Dear Reverend Fathers:

Greetings of Peace!


As per the instruction of Bishop Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, we would like to relay his Pastoral Letter for Basic Ecclesial Community Sunday with a theme “Make Disciples, Baptize and Teach”. This Pastoral Letter must be read during the anticipated Mass on May 29, 2021 and in all Masses on May 30, 2021, the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity.
Attached herewith is the Pastoral Letter of Bishop Vergara.

Keep safe everyone.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Rev. Fr. MARIANO L. BARANDA
Chancellor

MAKE DISCIPLES, BAPTIZE, AND TEACH
Pastoral Letter for Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) Sunday,
Bp. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara,
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, May 30, 2021

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
As we celebrate this Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in the past few years has designated this day as Basic Ecclesial Community (BEC) Sunday. This is to bring to our awareness the critical importance of BECs as a significant expression of church renewal envisioned by the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (cf. PCP-II #140). Para nga lalong bigyang diin ang kahalagahan ng BEC sa buhay ng Simbahan, dineklara ng CBCP ang taong 2017 na Year of the Parish as a Communion of Communities sa paghahanda natin para sa ika-500 anibersaryo ng Kristiyanismo sa Pilipinas na ipinagdiriwang natin ngayon na may temang Year of Missio Ad Gentes. At hindi po ito iba sa atin dahil nakaugnay din po ito sa programang pastoral ng ating diyosesis dahil BEC ang isa sa apat na pastoral priorities na ating pinagninilayan. Yung tatlo ay: formation, stewardship at social service.


In our gospel today, Jesus empowered his eleven disciples to go on mission. Sa darating na June 1 (two days from now), pupunta na sa kanilang bagong assignment ang ating mga pari. May bago na silang misyon para pastulan ang pamayanang ipinagkatiwala sa kanila. At para naman po sa inyong mga lingkod laiko at bumubuo ng Basic Ecclesial Community, may tagubilin din po si Hesus sa inyo bilang mga disipulo sa pagmimisyon.


Jesus gave three instructions to his disciples as they embarked on their mission.


The first is to make disciples. (cf. Mt 28:19) To be a disciple is to be a follower of someone. The eleven disciples followed no one else but Jesus, their Master, and Lord. To make disciples meant that they would invite and encourage people to follow Jesus. How would they do that? Perhaps, in the same way that Jesus made them disciples. It started with a personal encounter with him. Jesus made his personal presence felt with each of them—he fished with them, ate with them, and walked with them. And when Jesus called each of them by name, they simply followed. So, to make disciples entails making others encounter Jesus in, with, and through us.


Ito din ang gagawin ng ating mga pari sa pagpasok nila sa kanilang bagong misyon—makikipagkaibigan muna sila sa inyo, makikisalamuha sa inyong buhay pamilya at pamayanan, at makikilahok sa mga gawaing pastoral. Hindi ba ganito rin ang simulain ng pagbubuo ng ating mga BEC? Naipapakilala natin si Kristo sa pamamagitan ng isang personal na pakikipag-ugnayan at hinihikayat na maging miyembro ng munting sambayanang kristiyano. Sa ganitong paraan, nakikilala nila si Hesus sa pamamagitan natin. At dahil dito, sila’y nagiging disipulo ng Panginoong Hesukristo.

The second is to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (cf. Mt 28:19) To be baptized in the name of the Triune God is to share in the priestly, prophetic and kingly function of Jesus Christ. We live up to our priestly identity when we make the Eucharist and our other prayers central to our Christian life. We live up to our prophetic identity when God’s word is not only preached but practiced in daily living. We live up to our kingly identity when we serve those in need, especially the poor in our midst.


