On December 9, 2015, PCJ held an Advent Recollection to help prepare parishioners for the Christmas season. Invited to lead the community in their reflection was the Bishop of Pasig, His Excellency Most Rev. Mylo Vergara, DD, MA, SThD.
Bishop Mylo focused his talk on three words: coming, longing, and waiting. These three words represent the three aspects he encouraged the community to reflect on,
For the word “coming”. He shared that Christians celebrate three comings: the first coming, which is the anniversary of Christ’s birth; the second coming, which happens on judgement day, the end of times; and the third coming, which is when we welcome Jesus in our daily lives.
He then related the word coming with the events that Catholics should look forward to in the coming liturgical year like The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the 50th Anniversary of the Conclusion of the 2nd Vatican Council, and the 51st International Eucharistic Congress that will be held in Cebu on January 2016.
The second word “longing”, according to Bishop Mylo, is all about our longing for God and His mercy. Despite all of our longings like the desire to be happy and not be lonely, the desire to abandon a sinful lifestyle, the improvement of our lives, or the desire for peace to reign in the world is really a desire for God’s mercy.
During this year Extraordinary Year of Mercy, the bishop encouraged those in attendance to seek God’s mercy and highlighted the symbolism of the Holy Doors in different Pilgrim Churches that are to be opened on December 13, Gradate Sunday (3rd Sunday of Advent) across the globe.
“Waiting”, the third word, is not just about people waiting for God, but is also about God waiting for them. God waiting means for people to turn away from their sins so they can be forgiven and be reunited with God as well as doing acts of mercy that manifests our love for God and others.
So how do people do this? The Church gives the faithful the Sacrament of Reconciliation so they can repent for their sins and be reconciled to God. The faithful are also encouraged to perform the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy as the way to show our love for others thereby sharing God’s love to them.
To wrap up the recollection, Bishop Mylo left the community with several questions that may be used as points of reflection and prayer. The questions focused on the three words of coming, longing, and waiting.
-ReiVi dela Cruz