After the triple celebrations of the Year of Mercy, the Fam ily and the Eucharist in the Diocese of Dumaguete, we now celebrate the Year of the Parish as Communion of Communities. This is very much in line with the theme of our 1992 First Diocesan Synod of Dumaguete along the path of the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines: Building a Family of Communities in Pilgrimage of Faith. One of the objectives of the First Diocesan Synod of Dumaguete is “to put the Diocese –individuals, families and communities especially in the grassroots level—on the road of growing renewal through the formation of dynamically evangelized and dynamically evangelizing communities of disciples of the Lord, providing for all an environment in which everyone can grow in Christian maturity”. (Decree of Convocation of the 1992 First Diocesan Synod of Dumaguete).
Allow me to call your attention to a very singular to God’s authority.
But remember that Jesus did not only say that. He also said “Go and make disciples”. The insinuation here is for us to make disciples like the Apostlespeople who will listen to Jesus. But it is not enough to have people who will listen to Jesus. He also needs people who are willing to learn from him. But further, the Lord does not only need people who will learn from him, but also people who will abide with him, people who will abide with his disciples. He wants us to increase his tribe. He wants us to increase our number.
We also remember the last thing our Lord Jesus Christ said, which is the most consolling of all and the most strengthening of all. He said: “I am with you till the end of time and not even the gates of hell can prevail against you”.
When we address the matter of the status of our country today, it is good to bear in mind these fundamental truths pronounced by Christ. And we should also look into the pastoral concerns or the Church concerns in the Philippines today. Why? It is because when we address the status of the government and the pastoral concerns of the Church, we will immediately notice that there are lights, and there are shadows. There are successes, and there are reverses. There are matters that we can legitimately be proud of, and there are those we can be very well ashamed of, as we address the status of the country and the current pastoral concerns of the Church. (To be continued)