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FULL TEXT: Homily on Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper by Fr. Dennis Soriano – April 9, 2020

Bishop Ness mentioned at the beginning of the celebration that this is such a unique Holy Week. This is a unique celebration of the paschal triduum. Unique because, we are in a quarantine, we are in a lockdown. unique because we are celebrating this online, we are celebrating this without your physical presence. But also unique because particularly in this celebration, we ommit one very common gesture of the gospel today and that is the washing of the feet. Wala po tayong paghuhugas ng paa sa pagdiriwang na ito. The washing of the feet is ommited but the invitation of Jesus, the command of Jesus remains, the mandate of Jesus remains. “Mandatum” sa latin, kaya nga Maundy Thursday, bukod sa Holy Thursday, tinatawag ding Maundy Thrusday, the mandate of Jesus. And that is what we heard from the vert last line of the gospel today. As I have done for you, Jesus said, “so you should do also,” so you must do. Kung ano man po ang ginawa ni Hesus, ganun din ang gagawin natin, that is the mandate.

Ginawa ni Hesus, gagawin natin. Iniutos ni Hesus, susundin natin. Ano ba yung iniutos ni Hesus? Ano ba yung as I have done sabi sa gospel? Very easy to understand in the story, sabi sa atin washing of the feet, hinugasan yung paa ng mga alagad. Yung master, yung panginoon, hinubad ang damit, lumuhod nagpakumbaba at siya ang naghugas sa paanan ng kan’yang mga alagad. Humility, humble service, as I have done sabi ni Hesus so you should also do. And then also we should remember, saan ba nangyari? Ano yung konteksto nitong washing of the feet? We understand that this happened during the last supper, so humble service sa loob ng last supper, ano yung last supper? The offering of Jesus, the offering of himself. Anong sabi n’ya? This is my body, eat it. This is my blood, drink it. Para sa inyo ito. Food, drink to give nourishment. Yung sarili n’ya sa kan’yang kababaang loob hinayaan n’ya na yung sarili n’ya maging tinapay para lang makapag bigay buhay. As I have done Jesus said, so you should also do. Humble service in washing of the feet, offering oneself as body and blood, why? Bakit? Bakit mag papakumbaba sa paglilingkod? Bakit ibibigay ag sarili? Bakit iaalay ang katawan bilang pagkain, at ang dugo bilang inumin? Why? From the first part of the gospel today the question is answered for us, because he loved them to the end. Ganun na lamang ang pagmamahal ni Hesus hanggang saw akas, it is because of love that Jesus humbled himself, serving his disciples. It is because of this great love that Jesus was willing to make his body bread, to make his blood drink to give life. To his disciples and to all of us. As I have done, so you must do, sa makatuwid ang ibigsabihin po, as Jesus love, so must we love. Kung paano nagmahal si Hesus, ganun din ang pagmamahal ng isang Kristiyano.

You know the story of the washing of the feet, it was proclaimed earlier, yan po ay nasa chapter 13 from the gospel of St. John. And later on, also in the same chapter, what is the command of Jesus? Sabi nya “Love one another as I love you.” A I have done so you should also do, ngayon malinaw na, love one another as I love you. Magmahalan kayo tulad ng pagmamahal ko sa inyo. Magmahalan daw tayo tulad ng pagmamahal ni Hesus. Tanong, kaya ba talaga natin yung pagmamahal ni Hesus? Yung mga pilosopo sa atin sasabihin, e Diyos s’ya e, anak s’ya ng Diyos kaya kaya n’ya yun. E tayo sapagkat tayo’y tao lamang, hindi natin kaya yun. Are we really capable of the love of Jesus? Kasiyun daw ang tularan antin e yun daw ang gayahin natin yun daw ang sundan natin. Are we really capable of that kind of love, the love that Jesus offered us. And y the grace of God we can, kaya natin.

