Priest: ‘Relationship with God linked to relationship with others’

Priest: ‘Relationship with God linked to relationship with others’

Seminarians carry the national pilgrim image of the Our Lady of Fatima at the Ateneo’s Church of the Gesu in Quezon City, Sept. 10, 2017. PHOTO COURTESY OF EUGENE PARAYAOAN

MANILA— In a Sunday Mass held to welcome the national pilgrim image of the Our Lady of Fatima, a Jesuit priest reminded everyone that one’s relationship with God cannot be separated from one’s relationship with others.

“The depth and quality of our relationship with God depend on our relationship with one another,” Ateneo De Manila University president Fr. Jose Ramon Villarin told hundreds of pilgrims yesterday, who came to welcome the national pilgrim image of the Our Lady of Fatima, which will stay at the Ateneo de Manila University from Sept. 10 to 13.

The priest said Our Lady’s invitation and challenge at Fatima was also about the need to convert in the face of evil and to constantly pray to God.

The call to conversion is a “call to renewal, to metanoia, to recover our humanity,” Villarin said in his homily at the Ateneo’s Church of the Gesu. He also stressed that conversion happens in the community.

“Faith is not just a private matter,” he added. Quoting Saint Teresa of Calcutta, he said that “we all belong to one another.”

The priest emphasized the need to become good neighbors to one another since this shows one’s love for God.

He also mentioned that it is alarming that in the face of evil manifested in the silence on the killings, rape jokes, and comments against women and children, people seem to just laugh.

Villarin also noted the tendency to dichotomize one’s spirituality from everyday life.

“Our piety is exemplary, our love of the Lord, our practices. But when it comes to our neighbor, we seem to divorce the political [from] the spiritual,” he said.

Furthermore, he also shared that many young people today believe in God but not in religion.

However, he said that like the Fatima children who did not choose to be silent about the Blessed Mother’s apparitions, neither should the faithful be afraid to share their faith with others.

“The Fatima children cannot contain the revelation given to them. When you see something good, you need to share it,” he said in Filipino and Engish.

The Jesuit priest also reminded everyone of the importance of prayer in one’s life. He said that one’s prayer life leads one to Jesus, “our anchor.”

“We need to recover our anchor. Prayer leads us to our anchor. We need to pray the mysteries to counter the darkness, the rising hurricanes,” he explained.

Villarin also invited everyone to continue trusting Our Lady. “Mary pondered in her heart, keeping faith. Let us ask for her guidance, for our people, for our world,” he said.

The national pilgrim image of the Our Lady of Fatima will be brought to San Jose Seminary, the Ateneo Grade School, the Ateneo High School, and the Loyola Schools Masses where devotions and vigils will be held in her honor.

The national pilgrim image will be sent off on Sept. 13 with the celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Church of the Gesu inside the Ateneo campus at 12 noon. CBCPNews