The Manila Thriller

Pope Paul VI gave a powerful homily in Manila, the Philippines on November 29, 1970. His life was endangered by an assassination attempt on that trip, the occasion which led to then Msgr. Paul Marcinkus probably saving his life, later becoming an Archbishop and then head of the Vatican Bank. You probably know the rest of the story — all the controversy and suspect that surrounded Marcinkus thereafter.

Back to the homily.  It is really powerful.  Here it is in part.

Not to preach the Gospel would be my undoing, for Christ himself sent me as his apostle and witness.  The more remote, the more difficult the assignment, the more my love of God spurs me on.  I am bound to proclaim that Jesus is Christ, the Son of the living God. Because of him we come to know the God we cannot see. He is the firstborn of all creation; in him all things find their being. Man’s teacher and redeemer, he was born for us, died for us, and for us he rose from the dead.

“All things, all history converges in Christ. A man of sorrow and hope, he knows us and loves us.  As our friend he stays by us throughout our lives; at the end of time he will come to be our judge; but we also know that he will be the complete fulfillment of our lives and our great happiness for all eternity.

“I can never cease to speak of Christ for he is our truth and our light; he is the way, the truth and the life. He is our bread, our source of living water who allays our hunger and satisfies our thirst.  He is our shepherd, our leader, our ideal, our comforter and our brother.

“He is like us but more perfectly human, simple, poor, humble, and yet, while burdened with work, he more patient. He spoke on our behalf; he worked miracles; and he founded a new kingdom:  in it the poor are happy; peace is the foundation of a life in common; where the pure of heart and those who mourn are uplifted and comforted; the hungry find justice; sinners are forgiven;and all discover that they are brothers.

“The image I present to you is the image of Jesus Christ. As Christians you share in his name; he has already made most of you his own. So once again I repeat his name to you Christians and I proclaim to all men: Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, Lord of the new universe, and the great hidden key to human history and the part we play in it. He is the mediator – the bridge, if you will – between heaven and earth. Above all he is the Son of God, eternal and infinite. He is the son of Mary his mother on earth, more blessed than any other woman. She is also our mother in the spiritual communion of the mystical body.

“Remember: [it] is Jesus Christ I preach day in and day out. His name I would see echo and reecho for all time even to the ends of the earth.” –Paul VI, Homily Manila 29 Nov. 70

Let us proclaim Christ in all that we do!

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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