COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop

No. 851     Diocese of Marbel, Philippines                                                              3 January 2016

  1. CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: LOVE AND FAITH

“Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.” (Jh. 3: 16)

God took the initiative because he is Love.  Love must be shared.

Our response to God’s love initiative is Faith.  Faith in Jesus Christ.  This means three things:

  • Accept Jesus in our hearts – welcome him;
  • Trust in Jesus because he is God-made-man;
  • Obey him wholeheartedly.

Result?  Union with God in everlasting happiness.

  1. FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY: A COMMUNITY OF PERSONS

Jesus, Mary and Joseph form the “HOLY” family.

Holy means different.  Jesus is true God and true man.  Mary is full of grace – sinless.  And Joseph is reputed to be a just man.

Persons are subjects of rights and duties.  Jesus, must be about his Father’s business.  But he was obedient to Mary and Joseph.  Mary and Joseph cared for Jesus.  So “Jesus advanced in wisdom and age and favor before God and man.” (Lk. 2: 52)

  1. MARY, MOTHER OF GOD, QUEEN OF PEACE

Mary is the Mother of Jesus.  Jesus is the Son of God made man.  Hence, Mary is the Mother of God.

In 431 the Council of Ephesus declared Mary as Mother of God or “Theotokos” (God-bearer).

Blessed Pope Paul VI declared in 1974 January 1 of every year as a World Day of Prayer for Peace.

Peace is “harmony.”  “Tranquillity of Order.”  The order is: first, God; second, spiritual, moral, intellectual, artistic, etc. values; third, material things.  When money is preferred over honesty, there is unpeace.

St. John XXIII stated in “Peace on Earth” that the four pillars of peace are: truth, justice, love and freedom.

Pope Francis on World Day of Peace said: “overcome indifference and win peace.”

  1. EPIPHANY: GOD’S MANIFESTATION OF UNIVERSAL PLAN OF SALVATION

At Jesus’ birth poor Jewish shepherds were the first to pay Jesus homage.

Sometime later wise men from the East – rich non-Jews – did him homage.

Magi used to belong to the rebellious tribe of the Medes who rose against the Persian (Iranian) King.  They were defeated.  So they dedicated themselves to the study of philosophy, religion, law and natural sciences.  They became advisers to the Kings.

So Jesus manifested himself to the non-Jews – the gentiles.  Salvation is inclusive.

Three kinds of persons in today’s gospel:

1)  Herod who was anti-Jesus; 2) priests and scribes whose attitude was one of indifference; 3) Magi who responded positively to the appearance of the star and when they found the new-born King of the Jews offered him “gifts of gold for the great King, frankincense for the true God and myrrh for his burial” (Ant. Canticle of Zechariah, Monday after Epiphany).

Pope Francis exhorted us in his Mass at St. Mary Major to overcome our indifference and to be committed toworld peace.

  1. NEWS RELEASE: CHIEF JUSTICE SERENO URGED

HELP Implement COP 21 Results in the Country by Issuing TEPO vs. Sarangani Coal-fired Power Plant

Sr. Susan O. Bolanio, OND and Fr. Rey CarvynOndap, CP, petitioners against the Sarangani coal-fired power plant in Kamanga, Maasim, Sarangani Province filed yesterday their motion for reconsideration on the Supreme Court’s dismissal of their petition and urged Chief Justice Sereno to lead the Philippine judiciary in playing a key role in implementing the recent results of COP 21 in Paris, particularly in the phasing out of fossil fuels in the country by ruling against the 200MW coal-fired power plant in Sarangani Province.

“As a result of the Paris Agreement, the world is on its path towards the phase-out of fossil fuels and coal-fired power plants will become an anomalous way of generating energy”, said Sr. Susan Bolanio, OND, one of the petitioners

“The judiciary should play its role in phasing out fossil fuel-based forms of energy generation and the Supreme Court, through the leadership of Chief Justice Sereno, can play a key role by issuing a TEPO against the Sarangani coal-fired power plant now”, added the feisty religious from the Mindanao-based Oblates of Notre Dame, who has amassed a significant track record fighting progressive causes dating back from the Martial Law era including environmental causes.

The organization handling the petition is Biodiversity, Innovation, Trade and Society (BITS) Policy Center, Inc., a member of AksyonKlimaPilipinas, a well-known national network of civil society network engaged on issues relating to climate change.

  1. JANUARY 2016 SCHEDULE
01      – SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF 17      – Fiesta Mass, Tampakan, 8am
GOD           – Fiesta Mass, Maitum, 8am
WORLD DAY OF PEACE 18      – Visit, CMF, Provincial, 9am
03      – SOLEMNITY OF THE EPIPHANY OF 19      – CBCP’s Regional Mtg., Montebello Hotel,
THE LORD Cebu City, 7:30pm
08      – Mass & Confirmation, Tampakan, 8am 20-22 – Theological Symposium
11      – Conference & Mass, Poor Clares, 9am 21      – CBCP’s Permanent Council’s Mtg., 2:30pm
12      – Priests’ Joint Recollection, Norala Parish,9am 22      – PREX Marbel, Bp.’s Res., 6pm
13      – TOEs, Bishop’s Res., 9am 22-24 – (noon). CBCP’s Plenary Assembly
15      – Fiesta Mass, Bula, 5am 23      – Fiesta Mass, Sto. Niño, 9:30am
16      – Couples for Christ, SMAP, 6pm 24-31 – Int’l. Eucharistic Congress, Cebu  City
Opening Mass, 24th, 4pm.
Closing Mass, 31st, 4pm
  1. JANUARY BIRTHDAY CELEBRANTS

Prayerful birthday greetings to:

Fr. Mario Eudela (Jan. 15); Fr. Francisco Romano (Jan. 16);

Fr. Ariel Destora (Jan. 22); and Fr. Romeo Catedral (Jan. 26).

Back to: 2016 COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop

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About bishopdinualdo

Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez is the Bishop of the Diocese of Marbel
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