On April 14, we celebrate the 500th anniversary of the first Catholic Baptism in the Philippines that took place in Cebu.
It is an opportunity to thank the Lord for the gift of faith, the gift of the Good News. It is also a commitment for us to announce and live this Good News today!
Philippines, what did you do with your baptism?
Let us listen and meditate again on the encouragement of Pope Francis in his video message on April 4 for the Jubilee celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines:
“During this jubilee year, let the words of Jesus guide you: “Without cost you received; without cost you are to give” (Mt 10:8). These words are an invitation to thank God for all those who handed on the faith to you. […] Be grateful for the gift of faith. Thank God for the people who gave you the faith and for all those to whom you will pass it on in turn. Renew your enthusiasm for evangelization. Reach out to others and bring them the hope and joy of the Gospel.
Do not be afraid; you are not alone in this mission. Two great saints of your land accompany you: Saint Pedro Calungsod and Saint Lorenzo Ruiz. Two holy catechists who knew how to give without cost what they had received without cost: life and faith in Jesus.”
Let us remember our own baptism, God's love for us, the gift of the Holy Spirit that gives us to be disciples of Jesus, all the blessings.
Let us pray:
“Renew in us the grace of your Spirit
That impels us to be witnesses of Jesus your Son,
To a world broken by greed, violence, injustice, sickness and suffering.
May our faith bring us to unity as your children
To care for and love one another.
May the Holy Spirit empower us
To be proclaimers of the Good News
To our brothers and sisters in Asia and to all nations.” - Amen
(Mission Prayer for the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines)