WHILE PEOPLE live in this world, they “do not belong” in it because their citizenship is in heaven, UST Vice Rector for Religious Affairs Fr. Pablo Tiong O.P. said.
In his homily during the mass for deceased Thomasians on Tuesday, Nov. 8, Tiong said people are “citizens of heaven” and that the earth is only a place of pilgrimage to pray for the departed.
“All Thomasians, we pray for them. We embark on a pilgrimage together because while we are on this earth, we do not belong to the world,” he said.
“Our pilgrimage is not just a bridge to the kingdom of God, but the beginning of God’s kingdom.”
Tiong told Thomasians not to worry as “the living and the dead are already in the hands of God.” He said the tradition of dedicating prayers to those who have passed away makes the Dominican order “more special.”
Tiong also emphasized the value of God’s mercy in the face of adversities, recalling the life of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint and martyr.
“He (Ruiz) came close to giving up on his Christianity, but he persisted and said, ‘by the grace of God, if I have a thousand lives, I will surrender them all to the Lord,’” he said.
Tiong reminded Thomasians to dedicate Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 to those who have died as the two holidays are meant to strengthen the believers’ faith through their unified pilgrimage.
“Jesus is praying always for us that we may be one as brothers and sisters, as Thomasians, and above all, that we may be one with Jesus and one with the Father,” he said.
“Let us live by God’s grace…depending on the vocation that God has given us…We pray that regardless of God’s grace, we may be faithful.”
The mass was held in the Santisimo Rosario Parish and was part of the triduum celebration for the Thomasian martyrs. F – Zoe Airabelle Aguinaldo