Bishop: Empty yourselves for Christ

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Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David (Photo: Raymond Sebastian)

CALOOCAN City, Jan. 3, 2015 – Kalookan Bishop Pablo Virgilio S. David on Saturday underscored the need for “kenosis” or self-emptying, especially among prelates like himself, so that they can become more credible presenters of Jesus.

“From now on you can call me Ambo. Because that is what I would like to be known. I am not the Word. I am just a stand on which the Word of God is proclaimed,” he said, explaining the real duty of priests, with a pun on his nickname.

David made this statement in his first homily as chief pastor of the Diocese of Kalookan on Saturday, Jan. 2, at San Roque Cathedral Parish in front of family members, relatives, friends, many of the country’s top clerics, the Kalookan clergy and religious as well as the lay faithful.

Taking “Kenosis” as his episcopal motto, the Pampanga-born prelate went on to criticize the tendency among some members of the clergy to allegedly draw attention to themselves at the expense of Jesus.

He lamented that many men of the cloth see themselves as “princes” who mistake their mitres for crowns, their sees for thrones, and their staffs for scepters.

According to him, the higher the rank a priest has, the more humble he should become.

As he was being welcomed formally by the congregation, David shared he had to remind himself  to “deposit his ego outside the door” of the Cathedral given that he was not there to for his own sake, but the Lord’s.

Commenting on the ministry of St. John the Baptist, the Pampanga-born prelate pointed out that as a bishop he is called to be a “kinatawan” (deputy)  of Jesus, never His “kapalit” (substitute). (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)

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