Br Manuel is the Mexican Legionary member of our team. A few days ago he met a very humble, simple Philippine religious sister; her name is Sister Maria Goretti. They had a deep conversation about religious life, sharing each other’s lights and reflections. At one point, Br Manuel asked her “Sister, what is the main thing about religious life?” she look into his eyes and answered with a calm, meek voice saying “It`s very simple, religious life is about prayer and sacrifice, that`s what we consecrated people are supposed to do, pray and sacrifice, and then enjoy this life that God gave to us”.
Today we had Holy Mass in front of the Capitol Building of Cebu. I translated the homily to a group of pilgrims from Angola. Their first language is Portuguese, like mine. The Bishop of Dublin gave the homily and talked about the example of two priests who lived many years in prison, one in the concentration camp in Poland and the other in Vietnam. Their only hope came from the few occasions when they’re able to celebrate the Eucharist.
After Mass, there was a Eucharistic procession with thousands of people in the streets of downtown Cebu. Jesus himself was walking with us through that place full of contrast. He was with us as we passed the children living in misery, the luxurious hotels, the malls, the crowded buses. It was a gorgeous evening, warm and with clear skies. Each pilgrim carried a candle. The main avenue was like a luminous carpet. I was with the Regnum Christi group, Legionaries, consecrated, young lay people, and a few families from Manila. At one point, a big Taiwanese group walking by us started to sing a beautiful Mandarin song. I asked Kiko, our Chinese RC member, what the lyrics were about. She told me it was Psalm 23, “the Lord is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want”.
And there we were, the people of God with our Shepherd, bringing light to the World. Men and women from all over the world, united as a Church in Christ, a pilgrim Church on our way to our Heavenly Home. Amen!
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep” (Jn 10:14-15).