I had some free time some days ago, so I visited the house of a cousin. I recall that time now because of my encounter with my niece, the 19-year-old daughter of my cousin. Her mother and I were talking when she arrived from school. Immediately, her mother told me, “That niece of yours already has a suitor. She might be getting married soon.”

As soon as she came in, my niece did not even bother with her mother. She went directly to the phone and called her boyfriend. They talked for a long, long time.

I had dinner with them that night. Over dinner, I casually asked her, “Who was that you were talking to?” She said, “A friend.”

I told her, “Your mother was telling me he brings you home.” Upon which she countered, “So, what’s wrong with being brought home or with talking to somebody on the phone?”

That incident really struck me because it is characteristic of people who are in love. People who love each other do not like to be separated even just for a short while. People who are in love always want to be together by phone, by letters, and more so, physically.

You have experienced that. I have also experienced that. We always want to be with the one we love. I say that because, I believe, that was the same experience of Moses.

Moses fell in love with God and he wanted God to be always by the side of his people. He erected a tent to symbolize the presence of God among his people. But, it was a presence that was continually moving because the Israelites were moving towards the Promised Land.

Moses put up the tent, which is the symbol of God’s presence and God’s love among His people. Each time the people moved, the tent moved with the people. This means that God is not a god of places. God is a god who loves people. That is good news for us.

Moses and his people fell in love with God, and God fell in love with the Israelites. That was why they were always together. Like people who are in love, they hate the experience of being separated from each other, even for a short time.

The Lord wants to express his love for us. But like the God of Moses, the God of Abraham, the God of Jacob and Isaac, this same God hates the idea of being separated from us. That is why the God that we worship is not only the God of the EDSA Shrine. He is also the God of our garage. He is also the God of our bedroom. He is also the God of our kitchen. He is also the God of our office. He is God of all these places and after this Mass, God will be with us wherever we go.

God, our lover, hates the idea of being separated from us, His beloved.

God detests the idea of being separated from us. May we also, like faithful and true lovers, hate the idea of being separated from God.

Exodus 36:8-19
Only Jesus, Always Jesus


  1. “God, our lover, hates the idea of being separated from us, His beloved.

    God detests the idea of being separated from us. May we also, like faithful and true lovers, hate the idea of being separated from God.”

    Amen. Thank you Your excellency for this beautiful reflection. Indeed, the Lord loves us so much and He doesn’t want heaven without us.

    May we continue to experience His great love for us and that we return His love with love.

    I have been watching your homilies since the pandemic. I am originally from Paniqui, Tarlac; am a Franciscan Religious based here in Texas, USA. I think our connection is late Cardinal Sin with whom you lived before. I met him in the late 70’s as a student leader from the UE, being a member of the Catholic Organization, Christian Communities Program, which still exists and members since its inception in 1975 are still connected through the Social Media. (We actually had 2 online Masses as a group.) Student leaders met at the Bishop’s palace and I remember him fondly as he welcomed us with these words: “Welcome to the house of ‘Sin’!” I have corresponded with him through the years until he passed away. Our other connection is one of your priests in the diocese, Fr. Carlton Viray, who was also a member of the Christian Communities Program at the UE.

    I just want to assure you of my prayers. I hope that I get to meet you someday. Our Lady of Manaoag is very dear to my family’s heart. We went there every year when we were growing up before going to the beach. My siblings and I still go there when we come home to the Philippines.

    Last year, one of the Parishes in our diocese of Amarillo used your talks for advent. I wanted to attend but was on my family visit in Florida.

    May our Lord continue to anoint you as the Shepherd of the Diocese of Lingayen. God bless you always.

    In Christ, Mary and St. Joseph,
    Sister Juliana Gapasin, DLJC

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