Bishop to theology students: ‘Hack’ the Gospel

Bishop to theology students: ‘Hack’ the Gospel

Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao. SCREENGRAB/NSOLL

MANILA— Using a commonplace term nowadays, a prelate reminded theology students to know Jesus deeper and to understand him more clearly through faith—to “hack” the Gospel.

In his homily during Holy Spirit Mass of the Loyola School of Theology (LST) on Wednesday, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco used the word “hacking” as a way of knowing someone deeper.

“As wrong and unethical hacking is, it’s very apropos and powerful image to use about what you need to do as you study theology and come to understand who it is you want to know deeper,” the bishop said.

He shared this as he remembered his own experience when his e-mail was hacked some time ago.

He said that with the Holy Spirit’s action in one’s life or in a community, namely, illumination, purification and inspiration, one can be led to knowing and loving Jesus.

“If we are to know, understand and love Jesus, the key to unlocking the mysteries of Jesus incarnate is the Holy Spirit,” Ongtioco said.

He said that to be able to have a good grasp of who Jesus is, one is required to have a good amount of “self-emptying, reading and praying so one can let go of our inflated self-regard, arrogant opinions and spiritual amnesia and the deafening noise all around.”

“Our illumination must always come from Jesus and His Spirit guided by the magisterium of the Church,” the bishop reminded everyone.

With hundreds of theology students listening, the Bishop of Cubao also said that one must be purified through the power of the Holy Spirit in the same way that the apostles have been purified from the “pollution” they have within.

“The fire of the Holy Spirit purifies what has become polluted within each disciple, within the Church and our country as well,” the bishop said.

He also said that our nation is “polluted” by differing political sides and opinion.

“Our country today is polluted by political division due to the campaign against drugs by the present government,” he said.

Referring to the death of a minor during a police operation against illegal drugs, he said that “the recent death of the 17-year old Grade 11 student Kian Loyd De Los Santos, becomes a glaring truth of this division.”

That is why, according to the prelate, there is a need for the people to be inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit’s inspiration is needed “to contribute to our personal and national purification,” he said.

The traditional Holy Spirit Mass is annually held to signal the start of a new school year for theology students composed of seminarians, religious women and some laypeople.

Founded in 1965 and run by the Society of Jesus, LST is an ecclesiastical faculty granting degrees in various disciplines of theology. CBCPNews