September 12, 2021

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Homily by Patriarch Craig Bates

First Reading: Isaiah 50 : 4 – 11

Second Reading: James 1 : 19 – 22

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19 : 1 – 3; 7 – 11

Gospel Reading: Mark 8 : 27 – 35

September 12, 2021



Today, as we celebrate the 1st anniversary of Primate’s homecoming to heaven. Patriarch Bates recalled his first meeting with Primate Dick; how excited he was knowing of priests coming from the Philippines to attend that International Convocation of the church; how he enjoyed talking to him and be amazed how good his English was as if he had lived in America; how he appreciates him as a person, his love for good food, especially of cheeseburger and French fries ☺, their fellowships and travel together that nurture their relationship as a brother, and as a friend…and that Primate’s death brought him to emotional hardship for some time….

The consecration of Primate Dick and the 2019 Territorial Convocation is considered by Patriarch as one of the highlights of his life.

He also expressed his praise and appreciation to St. Michael, as he see the love and works dedicated by the church in the ministry. Seeing our church reminds him of the memories of Primate – and those memories of him are important and we keep alive in our hearts and minds. “Our missing of him show the evidence of how much we love him”. Coming to this, we should rejoice! “We rejoice because in Jesus we will see him again. We will completely immerse in the love of God, in the forgiveness of God, and in the worship of God, before His throne.”

Relating to the Gospel reading of Mark, Patriarch wanted us to focus on the love of God. “The ministry of Jesus, how he heals the sick, cast out demons, feeds people, etc., is a story of God who is servant to people. And it is not only the greatest love story ever told but the greatest love story ever lived! On the cross, Jesus made known to us the love of God in flesh. What we see on the cross is LOVE. Grace and mercy, compassion and forgiveness, healing and deliverance are attributes of love coming from a human God through Jesus.”

“Jesus as a perfect image of how to be human shows us the life intended to be lived; that the life on the cross which is a life of living for another person; giving one’s total life to another is what it meant to be fully and completely human. His resurrection defeats death forever, and nothing is greater nor powerful than the love of God.”

“Everything we are going through is not the end…there’s more…but whenever we look on the Cross, we have Hope…hope that is not in vain! When we see through the eyes of Jesus, we see what awaits – that we should not stop death, but see death beyond….that there is joy in it.”

“Whenever we have the Eucharist, we behold Jesus! We hope, and the vision of the cross allows us to know that any moment we will eat His flesh and blood. In the Eucharist, we live the NOW. “

“We have all our pasts. But our past certainly does not define us. And we try to plan and do for the future. But when you look in the future, we see death; but death certainly is not the end. But God is the future! “

“Life then is to be lived right NOW; not in the past, nor in the future. We should not focus on the things in our lives that are going well, or not going well. We focus on the One on the throne, Jesus….and put our faith in Him. Primate Dick is a faith preacher. And he planted seeds so well in us, church!

Lastly, Patriarch Bates urged us, Cathedral Church of St. Michael to be prepared and ready. For the field is white now! 

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