RELIGIOUS PRACTICES and outward expressions of faith are hollow if not accompanied by “unselfing,” a bishop said, as he urged Thomasians to take the role of Christ by emulating his humility.
In his homily for this year’s Misa de Apertura on Friday, Aug. 4, Bishop Cerilo Alan Casicas of Marbel said faith without humility led by the Holy Spirit is futile.
“We have our traditional pious sign of our Catholic faith. We continue with this sign of the cross, rosary, mass [and] many things. But all of these are just empty without this unselfing,” Casicas said.
“We might be Catholic but the Spirit is not in us. We might be [a] Catholic institution but we have driven away the Holy Spirit,” he added.
According to the prelate, the act of “unselfing” or looking beyond oneself will lead to veritas in caritate or truth in love, referring to the motto of the University.
“It (Holy Spirit) draws us; it conforms us to that love of God—the love that is not romantic, but the crucified love, the christened love of Christ. And that’s the love that we know as Christians,” Casicas said.
“It’s not just enough that you watch Christ on the stage. You have to take the role of Christ, being guided by the Spirit, only in that way you understand Christ.”
Casicas called on Thomasians to reflect on their identity and to be of service to others.
“How do we know UST is really the body of Christ, the Church? How do we know the Spirit is really at work [in] UST? [How do we know] when UST is open and makes sacrifices not for what is within?,” the bishop said.
“Remember, the blood of Christ is poured outside, not within. [The Holy Spirit is at work in UST] when it becomes more sensitive, serving, humbling, sacrificing—not only [to who is within the Thomasian community] but even outside,” he added.
The Misa de Apertura or Mass of the Holy Spirit, held at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church, marked the beginning of the academic year. It was followed by the Discurso de Apertura or inaugural lecture delivered by Assistant to the Rector for UST General Santos Emerita Maribel Nonato. F – S. L. Macaraeg and M. Pascua