Priests urged: Be a newscaster, writer of ‘God’s News’
Cubao Bishop and Malolos Apostolic Administrator Honesto F. Ongtioco celebrates a clergy Christmas thanksgiving Mass at St. Martin of Tours Parish – Diocesan Shrine of Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa, Bocaue, Bulacan. ST. MARTIN OF TOURS PARISH – BOCAUE SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS MINISTRY
By Sem. Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban
December 27, 2018
This is what Cubao Bishop and Malolos Apostolic Administrator Honesto F. Ongtioco encouraged some 200 priests present at the Clergy Christmas Thanksgiving Mass held at St. Martin of Tours Parish – Diocesan Shrine of Mahal na Poon ng Krus sa Wawa in this town.
“People like watching the news [on] television because they want to learn of what is happening. The same goes for us. We priests are called to be like St. John. John was a very good writer and newscaster. As chosen by God we do not only hear the Word being given to us, we are called to speak of it,” said the prelate at
the celebration, which was hosted by the Vicariate of St. Martin of Tours of the diocese’s eastern district.
Ongtioco said priests will be able to become “newscasters and writers” only if they are rooted in God. “We can only become good newswriters and newscasters for God if we witness, hear and experience God in our lives,” he said.
Challenging the priests, the prelate said: “The way we live our priesthood is how we are able to write God’s News in the hearts of each person we serve.”
Ongtioco stressed that God himself will give priests the necessary grace to do so, saying: “May God assist us in writing the ‘fifth Gospel’, meaning the Word of God being lived by our own faith, by our own life.”
He also stressed the harm caused when priests lack fidelity to their vocation. “…If you are unfaithful to the Gospel and your vocation, that will affect the faithful. We have to make them alive in the faith!”
“Those who do not live in God’s ways is a liar. We could be liars even as priests when we do not live our commitments,” he added. The prelate noted, however, the importance of trusting in God: “Yet what we could always hold on to is to trust God. Because despite our failures, our shortcomings, whenever we choose God, God fills us with love.”
Pointing out priests’ role in the world, Ongtioco said, “The world needs us. Because amidst the many troubles, violence, challenges, fake news, God’s word is here. We need to proclaim it with our lives, in our preaching and in our brotherhood.”