FIRST FRIDAY MASS AT THE OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN
6 OCTOBER 2017
First Reflection: The Readings – from Lamentations to Curses
The Babylonian Exile is one of the most painful chapters in the history of the Jewish people. It lasted for 70 years when King Nebuchadnezzar held Israel captive in Babylon. The reading describes the prayer of lamentations of the high priest. Take note before the exile, the prophets like Jeremiah and Ezekiel warned of the imminent danger of defeat and exile. Yet Israel did not heed the call to change.
Chorazin, along with Bethsaida and Capernaum, was named in the gospels of Matthew and Luke as "cities" (more likely just villages) in which Jesus performed "mighty works". However, because these towns rejected his work ("they had not changed their ways"), they were subsequently cursed (Matthew 11:20-24; Luke 10:13-15). The gospels make no other mention of Chorazin or what works had occurred there.
The exile to Babylon is the result of the refusal of Israel to undertake conversion. The curses of Jesus on Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum are expressions of the frustration, if not also the indignation of Jesus for these towns to recognize God’s visitation.
God must be telling us something. That we need to shape up as a people. That our leaders must know the ways of God – that good governance is shepherding with integrity and uprightness.
Second Reflection: from Remembrance to Renewal
Remember our collective history. Remember our experience of a dictatorship, the snap elections of 1986 and the 1986 People Power Peaceful Revolution.
Third Reflection: Entrusting the Office of the Ombudsman to the Immaculate Mother of God, our Lady of Fatima
It is the 100 years of the apparition of Mary in Fatima. In the spirit of commemorating this special event, I ask everyone here to entrust each one and this office of the Ombudsman to Mary, Our Lady of Fatima.
May she strengthen you as you carry the burden of your office. I pray that you may stand tall beneath the Cross of Jesus with Mary, the Mother of Sorrows.
And thus we need to pray for them: the President, the Vice President, the senators and the lower house, the Supreme officials down to the barangay. LORD, SEND US SHEPHERDS AFTER YOUR HEART!
I believe that we are in a spiritual warfare. That we are up against dominions and powers. MAY OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY BLESS US AND KEEP US IN HER MATERNAL CARE. SHE WHO IS OUR LIFE, SWEETNESS AND OUR HOPE. AMEN
Remember that in 1985, the bishops declared the National Marian Year with the three fold challenge of COR – CONVERSION, OFFERTORY, REPARATION.
Remember that the 1986 People Power Peaceful Revolution is characterized with
PRAYER POWER COUPLED WITH SHARING OF FOOD AND DOZES OF GOOD WILL.
You may remember dear brothers and sisters, one song which was written right after the events of February 1986 at EDSA. There was a stanza in it which ran like this:
MASDAN ANG NAGAGANAP SA ATING BAYAN:
NAGKASAMA NA’NG MAHIRAP AT MAYAMAN,
KAPIT BISIG MADRE, PARI AT SUNDALO,
NAGING LANGIT ITONG BAHAGI NG MUNDO
It is in our collective memory as people of God when we take the cue to embark on a renewal of our people. I submit to you one insight: that our people are still in the wilderness, in the desert.
It is in the desert where we are continuously purified by God.
I believe that we are still in the desert, in the wilderness. That God is still purifying us is something we need to face. As the saying goes: we deserve the leaders that we have. And thus we need to pray for them: the President, the Vice President, the senators and the lower house, the Supreme officials down to the barangay. LORD, SEND US SHEPHERDS AFTER YOUR HEART!