Yan po ang isang tinuturo sa atin ng quarantine na ito. Meron palang biyaya ang Diyos na nasa atin na kapag kinakailangan pwedeng mamunga ng pagmamahal tulad ng pagmamahal ni Hesus. Dalawang bagay po ang tinuturo sa atin ng quarantine na ito, tungkol sa pagmamahal ni Hesus, pagmamahal na kaya natin. Number 1 the love of Jesus is the love that knows no sacrifice, malinaw po yan. Love, sacrifice, malinaw kay Hesus yan, yan ang ibig sabihin ng krus, pag-ibig, sakripisyo. Yan ang ibig sabihin ng last supper kaya ibinibigay ang sarili this is my body, this is my blood. Love is sacrifice, wala pong tunay na nagmahal ng hindi marunong mag sakripisyo. At yan ang isang tinuturo sa atin ng quarantine. Sa biyaya ng Diyos kaya pala natin yan. Kaya pala yan nung tinuturing nating mga modern heroes natin yung mga front liners natin yung mga doctor, yung mga nurse. For many of them, everyday they put their lives on the line, sakripisyo yan. Marami sa kanila hindi umuuwi sa bahay, bakit, natatakot sila nab aka sila ang magdala ng pagkahawa ng mga mahal nila sa buhay so anong ginagawa nitla? Nagtitiis munang wag munang umuwi sa bahay, sakripisyo. O kung yung iba naman na gusting umuwi, yung iba talagang mag lalakad pabaliksa ospital. For many of them do not go home, they do not see their families at nakakalungkot na di-discriminate pa. For many of them they have to endure being tired, working, less sleep and over worked. I’m sure for many of them they’ve been doing more than their work, more than their duty. Kaya pala natin, sa biyaya ng Diyos na magmahal ng tunay ng sakripisyo.

Pangalawa, the second lesson about love in quarantine that we see in Jesus. The love of Jesus is a love that is for all. It is all embracing, it is inclusive, walang pinipili, walang sinsino para sa lahat. In another part of the gospel we heard, that’s why we are told, the Lord makes the sun rise on the good and the bad, he causes the rain fall on the just and the unjust dahil ang pagmamahal ng Diyos, para sa lahat. In another part, Jesus, we are told that he has come not for the righteous but for sinners. And look at the followers of Jesus, they were fishermen, they were sinners, they were poor. Because the love of Jesus is for all. Maiintindihan po natin kung ang pagmamahal natin ay para sa pamilya natin, natural yon, kapag ang pagmamahal natin para sa mga kakilala natin, mga kaibigan natin, natural yon, pero yung pagmamahal ni Hesus para sa lahat, sa kakilal at hindi kakilala, to friends and strangers alike. Imagine nyo nalang kung itong mga doctor at nurse natin ay mamimili ng aalagaan, ay yung kakilala ko lang ang gagamutin ko, ay uunahin ko yung kamag-anak ko, uunahin ko yung sabihin na nating kababayan ko, ito kasi kapitbahay ko ‘to. Ito kasi bestfriend ko. Imagine-in n’yo nalang kung mamimili sila ng aalagaan, ng gagamutin, pero hindi, they do not do that because love knows everyone. Basta na ngangailangan yan yung nakita natin kay Hesus e, kahit sino basta nangangailangan naroon sila para tumulong, at ganun din sa mga nangangalaga sa mga ospitan natin ngayon, hanggat kaya, kung sino ang may sakit at nangangailangan they will be there to take care of them. This is the love of Jesus, the love that embraces everyone. Kaya pala natin, sa biyaya ng Diyos.

My dear friends, this doctors and nurses are our heroes not only because they offer their lives in the line of duty but also because they mirror to us the love of Jesus, a love that knows no sacrifice, a love that embraces all. Sabi natin, these front liners are our modern hero, tama po saludo tayo sa kanila, we admire, them we honor, them we applaud them, and our front liners are grateful, and I don’t think  this is enough, we should not stop only in honoring them or in applauding them, or in admiring them, our admiration for them must become imitation. Admiration must become imitation, ang tunay na pagbbibgay pugay sa kanila ay kung gagayahin natin ang kanilang pagmamahal. Sakripisyo at walang pinipili o sinisino. We do not let this quarantine defeat us, by the grace of God, we make sure that this quarantine makes us better persons better Christians better children of God. We maybe afraid of the virus, but let us not be afraid to love. We love like the front liners, like the doctors, nurses, we love by sacrifice, we love by embracing everyone, this is what Jesus did and he is asking us to do the same. Amen.

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