Bro. Ian Granada
Today, we will start the holiest days of our Liturgical Calendar, namely, the Paschal Triduum. This morning, all priests in every diocese in the world went to their respective diocesan Cathedrals. They renewed their vow as priests in front of God and His people. As one people of God, we recall that we are all the People of God, participating in the priesthood of Christ who offered himself as the offering and oblation, for us and for our salvation.
As we celebrate the Mass of the Last Supper, we make present the Last Supper where Jesus offered himself for us; his body and blood, for the remission of sins and for the establishment of the new covenant. We ask the Father to look upon the sacrifice of His Son for our salvation and good. Today, the greatest display of love was shown to us; to be our guide and standard.
Love. We hear this word almost everyday in the internet, TV shows, movies, and in couples who are head over heels with their partners. Sadly, this word has been used messily and with much emotion but without any sense apart from its emotional undertone. This is the love we oftentimes associate ourselves with everyone we take part with. This night, we will see that Love is not merely based on emotion or feelings, but a decisive human decision to offer one’s life for the sake of one’s neighbor.
I give you a new commandment, says the Lord:
love one another as I have loved you. John 13:34
When I was preparing for my Comprehensive Oral Examinations, we are reviewing the whole gamut of our Catholic Faith. From the possibility and reality of revelation to the specific dogmas and doctrines of Faith that we profess and believe as a Church. One day, I watched one of my classmates in his Orals. The panel asked him, “In one word, what can best capture all these twenty-two theses?” My classmate mustering all his courage and confidence said, “love…God’s love emanating in all directions and in all time…” He passed our Orals, and indeed he was correct, it is LOVE that started it all, maintains it, and will bring us together with God in the end.
This LOVE did not remain as an abstract idea nor lingered as mere sentimental feeling that we oftentimes associate it. We are witness in the many words and deeds of God in the Old Testament how like a parent, God showed steadfast love, faithfulness, and mercy; lived with Israel even if they were unfaithful in many instances. God’s revelation is a revelation of Love.
In the coming of the Son, this love became one of us. Through Jesus’ incarnation, God whom we worshipped as a transcendent God, is now a human person just like you and me. In the Gospels, we read how mercy and love overflowed in every turn and page of Jesus’ life. It reminds us the wonder God worked amidst Israel.
The time has come for Jesus to offer himself; he washed the feet of his disciples while dining with them the Passover meal. This was the baptism of fire for the apostles and subsequently for all of us. We are called to serve one another, to offer our life for others, to give ourselves to that LOVE that created us and calls us after this earthly life.
As Jesus prepared us for the new covenant that he will inaugurate in the Last Supper, Jesus showed us that this covenant will be lived out; in everyday life where we encounter our brothers and sisters. This love is one of forgiveness; a love that is triumphant beyond the darkness of sin and alienation. All of us are children of God, as such, we bear God’s image and likeness; we, too, are called to forgive seventy times seven times.
As we journey in the Paschal Triduum, let us thank the Lord for this eternal LOVE; of which we came from and the end of our journey. Let us adore that Divine LOVE that embraced our humanity so that we can be united with God. Let us live out this LOVE; offer it where hatred reigns, spread it when jealousy and anger is high, and give it to our brothers and sisters whom God send our way in the journey of life. May Mary, our mother and example, intercede for us to receive this grace of LOVE. Thus, the world will know that we are Jesus’ when we love and serve one another. Amen.