By Sem. Kendrick Ivan B. Panganiban & Sem. Ariz V. De Castro
Dec. 16, 2018 | Malolos City
with Permission from CBCP News
In his homily on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, ICMAS rector Fr. Emmanuel I. Cruz reflected on how the Blessed Virgin will always be “on God’s side.”
“By being ishah, Mary is a woman on the side of a man, who is none other than Jesus. This means Mary is in the side of Christ. Mary is in the side of God,” explained the priest, noting how Mary has been referred to in Scripture as ishah, Hebrew for “woman.”
The Blessed Virgin, according to Cruz, has been referred to as ishah in the Gospel and in the Letter of St. Paul to the Galatians.
“Why call Mary woman? It is because woman is meant to be a companion of man as Eve became the partner of Adam,” he said, reflecting on the creation story.
The Immaculate Conception Parish – Cathedral & Minor Basilica (ICP-CMB) and the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary (ICMAS) joined the Misa Mayor celebration of the feast of the mother church of the Diocese of Malolos and of the seminary community. Led by Malolos Vicar General Pablo S. Legaspi, Jr., the Eucharistic celebration was held at 6:00 a.m. on Dec. 8.
He noted that, “Mary is venerated by us Catholics not because of any other reason than being the faithful daughter to the Father, a mother to Jesus our Lord, and an example for us. That is why we celebrate today.” Cruz added, “May we imitate Mary, whose guidance leads us her back to her Son. Mary is on God’s side. She is the constant companion and she knows that to be in God’s side is right choice. She is a reason for all of us to have hope.”
‘Whose side are you on?’
Challenging the faithful, he asked, “Whose side do you take? For whom do you clap?” He added, “Are you on God’s side or do you praise another?”
Cruz called on the faithful to examine the people they choose to emulate and look up to. “You might be idolizing the wrong persons. You might believe in people who give no respect to God or even to his Church. Those are the people who even mock and curse the Church and her leaders. If that is the kind of person you follow or believe in, then you are not on the side of God,” he stressed.