Alam naman natin na ito rin ang isasabuhay ng ating mga pari para sa inyo—magdiriwang at mag-aalay ng Eukaristiya, ipapahayag at ipapaliwanag ang Salita ng Diyos, at maglilingkod ng buong pagpapakumbaba sa mga dukha ng parokya, paaralan at sa komunidad na kanilang paglilingkuran. Ganoon din naman sa BEC: ang pakikilahok sa pagkapari ni Kristo ay nadarama sa ating mga Misa sa kawan, bukluran, purok atbp. kahit online na; ang pakikilahok naman sa pagkapropeta ni Kristo ay nasisimulan sa ating mga bibliarasal, pagbabahaginan ng mga karanasan na naka-ugat sa Salita ng Diyos na siyang nagbibigay ng pag-asa sa atin lalo na ngayong panahon ng pandemya at ang pakikilahok sa pagkahari ni Kristo ay nagagampanan sa paglilingkod natin kahit ngayong may krisis dulot ng pandemya sa pagbibigay ng kaunting ayuda sa mga mahihirap at pagkakaroon ng mga community pantries na nagiging daluyan ng mga bukas-palad na nag-aambag at kinukuhanan naman ng mga dukhang nangangailangan.


The third is to teach all that the Lord had commanded them. (cf. Mt 28:20) The commandments which Jesus referred to can be summed up into two inseparable laws of love: love of God and love of neighbor. Jesus showed his love for his Father when he set aside time in a secluded place to intimately commune with him in prayer; when he mirrored God’s fatherhood in his words and deeds; and when he followed his Father’s will by obediently suffering death on the cross. Jesus manifested his love for neighbor by feeding the multitude he taught, by forgiving sinners, by healing the sick, and by expelling demons from the helplessly possessed. If we want to teach what the Lord has commanded us, the best way is to be like Jesus—to be a witness of God’s love to others.


Sa ginta ng kahinaan at kasalanan naming mga pari, nagpapasalamat pa rin kami sa Diyos na hinahamon pa rin niya kaming maging larawan at presensya ng pag-ibig ni Hesus. Hangarin naming buong pagmamahal na mag-alay ng panalangin para sa inyong mga intensyon at mapagkumbabang maglingkod sa inyo upang madama ninyo ang pag-ibig ng Diyos. Katuwang ng mga pari, ang ating mga lingkod ng BEC, ay nagiging instrumento din upang maranasan ng bawat miyembro ng kawan, bukluran, at purok ang pag-ibig ng Diyos sa pamamagitan ng pagiging instrumento ng pagpapatawad, paghihilom at pakikipagkasundo sa pamilya at pamayanan. Hindi madali para sa inyo ang gawin ito dahil lubos kayong kilala ng inyong mga kapit bahay at mahal sa buhay. Ngunit dito nabubuo ang Simbahan at nagiging larawan ng Santisimisa Trinidad—Tatlong Persona-Isang Diyos. Kilala ng Ama ang Anak, ang Anak at ang Ama ay iisa at bunga ng pagmamahal Nila sa sanlibutan ay ang Espiritu Santo. They do not compete with each other but they complement in creating, saving, and sanctifying all of us.


Three instructions to fulfill our mission: 1) Make disciples by enabling others to encounter Jesus in, with, and through us; Maging tapat na tagasunod ni Hesus upang mahikayat ang

iba na mapalapit sa Diyos.
2) Baptize by living up to the priestly, prophetic, and kingly identity of Christ; Ang isabuhay ang bunga ng Sakramento ng Binyag sa pakikibahagi natin sa pagkapari, pagkapropeta at pagkahari ni Kristo and 3) Teach by becoming witnesses of God’s love. Ang maging buhăy na saksi sa pagmamahal ng Diyos sa bawat isa sa atin.\


To be sent on mission is never easy. To dispel all anxieties and fears in our hearts, and courageously serve the Lord and build BECs so that we become one Body of Christ, one Church, always be consoled by the promise of Jesus to us: “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20)

Amen.

+MOST REV. MYLO HUBERT C. VERGARA, D.D.
Bishop of Pasig

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