Friday, January 28

Rector to Thomasians: Be ‘Christmas pilgrims,’ pray for the world

photo from the official Facebook page of UST

UNIVERSITY RECTOR Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. has urged Thomasians to be “Christmas pilgrims” and to pray for the world, as he expressed hope that the worst is over and good times are ahead.

In his homily during the Paskuhan Mass, Ang said Thomasians faced many challenges last year and that their experiences during the pandemic have tested their faith, patience, and stamina. He reminded Thomasians that they were not alone as they faced struggles like the prolonged lockdowns, the COVID-19 threat, and the transition to remote learning.

“There were moments when we doubted, complained, and felt too tired to continue, but it is so reassuring to know that we have survived and overcome the hurdles. Things are getting better and good times are coming, I suppose,” Ang said.

“We are beginning to enjoy the rewards of our efforts; the gloom of our darkest night is almost gone. With Christmas approaching, we can afford to look back, smile, and say ‘been there, done that,’” he added.

Despite the improving pandemic situation in the Philippines, Ang noted that many have lost their livelihoods and loved ones, a reality that made the university decide to tone down its Paskuhan lights and decorations.

“After all, sparkle and glitter are not the main event. Many lost their jobs, many also died,” Ang said.

The rector reminded the Thomasian community to pray for those who are facing problems as the world prepares to celebrate the birth of Christ.

“Today, I invite all of us to be more than Christmas tourists. Let us be Christmas pilgrims,” Ang said.

“For a change this December, this Christmas, make a journey to our beloved campus for spiritual reasons.  Light a candle and say a little prayer for the world. For, perhaps, the victims of the typhoon,” he added.

Ang also urged Thomasians to find their worth by fulfilling their missions in the community, building relationships with other people, and learning to accept things beyond their control.

“As pilgrims, we do not rest under the shade of the trees by the roadside, but we continue to look for value, for harmony, for truth. Life is short and time not to be squandered,” the rector said.

The offerings during the mass will be given to the victims of typhoon “Odette,” which battered the Visayas, Mindanao, and parts of southern Luzon.

The university celebrated the 30th anniversary of Paskuhan with the theme “The Pilgrimage: Our Road through Trials, Our Road to Triumph.” The mass was followed by the Paskuhan concert.

This is the second time that the Paskuhan festivities were held virtually because of the pandemic. FJanis Joplin Moises

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