June 21, 2024

The fourth Sunday of Easter celebrates the Good Shepherd Sunday. But I will focus on the topics, namely proclamation, testimony, and risen hope.
The Acts of the Apostles 2:14a, 36-41, narrate the unstoppable proclamation of the Risen Jesus by Peter. “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and, proclaimed: Let the whole house of Israel know for certain that God made both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”
As Christians, we are not only obliged to proclaim but by virtue of our baptism, we are morally responsible to proclaim by word and by deed. We don’t proclaim lies and untruthfulness. We proclaim the truth. For in the proclamation of the truth that we can find our way to freedom and our rising hope.
One of the main reasons why our country and government are being burdened by more problems is fake news and misinformation. People scribble and fabricate false information to aggravate the predicament caused by the Covid-19.
We are all morally responsible to use traditional and social media and other means of communication properly. If we do, then we are contributing to the proclamation of the Kingdom in the here and now.
Another important Christian mandate is to testify to the truth. Due to bribe, fame, and promises, we easily fall into the trap of false testimony. It is hard to testify especially when it means breaking friendship, death threats, or even ending life.
The apostles were able to proclaim and testify because they were clear with their mission. They were honest and humble. In effect, they did not see earthly threat as impediment in the proclamation and testifying but glorification of their life. They were clear that the person they were proclaiming and testifying for will not forsake them. They were certain that Jesus will reward them not on earthly basis but the glory in the next life. They saw the need to proclaim and testify for others to have life too.
The scenario today is becoming worse because the evil one is working with deception. People are falling into the devil’s trap. We are forgetting our moral responsibility. To be of help, let us refrain from using the radio, television, cellular phones, and Facebook to circulate unverified information. We shut our mouth if we don’t have any good to say. We turn off our Facebook if we don’t have any good to share.
Spreading disinformation is the work of the Devil. The appreciation of truth and the spread of truth is the work of God.
We proclaim and testify to the truth no less than Jesus who died and rose from the dead and the same Jesus who will redeem us from this pandemic. Let the ECQ build a quality communication with our families by teaching them to bring Jesus at home, during meals, and during our prayer time. Let the message of Pope Francis sink into the heart of the family that since the church are prohibited to have mass gatherings, then turn innovatively our homes into domestic churches. It makes sense and it will always be relevant to say again, “A family that prays together, stays together.”
I am sharing one concrete example of how we help plant the truth in our communities. Priests are ordained to preach the truth and to testify to it. Today, we are using the radio well.
The extraordinary life of the priest may be ordinary for others. The ECQ guideline prohibits public gatherings to include the celebration of the Holy Mass in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
Since the ECQ, we have been airing daily radio masses in Sagada to sustain our spiritual life.
But on April 28, the radio mass was cancelled due to technical problem. The radio tower was affected by a power surge. I need to inform our listeners and the daily participants through text messaging.
Since there was no radio schedule, I spent the day for laundry and landscaping. I informed Rev. Fr. Eusebio Manangbao, SVD, that we went off-air. I grabbed the chance to wash my accumulated laundry.
He replied with humor, “Enjoy the labada. Gamit ka ng Tide ultra. Agplantsa ak met. Agragsak ka bagi ta biag mo maysa padi. Hehehe.”
Rev. Fr. Eusebio, fondly called Fr. Sebio, is the Mission Rector of St. Joseph Church, Sabangan Catholic Mission. Fr. Sebio, an SVD priest, served the Catholic Communities in Africa for more than 25 years before he became part of Bontoc-Lagawe vicariate.
Fr. Sebio became part of the daily live radio mass. He always shares his thoughts and appreciates the program.
He creatively installed big speakers in their church tower to cater to the whole community. He believed that despite the “virtual” participation of community, God is still at work inspiring every listener with the words in the Liturgy. Grace is still being received in the radio masses.
The radio mass is aired everyday at 9 a.m. Please tune in to Radyo Sagada 104.7 FM.
Reach me at [email protected] or at 0905-165-3669.