerome: “Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ”. Also, give the bible as a gift to others. Marami tayong naiisip na regalo kapag may okasyon ng birthday o anniversary.  Bakit hindi natin iregalo ang biblia.  Ito’y isang paraan para ibahagi ang pananampalataya natin sa ating kapwa.
  2. Second, read and study our catechism sourcebooks. We have two books to recommend.  The first one is the “Catechism of the Catholic Church”.  This is our universal catechism book.  The second one is the “Catechism for Filipino Catholics”.  This catechism teaches about our faith in the context of our Filipino identity and culture. Kapag pinag-aralan natin ang ating katesismo, marami po tayong matututunan tungkol sa ating pananampalataya.  Hindi po tayo malilinlang ng katuruan ng ibang sekta dahil nauunawaan natin ang mga aral ng ating pananampalataya. Puede pa nating ibahagi ito at ipangaral sa ating kapwa.

 

  1. Third, let us live our faith. As stewards of the faith, we are challenged to live what we learn.  We may know a lot of things in the bible and in our catechism books.  But at the end of the day, what we know and preach must be seen in practice.  We must be living witnesses of our faith. Kung mabuting katiwala tayo ng ating pananampalataya, isang mabigat na hamon ay isabuhay ang Salita ng Diyos at katuruan ng Simbahan.  Ilang beses na natin narinig sa iba na ang nagiging sanhi ng kanilang paglayo sa Simbahan o panghihina sa pananalig sa Diyos ay dahil sa kanyang kapwa katoliko na namumuhay ng taliwas sa kanyang pananampalataya.

 

Three ways to be Stewards of our Faith: 1) Read, Contemplate and Share the Bible, 2) Read and Study our Catechism books, and 3) Live our Faith.

Opo, hindi madali ang mga suggestions na aking nabanggit. Kailangan po ng desisyon upang ang lahat ng ito ay maisakatuparan: sa ating sariling buhay, sa pamilya, sa eskuwela, sa opisina at sa iba pang larangan ng buhay.

In our gospel, Jesus said: “What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life.  Or what can one give in exchange for his life.”(Matthew 16:26) Some of us may be so busy with a number of things, most of which are worldly affairs.  But you and I know that what matters most is our faith and our salvation.  If faith matters for you, then you should seriously take to heart matters about your faith.  Let us be responsible stewards of our faith by knowing, living and sharing our faith with others. Amen.

 

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