Ignatius — A Man Who Loved the World and Loved It to the End

Photos by Jerry Feng (Gr11H), XS Media Team and XS Stallion Chinese Editor

The following homily was delivered at Xavier School last 31 July 2015 by Fr. Ismael Jose Chan Gonzaga III, SJ, during the HS Mass in celebration of the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

San Ignacio! Kapistahan ni San Ignacio, tagapagtatag ng Kapisanan ni Hesus.

Naiisip at naaalala ko na sa mga nakalipas na linggo, tulad noong kami ay mga seminarista pa lang, nagkaroon tayo ng pagkakataon na makilala nang mas maigi si San Ignacio, nagkaroon ng mga pagtitipon tulad ng “Meet the Jesuits”. May nakita nga ako sa FB na ang daming tanong sa mga Jesuit brothers, pati lovelife! Ah oo, kapanahunan nga naman muli ng Kapistahan ni pinakamamahal na San Ignacio!

Today, we celebrate a man who loved the world, and loved it to the end. We all know his story, how the world captivated him in a time of knights and damsels in distress and conquistadores. 

How a cannonball would shatter his leg and saw his fellow soldiers scamper as he lay.

How two simple books, forced to be read out of desperate boredom, would push him to view the world in a new light, a world that would captivate his heart in a realm of poverty and self-sacrifice and transcendence.

How he would leave home after regaining his health and walked a limping pilgrim all his life. 

How he would stay in a cave by a river for months, the greatest showdown of his conversion, battling his own demons within, facing off with the tension of multiple possibilities.

How he would emerge from that isolation still or now more in love with the world, of knights and damsels in distress and conquistadores, and beyond. 

San Ignacio! Isang taong tulad mo, tulad ko, tulad nating maraming ninais sa mundo. Ngunit ano ba ang kanyang nakita, doon sa kuweba sa may tabing ilog, sa gitna nang kanyang pananahimik na siyang magbabago ng kanyang pagtingin sa mundo, sa kanyang pagkilala sa daigdig?

Pahintulutan ninyo akong magbigay ng maaaring sagot – ang ating ebanghelyo sa araw na ito. Isang Ignacio na nakakita sa kanyang pagtanaw at narinig sa kanyang mga panaginip, doon sa kuweba sa may tabing ilog. 

Habang binabalikan ang buhay niya, naglalaro sa isip ko na malamang, sa puntong iyon ng kanyang unti unting pagbabago, sa gitna ng kalungkutan at pait at galit at takot sa hinaharap, bumabagabag sa puso niya ang parehong katanungan na binitawan ni Hesus para sa kanyang mga alagad – “Sino ako sa inyo?” Pagtatanong sa isang pagkilala – para bang tinatanong ni Hesus – “Kilala ba ninyo ako? Sino ako para sa iyo?” 

Isang Ignacio na hindi makasagot sa harapan ng kanyang abang pagkatao, napaamin sa sarili hindi niya nakilala si Hesus! At ang pait at sakit ng paulit ulit na katotohanang – “Ano nga ang mapapala ng tao, makamtan man niya ang buong sanlibutan kung ang katumbas naman nito ay ang kanyang buhay?” 

Mga kapatid, sa umagang ito, batid din para sa atin ang parehong katanungan ni Hesus – “Sino nga ba si Hesus para sa atin?”

Today, like Ignatius, we too are asked;

We, who are so caught up with our own pasts, too obsessed  with yesterday’s regrets, yesterday’s pains of betrayal, disappointment, failure.

We, who are imprisoned by our own fears, our own hurts, unwilling to trust again, to believe again.

We, who are too self-centered to think we are entitled to everything and that the world owes us, that it should bow to us. We, who grow up so arrogant belonging to families that value greed and selfishness at other’s expense. We, who demand too much from others yet unwilling to lift a finger to help them.

We, who think more of ourselves than those around us. When life is about us all the time, when only me, myself, and I are who matter.

Do we even recognize God? You have gained the world and damned your soul.

Oo, tayo rin hinahamon ni Hesus. At nawa tulad ni Ignacio, tunay sanang mas makilala natin si Hesus.

Ignatius saw the world, loved the world for he would see God precisely in the world – a God who did not abandon, a God who stuck it out with humanity even when humanity turned on each other. Isang Diyos na hinamak ang sarili, nagpaka-abang tao tulad natin upang at alang-alang na nawa’y Siya’y lubusan nating makilala.

Today, my friends, we celebrate the man whose very brokenness allowed him to kneel in oblation of his sword.

The man whose lifelong limp will allow his pilgrimage in life a freer one.

The man whose vision allowed him to see beyond himself and see a world in need of witnessing.

The man who studied with children beyond the embarrassment of his time just so he could be a better instrument in God’s hands.

The man who would allow himself to be tutored like a toddler in the ways of humility and love just so he can be a better man.

Sa araw na ito, ginugunita natin ang isang taong hinarap ang sarili, binuno ang sarili, at hinayaan ang Diyos ang mamuno.

The man who continued to love the world, of knights and damsels in distress and conquistadores, and witnessed far beyond himself to the crucified king, the king who conquered the world with His love.

Nawa sa misang ito, manahimik muna tayo sandali. Ipanalangin natin ang isa’t isa. Sana tulad ni San Ignacio, buksan rin natin ang ating puso sa Diyos. Na tulad niya, matuto tayong magtaya muli, manalig muli. Nawa sana makakita tayo lampas sa sarili, makilala ang Diyos sa kapwa, makita ang isang mundong sugatan at basag na nangangailangan ng ating pagtaya, ng ating pag-unawa. Nawa tulad ni San Ignacio, maging tunay na instrumento tayo ng pagmamahal at malasakit ng Diyos sa mundo. Amen.

San Ignacio, ipanalangin mo kami.

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