8th National Convention
of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines
Homily of His Eminence Ricardo Cardinal Vidal
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral
Friday, April 16, 2010
Cardinal Ricardo Vidal of Cebu delivers his homily at the opening Mass of the 8th National Convention of the Knights of Columbus in the Philippines. Cardinal Vidal is a member of Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral Council 3106, which was the second council chartered in the Philippines.
My Brother Knights of Columbus from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao:
It is “with greater joy than ever in this ‘Easter Season’”… that I greet you all… and welcome you to the Archdiocese of Cebu. I say in Cebuano: “Dayonkamongtanan!”
To hold your 8th KC National Convention, you could not have come to a better place, and at the most opportune time.
I presume you know that this Year of our Lord, two-thousand ten, on April twenty-eight, Cebu completes exactly its Seventy-Fifth Year as an Archdiocese.
The Archdiocese of Cebu, at 75, thank God in Santo Niño de Cebu and through Our Lady of Guadalupe de Cebu, is now a bountiful place and a beautiful people live in it.
My dear Brother Knights:
I know that from this day on, there shall be a lot of talking and listening during this Convention, all about “VOLUNTEERISM: NEIGHBORS HELPING NEIGHBORS”.
From the Acts of the Apostles, take home a lesson to live by. St. Luke says that the Apostles, who were “full of joy that they had been judged worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of the name of Jesus day after day, both in the temple and at home… never stopped teaching and proclaiming the Good News of Jesus the Messiah.”
They were not “forced” to do all that. Humbly and freely they “volunteered” to “preach and proclaim” the “Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus” – not so much by what they believed as by how they behaved. Like our Lord Jesus, they “volunteered” to heal the sick, they also “volunteered” to “feed” the “hungry”.
St. John tells us that the Apostles Philip and Andrew included, “volunteered” to “get the people to recline” and they also “volunteered” to “gather up the crusts that are left over”.
Like our Lord Jesus, who when he realized that the people would come and carry him off to make Him King, fled back to the mountain alone, we can be sure that the Apostles also did the same, after helping their neighbors by being their “servants.” They learned as they were taught to “serve, and not to be served.”
My Brother Knights: made for service, to care for all men and women and children, whoever they are, wherever they may be.
You now know, as much as, or even better than I do, that you are “a council” in our Church, not just “a club” in the society.
Your service, then, is charity, not just philanthropy. Love of God and love of neighbor is your motive as well as your objective. Even if, or especially if your neighbor is your “enemy” in the field of politics or in the arena of economics. Such “Love of Neighbor” who may happen to be your enemy needs no funding, no financing, no force, either. No fear and no fraud because it is free, it is voluntary, not motivated by love of money which is greed.
It may interest you to know that, whereas St. Paul has said that “love of money is the root of all evil,” we Filipinos say that love of money is the root of only the half of the evil in the Philippines. The lack of money is the root of the other half, meaning, among other things, that here in our country, in our society, it is greed that we must try to find, face, fight and finish. And at the same time, it is need that we must strive to meet and minimize, as much as we can, and as far as we go. Let us, then, “volunteer” as good neighbors to help the needy, even as we try to stop the greedy.
Remember, the greedy may be few, but the needy are many, and the many poor we try to alleviate but not to eliminate. The many poor we volunteer to help that they may help themselves… with the industries that we disperse with the jobs we offer, with the salaries that we give on time, with the prices of commodities that we put up, together with the scholarships we grant to the deserving.
May God bless you, my brother Knights.
May your convention be not just a “NATO” – that is, “No Action, Talk Only.”