July 25, 2024

Good Shepherd Sunday was celebrated the day before the election day (May 8, 2022). It was not a celebration by accident. I strongly believed that it was by God’s grace that it coincided on a Sunday before the election day in order to help people pray and discern.
The Mountain Province Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting under my care and Commission on Elections Mountain Province under Atty. Mae Belmes collaborated well to invite the candidates to join the holy mass at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Sagada for peaceful, clean, honest, responsible, and wise elections.
The Mountain Province Police Provincial Office under the baton of Col. Ruben Andiso and his deputy, Lt/Col. Crisante Sadino, with the police personnel also actively attended the holy mass and delivered good messages for people to ponder, as well as the 702nd Infantry Brigade with Maj. Alex Alod as spokesman.
The mass went well and a short socialization came after loaded with friendship. The parishioners brought cooked food from their homes and fed the community. May God bless the generous families.
Since it was Good Shepherd Sunday, the homily revolved around the three topics based on the gospel of John 10: 27-30.
The Good Shepherd means people hear the voice of the shepherd and listen to his words; The shepherd knows his flock and he knows them by their name; The flock follow the shepherd not by blind obedience but by love; The shepherd gives his flock eternal life and not condemnation and death; The shepherd corrects his erring flock as a show of fraternal concern; The shepherd rejoices at the return of his lost members; and the shepherd rejoices with his people in their successes. He affirms the talents of his people. He does not see talents and gifts of his flock as threats but positive energies to build a better community.
When our shepherds or leaders are good, we don’t only expect good outputs but we experience good governance.
Good governance is justice incarnated in the government implemented by good leaders for the people. Good governance means good shepherd. Bad shepherd means bad governance. The qualities of a good shepherd mentioned above are qualities that will define governance.
Vote buying and vote selling will define bad governance. Selling of votes and buying of votes will surely spell the governance into graft and corruption. Graft and corruption are the faces of bad governance. Graft and corruption will put down leaders and eventually collapse good governance to destroy the community.
Good shepherding defines good governance, which will attend to the common good. Common good will never be selfish good. Hence, a good shepherd will always look at the good of his people before his personal or private good. Good shepherding knows the value of sacrifice and the higher good. Peace is the highest common good and the beautiful face of prosperity in every community.
We are all mandated morally and spiritually to work for peace. The church and government leaders must work together as good shepherds. Jesus defined and exemplified good shepherding. We must imitate not blindly but lovingly.
Selfish motives and activities are gauges of bad shepherding.
The 2022 national and local elections are over. Some were frustrated because they did not make it. Some were doubly frustrated because they lost and lost their properties. Some supporters too were thrice frustrated because their candidate did not make it. They lost their money and their friends.
Let go of the lost and move on. Be reconciled to everyone, for three years is short and unknowingly, campaigns are there again and elections after. Cheer up and see the future with better strategies and better hopes. We support those who were elected. We entrust everything to God.
To those who made it, be a good shepherd in words and in work.
Mountain Province has new mayors who are youthful.
Sadanga, Sagada, and Bontoc decided to try young leaders. Felicito Dula of Sagada, Jerome Tudlong of Bontoc, and Angilit Ganggangan of Sadanga made a political history being the youngest mayors in their respective towns.
Reach me at [email protected].