Cardinal Rosales to seminarians: Mirror God’s goodness

Cardinal Rosales to seminarians: Mirror God’s goodness
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Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales presides over the opening Mass of this year’s “Kapatiran” at the Saint Augustine Parish Church in Baliwag, Bulacan, February 10, 2018. EUGENE PARAYAOAN

BALIUAG, Bulacan— Addressing more than 500 seminarians from all over the country, a cardinal reminded them about the basic and fundamental vocation in this world— to mirror God’s goodness.

In his homily during opening Mass of “Kapatiran 2018” at the Saint Augustine Parish Church in Baliuag, Bulacan on Satuday, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales exhorted the seminarians and priests to become mirrors of God’s goodness to all the people they encounter.

The retired Manila archbishop said that even those who are in married life and in other vocations are called to the same challenge. Rosales then admonished the seminarians to always remember that God’s calling has already been there.

“God chose you already even before,” he said. “Priests and seminarians should mirror and share the goodness of God. Remember, you will be judged by that.”

“God gives us understanding because it allows us to be able to freely respond to His call to mirror His goodness to people. It is as if God is telling you: ‘You have to repeat my goodness to people,’” he said.

When times of feeling unworthy comes in, the cardinal told them that God knows how much weak and sinful humanity is.

“God knows we are weak. God knows we are sinners. Yet are we willing to submit ourselves to Him? Are we ready to be humiliated in God’s presence? We should experience humiliation because that is the Cross,” he said.

Like Jesus’ Paschal Mystery, that is His suffering, death and resurrection, the cardinal said that such experience of death and shame must also be undergone especially by those who are to become priests.

“We are at a time when the experience of the Paschal Mystery is being lost in the seminary. Yet this experience of ‘Verbum Aeternum in Christo Incarnato’ (the Eternal Word in Christ Incarnate) is important for it is the center of the spiritual life. We need to experience dying to our sins so that God can raise us up,” added Rosales.

He said that acknowledging one’s own unworthiness helps one to find intimacy with God. “God wants to talk to us,” said Rosales.

In attendance were seminarians, formators, staff and some parents from San Jose Seminary, University of Santo Tomas Central Seminary, San Carlos Seminary, Holy Apostles Senior Seminary, Lorenzo Mission Institute, Immaculate Concepcion School of Theology, San Pablo Theological Seminary, Saint Augustine Major Seminary, Tahanan ng Mabuting Pastol, Domus Josephi Formation House, De Paul House, Saint Francis de Sales Theological Seminary, Immaculate Conception Major Seminary, Saint Benedict Diocesan Seminary, Mother of Good Counsel Seminary, Holy Rosary Major Seminary, Eucharistic Healers of Mary, Harong Kan Marhay nga Pastor, Saint Joseph Formation House, St. Alphonsus Regional Seminary, and the Mission Society of the Philippines. With the theme, “Brother and Co-workers in Proclaiming the Gospel”, this year’s gathering was hosted by the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary of the Diocese of Malolos.

The Kapatiran is an annual event that gathers theology seminarians all over the Philippines. It is one of the activities of the Diocesan Seminarians’ Network of the Philippines (SemNet).

Founded in 1991, SemNet was primarily aimed to bring focus on socio-political awareness as well as the integral formation of seminarians in theology. CBCPNews