By Julma Narvadez
This was Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo’s challenge to devotees in his homily on September 15, 2018, during the Mass culminating the Fluvial Procession. Pabillo said Mary understands the plight of Filipinos as she, herself, had similar struggles. Extrajudicial killings, climate change, greed for power and inflation are some of the issues Pabillo cited.
He said Filipinos can look to Mary as they face the country’s problems. “Si Maria ay hindi manhid sa mga kahirapan ng mga tao ngayon,” Pabillo says, “and this is good news for us.” He says Mary, like many Filipinos, came from a poor family; she was oppressed as a young mother and she suffered with her Son. “She did not abandon her Son, she was there at the foot of the cross,” Pabillo adds.
He asked devotees to discern the issues that beset the country. “Marami sa atin, wala naman tayong magagawa sa tinutokhang. Pero sana alam natin na yun ay masama,” Pabillo says about the drug war. He said Mary’s discernment led her to respond to God’s will. “Kailangan tayong magnilay at kumilos ayon sa ating paniniwala,” Pabillo recalls how Mary pondered and responded to God’s will. “Ang ibig sabihin ng pananalig kay Jesus ay dapat hindi tayo aalis sa problema,” Pabillo explains.
Pabillo also commented that politicking is not good for the country, “harapin na ang problema ng bigas at hindi ng amnesty,” he says.
He says devotees must “support what is right and what is true”. He called on ordinary citizens to give their support to those who are at the forefront of fighting social ills. He says this is similar to how Mary supported her Son’s mission and consequently, the apostles’. “Marami sa atin, wala naman katungkulan, pero meron tayong supporting roles.” He says prayers and encouragement will be of much help, just as how Mary prayed for and encouraged the apostles when they were being persecuted.
“‘Wag magpabaya sa mga pangyayaring ito upang ang ating pananamapalataya ay nakaugat sa realidad,” he concludes referring to the social injustices and political unrest in the country today.
The Mass was attended by thousands of devotees and pilgrims coming from different cities and provinces. The devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia dates back to 1710 when the first Peñafrancia fiesta was celebrated in Nueva Caceres, now Naga City.