Saturday, December 17, 2011
MANILA, December 17, 2011—At the closing liturgy of the celebration of the CBCP Year of the Youth, December 15, Episcopal Commission on Youth Vice-Chairman and San Fernando Auxiliary Bishop Roberto Mallari challenged the young people to continue proclaim the truth of God’s love and become role models to fellow youth.
Mallari said it is important that there are young people who will proclaim the truth of God’s Love and would challenge fellow youths to aspire for greatness because so many young people are deprived of love from their families and communities.
“The Church in the Philippines can be called a young church. Majority of our members are young. We are [a] vibrant community; full of idealism because of you my dear young people. And because you are many, you serve as a gauge and reference for the lifestyle of this world,” he said during his homily.
Mallari invited the youth to take advantage of the liveliness and aggressiveness of loving in a more radical and authentic way.
He also challenged them to go against the currents of materialism and consumerism.
“In a world marked with various forms of materialism, Catholic youth must dare to be different to manifest pure love that flows forth from Divine Love,” he added.
Mallari said that Jesus inspired the young people during the whole year celebration of the CBCP Year of the Youth and that the youth in return felt intensely the tight embrace of God’s love.
“The CBCP desired so much that during the whole year of the youth, our young people would have felt very intensely the tight embrace of God’s love for each of them and would really have deep conviction that each of them is truly loved so that they will also have the confidence to love others,” Mallari said.
He expressed that the prelates would also like to instill in each of the youth their great hopes that young people too, have to aspire for greatness.
Quoting former CBCP President and Tandag Bishop Nereo Odchimar in his pastoral letter announcing the opening of the Year of the Youth, he said, “Dear young people, we need you. The Church needs you. Echoing the loving words of Pope Benedict XVI,…we affirm ‘your lively faith, your creative charity and the energy of your hope. Your presence renews, rejuvenates and gives new energy to the Church’.”
“In the same manner, today I urge you to give all you can [to] glorify God and His Church,” Mallari stressed.
The bishop explained that the various activities held within the celebration of the Year of the Youth, such as the visit of the relic of St. John Bosco, the beatification of Blessed John Paul II, and the National Youth Day, were not coincidences, but meant to make the young people see clearly that God loves them and is challenging them to aspire for more in their relationship with Him.
Mallari again quoted Bishop Odchimar saying, “trust that this will provide a new impetus and grace from above to pursue our desire as one Church to give a preferential option for our young people.”
Posting questions to the youth, he asked: “What are the things that we have to stop doing which we found ineffective and inefficient in our work for the youth? What are the things that we have to continue doing in line with our vision/mission statement? And finally, what are the things that we have been longing to do but we have not started yet?
“May your answers to these questions put you on the road to take seriously your journey to greatness in God’s Kingdom and help you to be more concrete in following Christ more closely and loving Him more dearly,” he concluded.
More than 500 young people from different Catholic Schools in Metro Manila and youth ministers and leaders in the dioceses of the National Capital Region, Central Luzon and Southern Tagalog attended the closing liturgy.
Main celebrant of the Holy Eucharist was ECY Chairman and Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon, with ECY Vice-Chairman and Auxiliary Bishop of San Fernando Pampanga Roberto Mallari, Infanta Bishop Rolando Tria-Tirona, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortes and eight other priests, as concelebrants.
After the mass, a simple meal was served to those who attended the closing liturgy and thanksgiving of the Episcopal Commission on Youth. (Jandel Posion)
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