Vice-Rector fr. Isaias D. Tiongco, O.P., JCD led the celebration of the virtual Paskuhan 2020 Mass on December 17 at Santísimo Rosario Parish via livestream on University of Santo Tomas – Official Facebook page, bereft of the thousands of mass goers who
Rekindling Peace, Faith, Love with Hope
In his homily, fr. Tiongco reflected on the story of the four candles wherein the three candles named Peace, Faith, and Love did not find any more purpose to hold its fire due to the world filled with hatred. However, a child entered the room with the fourth candle, named Hope, which reignited the three candles as well as their sole purpose: to bear the light. “With hope, each of us can again, and again, and again live in peace, in faith, and in love,” fr. Tiongco said.
Fr. Tiongco also reflected on the Gospel and concentrated on the life of Zechariah, who acknowledged God’s power but nonetheless doubted God using His Almighty powers on him. “We should not judge Zechariah harshly for God did not reject him even in his moment of hesitation. Instead, we should see whether we are not in some ways like Zechariah,” he said. “Do we really trust and hope that God loves us enough to use his Almighty power on our behalf?” Tiongco queried. “We believe in God and everything about Him about our faith teachers? But do we really trust and hope that God loves us enough to use His Almighty power on our behalf? We do not doubt that God can do something for us, but maybe we are not that sufficiently convinced that he will do it especially if we have waited a long time,” he said.
“In the supreme moment of the celebration of the Eucharist where god shows us both his power and love at this time above all times, we should trust completely in him and hope in that same love, even if we have to wait a lifetime as Zechariah did to see God use His Almighty power out of love for us, to use his power simply because he loves us,” fr. Tiongco added. Moreover, the Vice-Rector underscored that no tribulations can interrupt the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the faithful who were rejoicing his arrival. “In spite of inconveniences, complications, and misery besetting us during these difficult times, Christmas can never be cancelled nor taken away from us, not even this cruel Covid-19 virus, or any diseases, or any tribulations, or storms of life can deter or prevent anyone from rejoicing,” he said. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, people were looking for alternative ways to celebrate festivities while maintaining the same joyful spirit. “Nothing can ever cancel or wipe out the hope and the excitement that Christian believers experience every year as they commemorate and celebrate the earthly arrival of Jesus Christ,” fr. Tiongco emphasized.
The UST Paskuhan 2020 celebration shifted to the virtual mode as a precautionary measure against the pandemic. The three-day celebration began on December 16, with the lighting of the Christmas tree and campus decors, followed by the Christmas Concert of the Conservatory of Music. On December 18, a Concert for a Cause will be jointly hosted by the Central Student Council, Student Organizations Coordinating Council, Simbahayan Community Development Office, and the Tiger Media Network. It will feature past performances from various artists and at the same time help raise funds for the continuing Tulong Tomasino initiatives.