Fr Domie Guzman's Message during PCS@97 Mass -- Part 3
We come to the third line:
(3) Strengthening a Community of Peace and Justice
Initiative for goodness, for excellence, for fullness of life – visions of Jesus, Son of God who came to be Son of Man – made relevant today means championing Peace and Justice. These are what everyone prays for… what everyone sees as need and want.
Fellow PACONIANS, listen to what St Paul in the First Reading today wrote: “I am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you are filled with goodness, that you have complete knowledge…” (Romans 15:14). One book I read which I could not forget is one with the title: “All We Have to Know, We Learned in Kindergarten.” Exactly, what is Peace? What is Justice? What is a Community of Peace and Justice? PCS with its well-rounded Christian education has given us a lot of paradigms – moral standards, religious and Christian thoughts, social norms – that make us see what peace is, what justice is, what community of peace and justice.
PCS@ 97 calls us to recommit to the concrete cause of building communities, being peacemakers and doing justice… at a time when in this country we lament how injustice and corruption are many times initiated and engineered by graduates of prestigious Catholic educational systems!
We just have to let that complete knowledge, that goodness in us flow…
How? This is the big question.
Our Gospel today about Jesus praising the dishonest manager for his plans and actions – I tell you – presented me a problem. How can I link it with the theme of our PCS@97… Sustaining the Mission of Jesus Christ the Son… Strengthening a Community of Peace and Justice!!! What has a dishonest manager in the Gospel to teach us about sustaining Mission… about Strengthening a Community of Peace and Justice?
Jesus solves the problem and gives us the answer. Jesus praised the dishonest manager because although dishonest, he was brave to do everything to save himself, his future. He risk bravely for this.
Yes, St Paul rightly says: “I am convinced you are filled with goodness and complete knowledge.” But what we also need is the boldness to risk – for goodness, for peace, for justice.
Everytime I go home to my parents’ place – in that apartment at Jose F. Nieto Street where I grew up… I pass by that small bridge along Apacible Street… between Leroy Street and the buildings of Justo Lukban Elementary School. That bridge means much to me… because I crossed it 4 times a day every school day… from my parents place to PCS. I could stop there a little to see bancas and small boats passing under the bridge to bring goods to the Paco Market. I was sad seeing the canal disappear… because of shanties that have mushroomed. I wonder whether I would be able to see at least the waters of the canal unhampered by unsightly shanties and a rather unruly crowd of settlers. One Sunday, I went home and I saw: cleaning has begun… someone has got the brave heart to risk… to initiate… and it became possible.
Fellow PACONIANS, this is what PCS @ 97 challenges us: yes, thank we must our God for nobility, for distinction, for history that makes us proud… but forward we must move with brave hearts and clear vision to live what we have learned about Jesus, about his Gospel of goodness, peace and justice… WE HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO RISK.
THE PROMISE OF A BEAUTIFUL AND MEANINGFUL CENTENARY 3 YEARS FROM NOW – PCS@100 – IS FOR THOSE WHO, LIKE THE MANAGER IN TODAY’S GOSPEL, RISK ALL TO MAKE THEIR VISION COME TRUE.
DOMIE GUZMAN, SSP