by JANIS JOPLIN MOISES
REMEMBERING THE University’s past was not meant to burden the memories, but to revitalize the “Tria Haec” which symbolizes the hope, faith, and love of the Thomasians amid the threats of a pandemic, Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. said Wednesday in a thanksgiving mass for UST’s 410th anniversary.
“In history, we look into the past as into a mirror in the hope of seeing ourselves not only clearly reflected but also of becoming masters of the present and the future. Today in our time, there is an ongoing war. It is not the war of guns and bombs. It is not the war of planes and tanks. It is the war for life,” he said.
Fr. Miguel de Benavides founded the University in 1611 for the Catholic faith to “inform and transform” educators and students, according to Ang.
Benavides’ faith that the institution would soon be built and his charitable contribution of a small library with few possessions would encourage other donors to also give, paved the way for the foundation of the University.
“One small good deed has a multiplier effect,” Ang said.
From the University’s “humble beginnings” of only 12 scholars, the institute now has a large student population and remains to be the “bastion of the Catholic faith” in Asia after 500 years of Christianity in the country.
Ang added that small beginnings may come with great things as the parable from the gospel of Mark read that the kingdom of God symbolically compares to a mustard seed—the smallest of all seeds yet the tallest of all plants once it is sown.
Benavides manifested the virtues of the “Tria Haec” which represents God’s unending grace that elevates all human nature, according to Ang.
“We can hardly ignore the physical realities of the pandemic times. However, faith would go far beyond such realities. Faith is seeing light with your heart when all your eyes can see is darkness. It is acknowledging our limitations and trusting ourselves completely into the hands of God,” Ang said.
The University’s thanksgiving mass for its 410th anniversary with the theme of “500 Years of Christianity: 410 Years of Fidelity” was held via Facebook live through the Santisimo Rosario Parish Facebook page. F