Archbishop Palma’s New Year’s message
My dear people of God: We bid goodbye to the year 2016 filled with gratitude to the Lord for the countless blessings He has given to us especially for the gift of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, and here in our Archdiocese, for the successful and meaningful hosting of the 51st International Eucharistic Congress.
Now that we are moving forward, we cannot but “remember the past with gratitude.”
Yes, the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy has ended, but our Holy Father Pope Francis remind us that “the door of mercy of our hear continues to remain wide open.
“We have learned that God bends down to us so that we may imitate him in bending down to our brothers and sisters” (Misericordia et Misera 16). The Papal Legate to the 51st International Eucharistic Congres, Charles Cardinal Maung Bo, has also preached to us that “the Mass of a devotee ends in an hour but the Mass of the disciple is unending.”
And so, the call to be “merciful like the Father” continues to ring inside our hearts.
Today, as welcome the year 2017, our attention is focused on the parish, “a communion of communities.”
The mercy of God experience in every Eucharistic celebration is localized in every parish community. Thus, as one Archdiocese, we now focus ourselves to the “building of a parish that is truly a faith community immersed in the lives of its people” (CBCP Pastoral Letter Live Christ Share Christ, 2012) so that our parishes will truly become “wellspring of mercy and renewal.”
However, we can only establish active and living parish communities if we work together towards conversion (metanoia); share generously our varied gifts (charismata); celebrate sincerely the Eucharist (eucharistia); serve selflessly one another (diakonia); and live with one another joyfully through fellowship (koinonia).
Guided by these five pillars, we “live the present with enthusiasm.”
With the guidance of Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe de Cebu, our patroness, and San Pedro Calungsod, our katagilungsod, we commence our journey together as one family, one community, so that we can “look forward to the future with confidence.”
Praying for good health, peace, joy, and love in every family, I remain.
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