Archdiocese of Caceres Themes for Advent and Christmas 2022
LOOK, LISTEN AND LOVE Advent and Christmas in Action
Pope Francis approves ‘Pilgrims of Hope’ as the motto to celebrate the Jubilee Year in 2025. This, for him, is a reminder that our earthly journey is a pilgrimage. Indeed, ‘pilgrims of hope’ is our Christian identity. Our life here on earth is not permanent but temporary. Our permanent residence is God’s kingdom.
Pilgrims ought to travel light. They do not bring all their clothes on a trip. They are not on a shopping spree. Should they shop around, they buy souvenirs, mostly religious articles which they can share among family and friends.
In his latest book, ‘Let us Dream,’ Pope Francis distinguishes a pilgrim from a tourist. A tourist is like someone who, during a lockdown, is able to leave the house “to shop for essentials or walk around the block to stretch our legs. But then we went back to where and what we were before, like a tourist who goes to the sea or the mountains for a week of relaxation but then returns to her suffocating routine.”
A pilgrim “is one who decenters and so can transcend. She goes out from herself, opens herself to a new horizon, and when she comes home, she is no longer the same, and so her home won’t be the same.”
Decentering requires the “see, judge and act” method in the promotion of social justice. During the National Synodal Consultation, this pastoral cycle was given a new name: look, listen and love.
The homilies this Advent and Christmas seasons adopt the motto “Pilgrims of Hope” as the theme. Our sermon writers will act as our pilgrim guides so that we may have a fruitful journey of faith to prepare for and celebrate the birth of Our Savior.
The homilies will invite us to look around and visit the people at the peripheries. Then we will be invited to listen to them and to what God is calling us to do to help their communities. Lastly, we shall be invited to act by loving both God and country.
First Sunday of Advent – Looking with Anticipation
We must be vigilant at all times, for disasters as well as for our salvation. -Fr. Wilmer Tria
Second Sunday of Advent – Looking Inside-Out
We cannot see unless our eyes are healthy; we cannot look around if we suffer from stiff neck and rigidity -Fr. Felipe Dalanon
Third Sunday of Advent – Looking Bad, Looking Good
John the Baptist was in crises; but the bad news turned into good news. Bad news is paralyzing; the good news is healing and empowering. We must be bearers of the truth even if they are bad news. Yet they are opportunities for reforms in the society and in the church. -Fr. Pablo Carpio
Fourth Sunday of Advent – Looking for Good, Looking for God. We are swimming in the pool of crises: economics, politics, culture, education. Yet, in the midst of crisis, we see God not abandoning us. He is Emmanuel. Camus says: in the midst of winter, there I find within me an invincible summer. -Fr. Angel Dorosan
Simbang Gabi Masses
First Day – Looking Around with the Lamp. We ought to know what is going on in our neighborhood, in our country, in the world. But we need the lamp of John. The lamp is the gospel. Discernment requires ‘seeing’ and understanding under the light of the gospel. -Fr. Joey Gonzaga
Second Day – Looking, Telling and Listening. Pilgrimage is not all about journey. There is a time to sit down and drink coffee and listen to the stories of one another. The elderlies are repository of the past. The young have dreams that traject the future. -Fr. Emil Valeza
Third Day – Fourth Sunday of Advent
Fourth Day – Time to Listen. The best time to listen is when we cannot explain what is going on. Let us listen to the scriptures, to catechesis, to the social teachings of the Church. -Fr. Francis Tordilla
Fifth Day - Listening and Obedience. The final test of listening is obedience. We listen to the Scriptures, to the Teachings of the Church and to the Mission given to us by God through our Superiors. -Fr. Xavier Amoroso
Sixth Day – Listening is Obedience to Love. Visitation has a three-fold mission – to look, to listen and to love. Mary walked the extra mile to do a mission. Visitation or encounter is the first step towards synodality. -Fr. Louie Occiano
Seventh Day – Loving is Magnifying the Lord. Like Mary, we must be embodiments of Love. That way, we magnify the Lord so others may see and believe in Him. -Fr. Jason Gaite
Eighth Day – Loving is Naming and Caring. The case of Irish Mae Payonga; of Kian delos Santos. They have a face, a name. They are persons, not trashes. The throwaway culture thinks that the elderly, the unborn, the unemployed, the PWD are but surplus in the society. -Fr. Emmanuel Mojica
Ninth Day – Loving is Sharing in the Mission. Zechariah was proud to share his son, John, to the mission of God. Parents must bring their children to the Church, for apprenticeship. They are the future of the Church. We must teach them to be advocates, to lend their voice for the voiceless in the society. -Fr. Gerome Pelagio
Christmas Midnight – Looking, Listening and Loving are Christmas in Action. Synodality is seeing, judging and acting as a community of faith; Christmas started at the Periphery, with the poor shepherds as the first pilgrims. - Most Rev. Rolando J. Tria Tirona, OCD, DD
Christmas Day – Loving Begins with Listening to the Word
Every prayer meeting is a Christmas celebration. The word of God is the way, the truth and the life. It is the Highway to the Kingdom. Every person must be groomed by the Word. -Msgr. Rodel Cajot
Feast of the Holy Family – Looking, Listening and Loving Begin at Home. Synodality begins at home. Every member of the family must learn how to look around, how to listen to everyone, how to love everyone, especially the weakest member in the in the family so that no one is left behind. -Fr. William Santiago
New Year – Every Mother Looks, Listens and Loves. Mary’s Motherhood is a story of looking, listening and loving. We need to learn the ‘economics’ of a mother where there is progress without marginalization. May this year be a prosperous year of looking, listening and loving. -Fr. Wilmer Tria
Epiphany – Love Manifests to the Nations. Love is not hoarding but giving; charity is not giving what is surplus but dedicating one’s life for others. Epiphany means love of God and country. -Fr. Marc Real