Sana Laging Bata

My dear young brothers and sisters…we have a pandemic…and two typhoons that landed this past week…there was high tide…and non-stop heavy rains…and now at the cathedral, there is flooding and people cannot get in without getting their feet wet. But we pushed through with the AYD because not even the flood, the earthquake, the rains, nor the virus can stop that one person who loves. That one person who believes. He who loves, believes…as written in the Holy Gospel – Deep waters cannot quench love. The floods sweep it away.

As this extraordinary AYD comes to a close, I am certain that if I ask you, my dear young brothers and sisters, and to those who are following via live streaming from your own homes and parishes – Do you believe in God? You will respond with a yes. Do you believe in the church? I am certain that you will also respond with a yes.

Now, my dear young brothers and sisters…in behalf of God and in behalf of the church…I want to say to you – We believe in you.

Jesus believes in you. The church believes in you. Believe.

Not do we only trust in you but we believe in your capabilities. The church, the Lord, Father Soc believes in you. We need to say this truth over and over that there is someone who trusts…there is someone who believes in you. Because no one will believe nor trust in you if you are not loved.

So, at the bottom-line, when I say to you – I believe in you – I also say, I love you. I love you, that is why I believe in you. Because people who believe are people who love. We shall not believe in someone we do not love.

Second, you may have heard from us your elders…senior citizens like me – You’re just on your way but we are already on our way back. You may have heard the saying – Experience is the best teacher. But this morning, I want to say this to you, my dear young brothers and sisters, we, your elders, don’t really know everything.

We, your parents…we, your elders…we don’t know everything.

You might question us but be ready when we say – Frankly, I don’t know. Because it is better for you to hear us say ‘I don’t know’ instead of us making up a story that is far from the truth. It is better to admit that we don’t know than to feign knowledge of everything.

Our age does not give us knowledge of everything. In your case, there is much that you do not know. In my case, I also do not know everything. And there is still much more that we do not know and all we need is to be true and tell the truth.

My dear young people, it is alright to say – I don’t know. And do not be afraid to say – I don’t know. And when we, your adults – are asked and we don’t know the answer, please be patient with us. Because we, your parents, are still learning.

We are also still learning just like you. And there is no end to learning.  But the third point that I want to say to you after ‘I don’t know.’ is ‘We all need Jesus.’

Whether young and old, male or female, nuns, priests or members of the laity – We all need Jesus. And that is precisely the reason why we have been looking forward to the AYD because you know that with every AYD, you meet Jesus. You know that in every AYD, it is Jesus you encounter. So, even if there is flooding…earthquake… rains…virus, we chose to face these challenges because we are looking for that moment of encounter with the Lord.

And that is what AYD is. AYD is an encounter of people looking for Jesus and of Jesus looking for people. We all need Jesus. And do not allow yourself to think – I have gained so much knowledge already…I have already wealthy…I am very strong already…I can endure everything on my own.

Life is not just about having the right strategy…in this pandemic, many of us came up with many strategies. Many of us became inventive in how to earn income. When we lost our source of livelihood…we turned to cooking…planting…online selling. But, my dear young brothers and sisters, even if you came up with the best strategy and won, always remember that the last strategy is – Trust in the Lord. Because when we put our trust in the Lord and you tell Jesus – Jesus, I need you. You will be able to carry out your strategy and the Lord will give you all the help that you need. But if your strategy makes you forget the Lord, you’re bound to fail.

This morning, in our AYD which is very different from the past AYDs we had…I want to tell you 3 things:

Young people of Lingayen Daguapan, I believe in you because I love. Young people of Lingayen Dagupan, we, your adults, don’t know everything. Teach us.

Young people of Lingayen Dagupan, age does not matter. We always need Jesus. There will never be a time in our lives when we will not need the Lord.

This is not about strategy.

This is choosing to lean on Jesus.

When we exit, we will walk in the flood. We will walk towards the threat of the virus. We will stand taller than ourselves because we will stand on the shoulders of  Jesus. And it is Jesus who makes us tall.

I believe in you. I don’t know everything. Teach me. And we all need Jesus.

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Original

Minamahal kong kabataan…may pandemic…may dalawa pang bagyo nitong linggong ito…nag-high tide…umulan nang malakas na tuloy-tuloy…at ngayon sa katedral, high tide pa at hindi makapasok nang hindi mababasa ang paa. Pero itinuloy natin ang AYD kasi hindi kayang pigilin ng baha, ng lindol, ng ulan, ng virus ang isang taong nagmamahal. Ang isang taong naniniwala.. Ang isang taong nagmamahal ay nagtitiwala kaya sabi ng Banal na Kasulatan – Deep waters cannot quench love. The floods sweep it away.

