Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, presided over Mass last week to celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross at the Santuario del Santo Cristo parish in San Juan city.
Although the feast is celebrated on September 14 according to the current liturgical calendar, it is still observed in some parishes on its original date of May 3rd.
“Every relationship changes us,” Cardinal Tagle said in his homily, continuing (in Filipino): “Faith is a living relationship that God initiates. And it is this relationship with God that changes us.”
Cardinal Tagle went on to compare how ordinary relationships have a profound impact on people’s perspectives, how they behave and think. He cited how a young man, upon finding out that the woman he loves dislikes the smell of cigarettes, will immediately find a way to quit smoking just to please her.
Other inclinations for not so noble inclinations like gambling and gossiping exist as well, Cardinal Tagle said.
“If the one you always relate with is a gambler, most likely, you will end up one yourself,” he explained, saying the same thing happens if one associates with people who gossip.
This leads to the greatest connection, the one with Jesus. And to say yes to such a relationship is not to be taken lightly.
“It is dangerous to relate with Jesus because it will change you),” he added.
The cardinal noted how the “decision of faith” is most likely “the most important decision a person will make in his life time… Will I allow myself to be part of Him? Will I make Him a part of myself?”
Cardinal Tagle noted how the celebration of the feast of the Sto. Cristo this year falls within the Year of Faith, making the questions posed about faith even more relevant to believers.