PEÑAFRANCIA IS YOUTH
By Rev. Fr. Joey Gonzaga
Rector | Holy Rosary Major Seminary
After the Penafrancia festivities, the images of Ina and the Divino Rostro shall stay in the Basilica, we shall leave them there and return back home.
What do we bring with us that shall sustain our firm resolve to follow the living Lord? Yes, we are following and believing not a bloody and lifeless image of the Divino Rostro but a living, risen Lord! We are venerating today not a wooden or fiber-glass image of Ina but Mary, our mother, our powerful intercessor in heaven!
This year we honor our youth-our young people who are not only the hope of the future but the Church’s and society’s hope of the present.
So, allow me to make use of the term Y.O.U.T.H as our provision in doing our respective mission.
“Y” means “yes,” which does not arise from fleeting emotion or passion but from reason, illumined by faith. It is “yes,” which is committed, willing to take the risks, ready to stake everything we have just to follow Jesus. This is the “yes” that does not have goodbye but forever. This is the “yes” of Ina! This is our yes!
“O” means obedience, which allows us like Mary to be overshadowed, overpowered by the Holy Spirit. We obey because we believe; we believe thus we obey.
“U” means understanding. We know so much but understand so little. If we wish to understand more, let us learn to listen and discern.
“T” means thanksgiving. It is right and just to give Him thanks. Why? Because everything that we are and have comes from the Lord through the intercession of Ina. This very moment, we do not have a signal. We are temporarily disconnected from our likers, bashers, followers, friends on social media. But God does not run out of signal. Like a faithful bff (best friend forever), Jesus always likes us, loves us. He will never delete or unfollow us because He is the Good Shepherd who will never give up on each of us. This is also true to Mary, our Ina. She loves us and will never forsake us, her children!
“H” means humility, which is an honest acceptance of who we are before God. We are helpless, powerless so we come to be strengthened by the power of God’s grace that comes to us through Mary. Viva la Virgen!