The 500th year celebration of Christianity here in the Philippines is a celebration we should all take part in, as it brings to our minds the remarkable contributions that it gave to our country. Not just to our unique culture and rich history, but to the strong Christian faith that’s very much alive up to this day. As young Filipino Catholics, we are all part of this celebration. But, what are those simple things that we can do to experience this momentous jubilation for the whole year?
We prepared five simple things that you can do to make the 500th year celebration even more special:
- Actively participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist
The first celebration of the Holy Eucharist here in the Philippines was held in March 31, 1521. It officially marked the birth of Roman Catholicism and the deep devotion of the Filipinos towards Jesus Christ. By actively participating in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, we’re not only practicing our rich tradition, but we are also taking part of how God became one with us through Jesus Christ. It is an acknowledgment of His real spiritual presence – in the supper where Christ first revealed Himself in the breaking of the bread and the pouring of the wine. The same way of how Jesus Christ first met us at the first Holy Mass, where the good news of salvation and communion reached us to where we are.
- Look back on how our Catholic faith started in the Philippines
To understand more about our identity as Filipinos, we should grow our knowledge and understanding of the remarkable history that we have – from which lies all the important lessons of the mistakes and gains we have cultivated throughout the years. We embraced the Catholic faith, where the symbol of the cross came with the fierceness of our conquerors. We have learned to recognize the true Christian faith and had fought together against the tyrannies of colonialism. And yet, we gracefully remained forever zealous in our communion to the Holy Catholic Church. It is important to look back and see how far God has blessed us despite the circumstances we have endured over the years.
- Visit Jubilee Churches in your Dioceses
The Jubilee Celebration has been significantly important to our lives as Catholics, especially that we take on a journey towards the opportunity to mercy. Our dioceses have designated churches where we can take on a pilgrimage with our brethren towards Jesus Christ. To complete this, we have to pass through the church’s Holy Door of Mercy, receive confession, hear Holy Mass, reciting the Creed, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father. This is a special season as we are to gain blessings and mercy from God through plenary indulgences offered by our Church.
Find the dioceses that you belong to and know the pilgrim churches where you can participate in the Jubilee pilgrimage.
- Participate in your parish activities
As this celebration serves as a very special event for all of us, it is pretty much given that our parishes are becoming more dynamic when it comes to certain preparations and spiritual formations. As young people, we are the ones who tend to be more vigorous and most constant when it comes to certain initiatives that are necessary for our parishes.
To be young is not just a gift but rather an opportunity for us to serve God to the best of our capacity now more than ever.
- Be grateful that you are a Catholic and continue the gift of Mission
In today’s time, so many young people have turned away from the gift of being a Catholic. As the world has become even more distorted, only a few have realized the virtues and deep connection with Jesus Christ right in the heart of Catholicism. We should contemplate the challenges that this has for us. We are all gifted with a mission, a mission to take on the challenges of sharing the gifts we have received from God to everyone who’s not fortunate to experience His goodness in these most challenging times.
It is cool to be a Catholic. And it is also cool that God has gifted us a year of celebration to be marked with great thanksgiving to Almighty God for the great gift of the Christianity that we relished for ages.
As we celebrate the 500th-year embrace, we urge you to join us in a social media challenge called the hashtag “#500YearsOfChristianity” or “#500YOC”. We do this by adding our official hashtag with any post that we make on social media for the world to know how exuberant we are for this once in a lifetime event.
We are blessed to celebrate such a momentous occasion. Now more than ever, let us take an active role and proudly proclaim “We are gifted to give.”
In today’s time, so many young people have turned away from the gift of being a Catholic. As the world has become even more distorted, only a few have realized the virtues and deep connection with Jesus Christ right in the heart of Catholicism.
Von Abines is a Mission Volunteer of MFC Youth serving in the area of NCR North.