I thank Father Dave for this invitation to bless this small chapel, in the parish of Saint Maria Goretti dedicated to the annunciation of the Lord. This chapel is small and we are going to bless it. We are going to bless being small. Being small is a blessing. In this world where the champions, the biggest, the largest, the farthest are glorified, this small chapel is a reminder for us that God became small to make it easier for us to carry Him. There is blessing in being small. In fact, it is a small invisible virus that has changed the life of the world since twelve (12 months ago. Small can be harmful but God chose to be small not to harm us but in order to save us. And it is our appreciation for the small in this world, for the weak, for the marginalized, for the forgotten, for the ignored – that will be our ticket to heaven.
Second is you can see it from your livestream that the chapel is very beautiful. With the icon of the annunciation and the gold trimmings and the gold ornaments around it. As we thank the Lord for the blessing of being small, we also thank the Lord for the blessing of being precious. This chapel is not cheap. This chapel is quite expensive if you look at it from the budgetary point of view. But if you look at the budget and you compare it to the grandness of God, this is still nothing. Because God always deserves the best from us. The blessing of being precious and our preciousness does not come from the money we hold or the titles we boast of. Our preciousness does not come from influential connections or topping surveys or giving commands and everybody runs in fear and fright. No. The beauty, the grace of being precious comes from the fact that God has considered us His own. And because God considered us His own, we are precious. God is more than King Midas. Everything that King Midas touched turned to gold. Everything that God has touched becomes precious, more precious than gold, or silver or diamond. The blessing of being precious, not in terms of budget and funds, but the blessing of being precious because you are loved by God. Once upon a time, this was a bookstore and the next room was a bodega. But now it is clearly precious, not because the architects did marvels but because God guided our step, every step along the way. So, the blessing of being small, the blessing of being precious.
And last of all, the blessing of being useful. Not useful in the sense of using things or using people, but useful in the sense of being purposeful. There is a clear purpose now. This is no longer for selling. This is no longer for storage. This place has now has a purpose. It is exclusively a place for God and man to encounter each other. Purposeful. In this worldwide pandemic, many people have started to question their purpose in life. Because our lives have become questionable with meaning. Purposeful in the sense that our world is facing depression, facing isolation, facing the increase of suicide. Why? Because there is a growing number of our brothers and sisters who cannot see their purpose in life anymore. This chapel shows us the purpose. And what is our purpose? Our only purpose is to need the Lord and to see the Lord forever in heaven. That is our only purpose. There will come a time when the walls and ceilings of this chapel will be worn out in time. Perhaps the aircon will conk (out), the bulbs will be replaced or the floor can get dirty or the fuse can get worn out. There will come a time when Pious the Pope Catholic Center will crumble in an earthquake or a strong typhoon. Or the Philippines will be erased from the map. Or the planet earth will burst and disappear in the solar system. But even if that happens and this chapel is no longer, our purpose has been accomplished. We will not die. There is life forever. There is life everlasting. And our purpose is to become the chapel, the dwelling place, the temple of God here on earth. And by His grace, by His mercy, to live in the Father’s house forever.
Three blessings. The blessing of being small. Do not be ashamed, do not be afraid. It is a grace to be small. The blessing of being precious. Fix your eyes on the right things that make us precious. It is not money. It is the Lord.
The blessing of being purposeful. The blessing of being useful. And our usefulness is not just what we can do for this world. Usefulness is to please the Lord here on earth and to see the Lord forever in heaven.
Let us bow down our heads. Let us recognize our smallness. Let us recognize our preciousness. Let us thank the Lord for the purpose He has given our lives. Let us say together – thank you, Lord.