By Rico Chaco
For the U Matuna Si Yu’os
Every year, a bishop from the Philippines is invited to be a special guest to share in the Santo Niño festivities here on Guam and to spread the faith and devotion in honor of the Divine Child. This year’s guest homilist at the 3 p.m. Mass Sunday, Jan. 12 was Archbishop Jose Advincula Jr., D.D. from the Archdiocese of Capiz, Philippines.
In his homily Archbishop Advincula spoke of the joy the Child Jesus had, challenging the faithful to radiate that same joy in our daily lives. Archbishop Advincula shared how Filipinos are a people of joy for many reasons, but most importantly, because they share the joy of the Santo Niño.
Referring to Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, the Filipino archbishop spoke of that joy being fulfilled when one has a personal encounter with Jesus Christ saying, “This is our joy! This is the joy of the Gospel!”
Speaking clearly and distinctively, Archbishop Advincula also preached of the child-like trust we all should have in God, noting that this was the same trust that Jesus, the Divine Child, had in His Heavenly Father.
Speaking of the travesties caused in the Philippines by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) last November, the visiting archbishop mentioned that even among all the suffer- ings and hardships, “smiles and laughter is never fully erased.” As a people, he said they only knew that they had to put their trust in God and move forward. Ending his homily, Archbishop Advincula reminded everyone to “trust in God’s unfailing and unconditional love.”
“If we have this faith, we can move mountains,” he told the people gathered in the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagatna.