ANTIPOLO City, June 25, 2013—Why do we gather as a Church? How do we celebrate our fiestas? Apparently, it is not so that the faithful can go on drinking binges, overeat or gossip about others, says Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
“It is so easy to gather people during fiestas, isn’t it? Everyone who loves to drink is there; everyone who loves to eat is there; everyone who loves to gossip is there…[But] that is not the Church,” Cardinal Tagle told thousands of people from the Diocese of Antipolo during his homily this morning.
The Spirit, not vice
The Archbishop of Manila, who presided over a special mass for the 30th anniversary of the Antipolo diocese today, said Church gatherings or celebrations should not be animated by vice, but by the Holy Spirit.
“We are being gathered in the name of Jesus… It is God who calls, gathers, and binds us together [as a Church],” he explained.
In connection with the celebration of the Diocese of Antipolo’s thirty years of existence, Tagle asked everyone to acknowledge the “grace” of being an iglesia, an ecclesia or a people specifically and especially called by God.
He stressed, the diocese is being formed by the Holy Spirit — and not just any other spirit.
Drawing comparisons to the story of Israel, Tagle said God never tires of bringing His people home to Him.
“[God] created the people of Israel, they fell into sin, scattered, but He never fails to bring them back,” he explained.
This is the story, not just of the Antipolo diocese, but of the entire Mother Church, the cardinal stressed.
Then Pope John Paul II announced the creation of the Diocese of Antipolo in 1983, which was formally established on June 25 of the same year. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]