Tinig ng Pastol: MESSAGE OF THE BISHOP ON THE CELEBRATION OF NEW YEAR 2023 (12.31.22)

MESSAGE OF MOST REV. DENNIS C. VILLAROJO, D.D. REGARDING THE CELEBRATION OF THE NEW YEAR

My best wishes for a prosperous and blessed New Year to all!
The first day of January, apart from welcoming the new year, is also the Church's tribute to the Great Feast of Mary as the Mother of God. More than any theological explanation, the word cannot cover the language of the heart that loves, because the passionate love of a mother, especially for Filipinos, is the same love that gave birth to Jesus — love that will never be forgotten.

But let me share with you this short message for our feast today.
Even though this day is a "holy obligation" if the Church considers it, let's go to church, not because it is an obligation for the Virgin Mary because love for a mother cannot be taught, it is an experience. Our attendance at mass today will be our visitation and renewal of that experience:

Like us, as a Mother gave birth to Jesus — navel to navel, heart to heart, flesh to flesh;
Just like us, how a Mother holds us in our every cry.
Like us, as a Mother embraces us in each of our lives.
Like us, how a Mother stayed awake in our slumber.
Like us, guided by a Mother in infancy.

Look at Mary's tender and fervent love for her son, and her Son's love for the world.

Look at the nativity scene that we stayed awake for nine days at the Misa de Gallo that revealed the Great Love of God despite the toil and vigilance of Mary and Joseph.

Behold our heart what remains of the past Christmas Day.

Behold the fruit of love for the person and divinity of Jesus Christ from Mary's womb to the longed-for Birth of the Only Son — the birth of a gift to the world that brings true happiness and peace to the present that also contains the gift of gratitude and humility that no one else can give but God who cannot be covered by any "how" and "why" because it is the Truth of God through the Holy Spirit in Mary — the truth that we are full of grace, not because we do good or our prayers are answered or we repent of our sins because God's Mercy, Love, and Compassion is never based on our works, if not on an open and abiding heart.

Behold the mystery of faith and Love that is none other than God.
A New Year of Hope to all.

#AngSandiganMalolos

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