Homily by Rev. Fr. Ramon P. Caluza, CICM
Provincial Superior, CICM Philippine Province
during the Opening of the 5th CICM Schools Friendship Meet
and USL’s 51st Founding Anniversary/Closing of USL’s Golden Jubilee
Tuguegarao City, Cagayan 3500
February 11, 2016

“Makkorofun, Makkarauffun”

Dear Friends, especially the organizers of the 5th CICM Schools Friendship Meet and the 51st Founding Anniversary and the Closing of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations, you have chosen the most appropriate theme: MAKKOROFUN, MAKKARAUFFUN – which means FRIENDSHIP, SUPPORT. These two words, when paraphrased, when made narrative, would sound like: Friendship and Support, Friends support one another, Friends are there to support one another, Friends as they bond together find ways and means to support those in need, true friends as they support one another become aware that there is love and sacrifice that binds them together. And as men and women of faith in the Living and Loving God, we realize that we can do so, because there is a God who is TRUE FRIEND and who is a true LIFE SUPPORT.

I would consider the following gospel text as the exact basis of our celebration: John 15, 9 - 17:

9“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17This is my command: Love each other.

John 15, 9 - 17

As you go and vote and select your future public servants, choose those who really support the most in need, who really are friends who put service as the essence of their being public servants and not use their positions accorded to them by the people for personal interests and personal gain.

God the Father’s dream: a kingdom of friends who support one another. This is possible in the here and now. That is our hope.

We are friends and so let us help one another!
A Reading from the book of Deuteronomy

If you obey the commandments of the LORD
your God that I am commanding you today,
by loving the LORD your God,
walking in his ways, and observing his commandments, decrees, and ordinances, then you shall live
and become numerous,
and the LORD your God will bless you
in the land that you are entering to possess.
But if your heart turns away and you do not hear,
but are led astray to bow down to other gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall perish;
you shall not live long in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke.

Then he said to them all,
"If any want to become my followers,
let them deny themselves
and take up their cross daily and follow me.
For those who want to save their life will lose it,
and those who lose their life for my sake will save it.
What does it profit them if they gain the whole world,
but lose or forfeit themselves?

Indeed there is a reason to express our gratitude to God once more for this opportunity to celebrate two big events, our unity as CICM Schools and our zeal as University of Saint Louis. Yes, today, we begin the celebration of our togetherness as one CICM Family in the Philippines, as we also showcase, our being USL. Bannering the theme, "Makkorofun, Makkarauffun,” may we continue the spirit of friendship and solidarity as CICM Schools.

Dear friends from our sister schools, fellow Louisians and other friends and guests around, during this Mass and the coming days, let us look back into our humble beginnings as CICM schools celebrating with joy and jubilation our respective achievements. We likewise reminisce with fondness four successful Friendship Meets as one CICM Family. Looking back, these Friendship meets ushered new opportunities to make the CICM presence even more felt beyond academics, as we all showcase our God-given talents.

As we look forward to more years of celebrating our CICM Unity, we pray for our CICM missionaries, the past and the present, that God may bless them with good health of mind, heart and body, so that they will be able to lead all of us zealously in our mission to bring the good news to the marginalized sectors of our community. We likewise pray to God during this Holy Mass for all our CICM Schools that He will continuously shower His choicest blessings in producing Christian Professionals with a heart.

We especially pray to our Almighty Father to bless all of us here present and those who will still be coming in the next few days that He may guide and protect them as well. And as captured in the CICM centennial prayer, we pray to the Lord to revitalize us in our mission so that we continue to be one heart and one soul in advancing God’s Kingdom in this part of the world.

With joy and gladness, let us raise our voices as one family as we pledge once more our unity with God and one another during our Friendship Meet and USL’s 51st Founding Anniversary.

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