ROXAS Grounds — “Raising peace with Mary.” This was the highlight of the homily of University president Fr. Joel Tabora, S.J. in the Eucharistic Celebration during the 65th Ateneo college Fiesta on September 8.
“On Mary’s birthday, today, in our Fiesta, we celebrate our peace. As we celebrate her, whom she was privileged to bring into our world Jesus – the Christ, the Messiah, the Prince of Peace,” he said.
“That is a peace forged between humanity and divinity, but also a peace proposed and promised to all who accept him in faith, the actual historically unfolding peace which we are grateful we enjoy as we celebrate Fiesta, and which together we wish to strengthen against the war and violence in our world, and perhaps sometimes also in our hearts,” he added.
Father president, the principal celebrant of the Holy Mass, was accompanied with Fr. Daniel McNamara and Fr. Rene Ocampo of the Society of Jesus.
In celebration of the Nativity of Mother Mary, Fr. Tabora mentioned two viewpoints to what this celebration is all about.
“The honoree of the Fiesta is Mary. First, from the viewpoint of her assumption, the celebrated truth that after her life of fidelity to the will God, during which she allowed herself fully to be an instrument of his redemptive will, and so became the mother of God, the mother of Jesus, who on his Cross won for us our Salvation, she was assumed into heaven,” he said.
“We honor Mary today from the second viewpoint of her birth, that the life that was God’s gift to her was also God’s gift to us. Into her life, our Redeemer is born. In her Son, we have her as our Mother.” he added.
Fr. Tabora also said that on this day, the people “recall Mother Mary’s love for us. Invite her to the team and cheer for those who will be competing – singing and dancing competitions.”
“Since Mary is our mother, at the outset of this Fiesta, especially on her birthday, I am certain she wants us to enjoy ourselves in Fiesta!” he said.
Moreover, Fr. Tabora emphasized that celebrating the fiesta with joy and generosity would be a great gift that people can give to Mother Mary on her birthday.
Fr. Tabora concluded his homily with a final message to Ateneans saying, “Ateneans, on this day, finally, filled with gratitude profound, celebrate our long-awaited Fiesta in joy and in service! As you compete with one another in fun, let the depth of your gratitude for our fragile peace bind you together in unforgettable joy, enduring friendship and indestructible love!”
After the communion, a blessing was given to the Ateneo community – the singers, dancers, players and all the people behind the efforts of making the fiesta possible.