Greetings in the Divine Word!
For several days now, I have not accessed my friendster, multiply and facebook accounts since I am very busy attending to my first priorities in the ministry. I am now on my way to Tagaytay (I will have 8 pm mass) and I just dropped by an internet cafe here in Taft to extend my greetings of a Happy, Happy Christmas to all.
I am staying in St. Arnold Janssen Shrine Parish of Cainta, Rizal for this Christmas season. We are four SVD priests here (Fr. Manuel Bongayan, Fr. Martin Mandin and Fr. Leo Schmitt). Since we are a many, we are also invited by other parishes to say masses in nearby (and not-so-near parishes), kaya naman in just a span of one week, I have been to many parishes in Antipolo and even Pasig.
Hahaha, I have a very funny experience on my way to Sta. Lucia. I was in an FX and I had an old fat lady for a seatmate. Masikip ang front seat, di ba? This woman was praying fervently to while away the traffic. Beautiful sight. All of a sudden, I received a call and my cellphone (in its silent mode) vibrated to the highest level. Hehehe my cellphone was under my pocket and so I was at first trying to ignore it but I noticed the old lady also “vibrated.” Nakiliti sa vibration ng cp. Then she looked at me, laughed and said defensively, “akala ko kasi, hinipuan mo ako eh” (I won’t translate it in English ha).
So far, I don’t far liturgical bloopers.
In one parish, sabi noong isang parishioner, “Father, you are the handsome version of Manny Pacquaio.” Hahahaha. Smile na lang ako. Another one said happily, “You are the epitome of Manny Pacquaio.” Hahahahaha. Ano yon?
Last December 20, Saturday, I went to Lipa to visit sana Mt. Carmel but it was not materialized. I was catching up for my 6 pm Mass kasi in Tagaytay. At 8 pm, I also had my Mass at our Divine Word Seminary.
I wished to stay longer to chat with my brother scholastics and the Sunday Group but I was in a hurry to go back to Manila for my ABS-CBN Healing Eucharist stint with Fr. Aris Martin, SVD the following day. He was the presider. I was the homilist.
This coming December 27, I am going to Laoag to attend also his Thanksgiving Mass. December 29 will also be the Thanksgiving Mass of Fr. Gil Dulay, SVD in Sorsongon.
I thank God for my priestly vocation this Christmas. Please also storm heaven with your prayers for my perseverance.
By the way, I would like to also thank the cashier (kung sino man siya) of People’s Park in the Sky for his honesty. I was with the St. Arnold Janssen Knights of the Altar there last December 19. We were billed 225 pesos. I gave the cashier a thousand peso bill.
After thirty minutes tour, I realized di ko pala nakuha ang sukli ko! But thank God, the cashier immediately recognized me when we were about to go out and gave me my change even before I could ask for it. Maraming salamat po.
Friends, don’t ever forget to thank God for all the blessings we received (and we will still receive) this year. Thank God also for Christmas, that God come in our midst, “socialize” with us, and even lay down His life for us. Imagine, kung walang Pasko, wala ring Christmas bonus. Hehe.
To all of you, Merry, Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. It is my fervent wish that all of us will be happy and holy in the next year ahead.
In the Divine Word,
Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD