ROXAS CITY – To have a firm stand for the truth is a challenge nowadays among the faithful, even among men formed to become priests.
This is what Capiz Archbishop Most Rev. Jose F. Advincula Jr., D.D. reflected upon in his homily during the opening mass for the 12th Gathering of Theology Seminarians in the Visayas (GTSV) at the Sancta Maria Mater et Regina Seminarium (SMMRS) in Cagay, Roxas City on Monday, October 21.
The GTSV is a biennial assembly of men formed for the diocesan priesthood from the four major theological seminaries all over Visayas: SMMRS of Capiz, Seminario Mayor de San Carlos (SMSC) of Cebu, St. Joseph Regional Seminary (SJRS) of Jaro and the St. John the Evangelist School of Theology (SJEST) of Palo.
With the gathering’s theme inspired from the third letter of St. John, “there is no greater joy than to hear my children walk in truth,” Msgr. Advincula related that mongering lies creeps within the Church.
The Bishop noted that in the early Church, St. John warned the faithful about a certain Diotrephes who is known for “spreading malicious gossips against the Christian community in view of discouraging the latter to live their faith.”
“Efforts to topple down the faith of the Church do not only come from modern-day Diotrephes that spread malicious gossips against us,” Msgr. Advincula said
“Even from within the Church we find Diotrepheses. These Diotrepheses spread malicious lies by living a double standard life, by living hypocritical lives,” he added.
Apart from those who attack the Church, the Capiz Prelate emphasized that those who live with two-faced lifestyles are the more serious threats to living faithfully.
“The modern day Diotrephes in the Church spreads the death of faith by its very works. This more dangerous. This is more detrimental to our walking in truth, to our Christian living,” Msgr. Advincula stressed.
Moreover, the Capiz Archbishop also warned seminarians as future shepherds of the Church to avoid the lure of worldly luxuries, noting that it has slowly become a norm within the ecclesiastical institution.
“Materialism runs in every vein of the world today. And sadly, our Church is not spared from this disease,” he said.
On the other hand, Msgr. Advincula encouraged the seminarians to realize that the Church pins its hopes on them as future priests.
“Your vocation to the priesthood is both your personal response to God’s call and the Church’s desire to minister to her members,” the Bishop said.
“The Church sees that you can give something for her. The Church sees your love for her. The Church sees your giftedness,” he added.