TAGBILARAN City, Nov. 9, 2013—Celebrating the diocese’s 72nd anniversary in makeshift tents buffeted by ‘Yolanda’s’ winds, Boholanos realized that good can come out of tragedy.
Celebrating the holy mass at the St. Joseph Cathedral yesterday morning, Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso, D.D. said that for 72 years the diocese has “pilgrimaged” and “walked in faith” and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook the province can only be a call to a higher level of faith.
“‘I would like to purify you more. I would like you to give Me more of yourself.’ “Oh, yes. We don’t understand that,” Bishop Medroso imagined God to be telling the Boholano faithful.
He said, it is precisely because Boholanos are “very, very good Christians”, are “charitable and religious” that God is calling them to a “higher level of spirituality.”
Medroso compared the Boholano people’s experience to Christ’s where he started off by giving himself to others through works of service, healings and miracles, but that ultimately, his mission was to die on the Cross for the salvation of others.
“Yes, we are charitable. Yes, we appreciate the gifts that God has given to us. But probably our Lord is saying, it is not yet enough,” he explained during the 7 a.m. Eucharistic celebration.
Medroso specifically mentioned the great number of vocations coming from Bohol and how parents wholeheartedly offer their sons and daughters to the religious life and how this can be a springboard to greater giving of self.
Suffering with Christ
In a separate interview, he said, at present 11 bishops hail from Bohol; including past and deceased Bohol bishops that brings the count to 16.
“You are no longer giving gifts, but give yourself,” he added.
Medroso, who despite having recently turned 75 years old insisted on visiting even the most far-flung towns in his diocese to check on the Boholanos most seriously affected by the earthquake, talked about “victimhood” and suffering with Christ.
“Assume the guilt of your brothers and sisters, dying on the Cross as a criminal,” he said, explaining how offering up suffering like Christ is something not easily understood or done, but can be highly redemptive.
The Diocese of Tagbilaran is set to celebrate its Diamond jubilee or 75th anniversary in 2016. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]