Nov 3, 2019 – St. Peregrine Laziosi Diocesan Shrine/ Jasper Christian Gambito. On October 31, 2019, the St. Peregrine Laziosi Parish celebrated the 21st Anniversary of the Dedication of the Parish Church/ Shrine. Although the Parish was originally established in 1985 upon the arrival of the Servites, it was only after 13 years that the parish church was finally constructed and consecrated. The celebration was presided by Rev. Fr. Albert Ma. Tulang, OSM along with Rev. Fr. Bryan Ma. Eala, OSM and Rev. Ricky Sister, OSM. In his homily, Fr. Tulang mentioned that the celebration was held to give thanks to the unending grace God has bestowed upon the parish, for preserving it and for making it grow steadfastly.
The Church as the People of God and the Church as the House of God
Normally, we tend to think that the term ‘church’ refers to the structure wherein the congregation gathers and worships God together. However, Fr. Tulang specified in his homily that the ‘church’ does not only refers to the structure, but to the ‘People of God’ – those who were acquired by Jesus not by physical birth, but by being ‘born anew,’ a birth of ‘water and the Spirit’ … by faith in Christ and Baptism. It is in this context that the faithful can proclaim that they are the church and therefore are temples of the Holy Spirit.
On the other hand, Fr. Tulang added that the church as a structure, once it had been dedicated as a house of God, serves only a single primary purpose – a sacred place wherein sacred mysteries could be performed. It is a sanctuary wherein the people of God could experience serenity and peace amidst the hustle and bustle of the outside world, therefore, it should be treated with utmost dignity, respect and reverence for it is the residence of God.
God’s Just Anger
Meanwhile, it was mentioned in the readings that Jesus got angry with the money changers and vendors selling different sacrificial offerings that He drove out from the Temple. Does it mean that Jesus himself committed a sin? No. Fr. Tulang stated that Jesus’ anger was due to the fact that those money changers and vendors were becoming abusive and that their main purpose was to gain excessive amounts of money from those who do business with them. This anger is being referred to as ‘just anger’ as this will lead to virtue instead of sin.
End of Rosary Month also celebrated
Also highlighted in the celebration was the end of the Rosary Month. Fr. Tulang thanked all those who participated in the dawn processions which started on October 1 until the 31st. At the end of the mass, several Marian images brought by the parishioners were blessed.