December 4-7, 2012 Diocesan General Assembly (DGA). A gathering of about 120 Lay leaders, Clergy and Religious and our Bishop. Reports from all Parishes trying to describe how we live our faith. We are challenged to renew our faith during this Year of Faith, as proclaimed by the Pope. We reflected on the New Evangelization, how to rediscover the Faith of Jesus which He proclaimed in the Our Father “May your Kingdom come!” we renewed our commitment to continue to pursue the Vision Mission and Goals of the Diocese which were formulated in the previous DGAs focusing on the process of renewal of Formation-Worship-Service (FSW). The most passionate discussion pointed out the urgent challenge of renewal of our “Service Programs”: our responses to the needs of all our people, especially the Poor, Deprived, Oppressed, Marginalized, Exploited and Struggling people (PDOMES) through just development with respect for God’s creation, promoting justice and peace… How? We did not reach specific resolutions. We recalled the faith of the Martyrs and we pray that the Spirit of Jesus and of our Martyrs will show us the way as we move on.
December 26, 2012 Thanks God for giving me enough strength to complete the Christmas celebrations. So many people gathering in the dark for 9 days for the Misa de Gallo. I tried to understand their expectations and to respond to them as the Savior did to all who are searching for salvation. I rediscovered the original Christmas songs:
1.) The Song of Mary, the Magnificat: “My spirit rejoices in God my Savior…” then       she expressed 3 wishes:
•    May God confuse the plans of the proud, and fulfill the dreams of the humble…
•    May He overthrow the powerful from their thrones and liberate the oppressed…
•    May He feed the hungry and send away the rich with empty hands…
Is this happening now? What a revolutionary song!
2. The song of Zacharias when John the Baptist was born, the Benedictos: the Savior is coming now to free us from our enemies, from all forms of evil, like a new sunrise showing us the way to peace…
3. The Angels’ Song at Bethlehem “Glory to God and Peace on Earth.”
Is this happening now? Do we have messianic expectations of great changes? Who is expecting and struggling for change now? Can we join them?
Do we expect the Second Coming as imminent, as the fulfillment of Jesus’ dream to unite all people in His Kingdom of Justice and Peace? Do we believe that the Kingdom of God is being built now in our communities? Is this our faith?
I keep on repeating Fausto’s last wish “Your dreams and struggles are my dreams and struggles. You and I become one in building God’s kingdom!”
As I tried to voice these expectations I almost lost my voice. During the “Days of the end of the world” no sunshine, unusual cold wind. I suffered a cold, running nose and teary eyes and some chills. I thought I had the flu, but then I experienced enough healing to complete my Christmas journey.
Now as we move into the New Year 2013 how can we translate messianic expectations into daily concrete efforts? Jesus launched his missions, organized His disciples, touched the lives of so many people and He aroused great expectations of change, until He was condemned as a revolutionary. Then He rose from the dead and His revolution moves on…
A special effort now is the campaign to provide relief and rehabilitation to the victims of the typhoon. Many farmers are donating seeds and planting materials, besides food supplies and clothing, and a stream of volunteers continues to join the victims of the calamities. Some are complaining of battle fatigue, some are surrendering, and some have amazing resilience that keeps them going…

fr. Peter Geremia

Advertisements