The Ateneo de Davao University officially opened this year’s school fiesta with a mass, which started at 8:00 am at the San Pedro Cathedral. The mass was for the celebration of the solemnity of Our Lady of the Assumption- the patroness of the university.
Presiding priest Fr. Jose Gabriel T. Gonzales S.J., together with Fr. Joel Tabora, Fr. Archimedes A. Lachica S.J., Fr. Daniel J. McNamara S.J., Fr. Renato C. Ocampo S.J., Fr. Ramon Prudencio S. Toledo S.J., Fr. Jose Gabriel T. Gonzales S.J. Fr. Jojo Magadia S.J. and Fr. Erwin Torres from the Diocese of Davao, celebrated the mass.
The homily centralized on why Mary was in the theme “Inang Maria, Gabay sa Paghubog ng Mabuting Pinuno para sa Bayan” for this year’s school fiesta.
Fr. Jose Gabriel T. Gonzales S.J. said Mary guided Jesus to become the leader that, according to the Revelations in the first reading, “was to rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” He explained the three points to learn from Mary to become National Leaders.
First, there must be basic human foundation. Jesus learned how to be fully and truly human from his life as the son of Joseph and Mary. He gained a fully developed mind to reflect and a fully developed heart to love.
Second, there must be awareness to social issues and must generously respond to it. Mary showed it when she tried to give a hand during the wedding feast at Cana. She wanted the problem to be solved so she asked her Son to give action to it. Jesus exhibited what His mother wanted. It only means that a leader must respond to those who need his/her help despite ridicules.
Third, a leader must have Spiritual Integration. This means a leader must encounter God first before doing an independent action than the usual “do the best and God will do the rest.” Mary experienced it from her encounter with the Archangel Gabriel in the Annunciation. This meant God’s love rests on her. She accepted the life God bestowed upon her and had the strength to face the challenges up to the point of her Son’s crucifixion.
Before the mass ended, the athletes, officials, dancers and other participants for the College fiesta were blessed for the fitness of their body, for the value of camaraderie and for the rewards for their perseverance.
The mass was followed by the parade from San Pedro to Jacinto gate.