Bishop: ‘Even atheists are seeking God’
Novaliches Bishop Antonio R. Tobias, DD explained how everyone is “seeking God,” during the send-off Mass for the diocese’s World Youth Day (WYD) 2019 Panama delegates, Jan. 6, 2019. MINNIE AGDEPPA
By Minnie Ageppa
Jan. 24, 2019
“All of us are seeking God — including non-believers.”
This was the message Novaliches Bishop Antonio R. Tobias, D.D. gave to World Youth Day (WYD) 2019 delegates during their send-off Mass held at the Cathedral Shrine and Parish of the Good Shepherd on Jan. 6, 2019.
Explaining the Feast of the Epiphany, the prelate said the feast is a celebration of “ordinary people seeking God–of seeking a prosperous life.” Tobias noted: “All of us are seeking God” and “God is part of that prosperous life”.
He exhorted the diocesan delegates to the WYD in Panama to resist people who say God does not exist.
“Do not believe any one who tell you that there is no God. Do not believe them!” Tobias stressed. “Because if you believe them, you too will go nuts and all of us will fall together.”
According to the bishop, there are actually two types of “God-seekers” as shown in the Gospel. The first one is the one who knows all the answers but who is content in simply knowing. Tobias said these are like the priests and the learned men of the Old Testament who knew where the Messiah will be born but never actually went there to verify it. He said those who say there is no God are like the first type of seekers.
“There are those who say things that destroy what we believe in, that our people have long been holding onto. [They say,]’There is no God, that’s fiction…but those priests, they are sinners,’ so they do not really hear the calling of the Lord,” he emphasized.
Tobias said even church people have a tendency to fall into the first category.
“I do not exclude bishops, priests, seminarians, and our Church leaders here. They know, but some they do not do anything about what they know,” he explained.
On the other hand, the second type of seekers, who are represented by the Magi, are those who ask questions and seek God with the intent of encountering God and acting on this reality.
Meanwhile, young people cannot find Jesus in their homes, said Tobias, because their parents are either separated or are too busy with work. According to him, they end up searching for Jesus elsewhere like in Church, among their peers, or among their neighbours.
Tobias praised the young people attending the WYD in Panama, saying, they are “getting near God…”