It’s the first mass for this year here in Payatas Center. At exactly 8:30 in the morning, Father Lando Caluag solemnized the mass. Of course, we started it with the opening song sung by ALSA-Buhay Payatas Choir.
The Holy Gospel came from the book of Mark 7:31-37 when Jesus healed a deaf man with difficulty of speaking as well. From there, Fr. Lando focused his homily. He coined a term “Ephphata” which means “be opened”. He pointed out the three levels of being open especially to God. First, he said that based on the Holy Gospel, we’re like a deaf man who is asking for healing and Jesus is indeed very open with His eyes and heart to our needs and especially to those in needs. Secondly, with the grace and blessings from God, we should be open to accept these blessings. Lastly, Jesus Christ is always open and never locks His heart to us. His heart, palm and arms are very much open to embrace us. He relates these three points to the learners. He said that ALSA-Buhay is a blessing of God from them and they should not waste the opportunity and chance and that, they should always open to be blessed by God with a lot of things. He also cited the lessons pointed out by Pope Francis during his visit to the Philippines. He conveyed that according to the Pope, people should not be afraid to dream. When people failed to dream, he also loses the capacity to love. The more that we dream higher, the more we love the people that surrounds us. And to not dream alone but we should share it with our loved ones. The second point is to not be afraid to cry. Tears cleanse our heart and we should internalize the reason why we cry. Again, we should not cry alone, and cry with God because He knows exactly and also experienced all of our sufferings and challenges. The last point is to not be afraid to admit that we are a child of God. Regardless of our circumstances in life, we should not forget the fact that we are children of God who have innate capacity to love and possess goodness in our soul.