NewnessHomily in commemoration of the Baptism of Jesus and thanksgiving for the ordinations of Frs. Michael Israel Ortega and Edmond Reynaldo, here in the Diocese of Pasig
We in Sto. Rosario de Pasig Parish are deeply consoled. How could flowers bloom in our midst?
How could it be that in the midst of our frail humanity, the light of God has shown?
We are blessed indeed for having nursed two nurselings in the bossom of the care of this parish, and molded them to be the faithful priests of Jesus Christ.
Palakpakan po natin ang mga naging anak ng Sto. Rosario - sina Fr. Edmond Reynaldo and Fr. Michael Israel Ortega.
I can only describe this reality of being able to serve the Lord and the Church of molding these two servants to the priesthood through the readings for today, which also marks the baptism of Jesus.
For like Jesus who was baptized, these servants are now totally immersed in the waters of God's redeeming love.
This day should also remind us of our own baptismal promises. As Christmas has ended, so our new life begins. We are all in the process of becoming new in Christ.
Jesus doesn't need baptism, for He needs not any cleansing. But he does this to fulfill all righteousness, a mark of total obedience to God. And this is what the new self means - that man becomes totally obedient to God in everything he does.
Our lives belong to God
First, our lives are not our anymore. They totally belong to God. How true are Bishop Mylo's words
we are made of dust but are instruments of the Lord, no more, no less. Frs. Edmund and Michael, your priesthood made me renew my own priesthood; that I am nothing, but the Lord made me everything for him.
Newness implies having a mission that is totally oriented to the mission of Christ.
And what is the mission? Console my people. Remember, Jesus consoled us first so we can console others. I read in your personal life stories that the journey of life is not easy nor it is a bed of roses. But you are here today, you wounded healers. You were healed. Now heal others.
His favor rests on us
Third, newness implies God's favor upon us as his favor rests on Jesus because who he is and what he does.
Dear priests, I will ask you, seek and the receive the favor of God. Be good priests. Share this new life to others. And these are our battlegear for newness in others:
Holy Spirit - to let the people know that every life is the breath of the Holy Spirit
Water - that we are to cleanse all souls through words and actions, especially through the administration of the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation and restore life to bodies and souls subjected to sin and death.
And finally - the fire - to enliven into a passionate faith till the end of our lives; and to offer our lives if need be, to live a life of constant martyrdom for the sake of the salvation and sanctification of souls
and for the greater glory of God.
Frs. Michael and Edmond, always make an oblation to God each day to make us his humble instruments till the end of our days. May all of our actions be for the greater glory of God
"Ad majorem Dei gloriam!".