Sa pagtatapos ng isang hindi pangkaraniwang AYD, natitiyak ko kung tatanungin ko kayo, mga minamahal kong kabataan, at ang mga sumusunod sa live streaming sa kani-kanilang bahay o parokya – Naniniwala ba kayo sa Diyos? Sasagot kayo ng opo. Naniniwala ba kayo sa simbahan? Natitiyak ko sasagot din kayo ng opo.

Ngayon mga minamahal kong kabataan…sa ngalan ng Diyos at sa ngalan ng simbahan…gusto kong sabihin sa inyo – Naniniwala kami sa inyo.

Jesus believes in you. The church believes in you. Believe.

Hindi lang basta tiwala kundi naniniwala sa inyong kakayanan. The church, the Lord, Father Soc believes in you. Kailangan nating ulit-ulitin yung katotohanang may nagtitiwala…may naniniwala sa inyo. Sapagkat hindi kayo paniniwalaan, hindi kayo pagtitiwalaan kung hindi kayo minamahal.

So, at the bottom-line, when I say to you – I believe in you – I also say, I love you. I love you, that is why I believe in you. Because people who believe are people who love. Hindi tayo maniniwala sa isang taong hindi natin minamahal.

Pangalawa, narinig ninyo sa aming matatanda, mga senior citizens na katulad ko na – Papunta pa lang kayo, pauwi na kami. Narinig na ninyo yung sinasabing – Experience is the best teacher. Pero ngayong umaga, gusto kong sabihin sa inyo, mga minamahal kong kabataan, kaming mga matanda sa inyo, hindi naman talaga namin alam lahat.

We, your parents…we, your elders…we don’t know everything.

Maaring magtanong kayo sa amin at sana humanda kayo kung sabihin namin sa inyo – Frankly, I don’t know. Kasi mas mabuting marinig ninyong ‘I don’t know’ kesa gumawa kami ng kuwentong hindi naman totoo. Mas mabuting aminin na hindi namin alam kaysa magkunwari na alam ko ang lahat. Our age does not give us knowledge of everything. Kayo, marami kayong hindi alam. Ako, marami din akong hindi alam. At marami tayong hindi malalaman kaya kailangan lang nating magpapakatotoo at magsabi nang totoo.

My dear young people, it is alright to say – I don’t know. And do not be afraid to say – I don’t know. And when we, your adults – are asked and we don’t know the answer, please be patient with us. Because we, your parents, are still learning.

Nag-aaral pa rin kami katulad ninyo. At hindi matatapos ang aming pag-aaral.  Pero ang pangatlong gusto kong sabihin sa inyo, pagkatapos ng ‘I don’t know.’ is ‘We all need Jesus.’

Matanda o bata, lalaki or babae, madre, pare o layko – We all need Jesus. At iyan ang dahilan kung bakit sabik na sabik tayo sa AYD because you know that with every AYD, you meet Jesus. You know that in every AYD, it is Jesus you encounter. Kaya kahit may baha, kahit may lindol, kahit may ulan, kahit may virus, hinarap natin ang lahat ng ito sapagkat naghahanap tayo ng moment of encounter with the Lord.

And that is what AYD is. AYD is an encounter of people looking for Jesus and of Jesus looking for people. We all need Jesus. At huwag ninyong iisiping – marami na akong pinag-aralan…mayaman na ako…malakas na ako…kayo ko na ito.

Hindi lang basta diskarte ang buhay…ngayong pandemic marami na tayong sariling diskarte. Marami tayong sariling naimbento. Walang hanap-buhay…nagluto…nagtanim-tanim…nag-online selling. Pero, mga minamahal kong kabataan, kahit gumanda ang diskarte mo ngayong pandemic, huwag mong kakalimutan na ang huling diskarte mo ay – Magtiwala sa Diyos. Kasi pag nagtiwala tayo sa Diyos and you tell Jesus – Jesus, I need you. Lahat ng diskarte makakaya mo at lahat ng diskarte ibibigay sa iyo ni Hesus. Pero kapag ang diskarte mo nakalimot sa Diyos, you’re bound to fail.

Ngayong umaga, sa ating AYD na ibang klase sa ibang AYD-ing naganap na natin…I want to tell you 3 things:

Young people of Lingayen Daguapan, I believe in you because I love. Young people of Lingayen Dagupan, we, your adults, don’t know everything. Teach us.

Young people of Lingayen Dagupan, age does not matter. We always need Jesus. There will never be a time in our lives when we will not need the Lord.

Hindi ito diskarte.

Ito ay pagsandal kay Hesus.

Paglabas natin, lalakad sa baha. Lalakad sa banta ng virus. We will stand taller than ourselves because we will stand on the shoulders of  Jesus. And it is Jesus who makes us tall.

I believe in you. I don’t know everything. Teach me. And we all need Jesus.

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