Sunday, June 10, 2001

(Final Text) INVOCATION
(103rd Anniversary of the Philippine Independence. Given by (Fr.) Raymond T. Sabio, MSC during the Philippine Embassy Reception held at Westin Chosun Hotel, Seoul, Korea)
Heavenly Father, You are the source of all life, goodness and wisdom. We beseech You to grant our Filipino People your grace of love and mercy, as we call to mind the 103rd Anniversary Commemoration of our Philippine Independence. May our Filipino People learn from the experience of Your own Chosen People, the sons and daughters of Israel as they journeyed for a good number of years from the Land of Bondage to the Promised Land: precisely, that the forging of a people to one nation, takes a good number of years; . . . as well as tons of patience, sacrifice and tears. May the great trials and suffering, our people experienced in the past 20 or so years be our counterpart of the Good Friday experience of Christ; or of that Great Passover of the Israelites, from darkness to light; from dis-unity to unity; from bondage to freedom; from humiliating defeat to glorious victory. Providentially, we thank you Lord, for having enabled our Filipino People, to gift the world, specifically Asia, with two phenomenal realities: 1st: that women can be chief executives, just as good, if not better than their male counterparts; secondly, that the "kratia" of the "demos", or simply, the "Power of the People" has the potentiality to change the course of history.
Help us Lord, to look at this turbulent unfolding of events in our native land in a positive light, knowing fully well, that every country, rich or poor, every nation and people have to pass through this crucible of heart-rending purification and spiritual renewal, in order to attain unity and progress, and eventually prosperity. We believe Lord, that you are one with us along the way, as we continue to offer You this prayer of hope, cherished by our people. "No mas amor que el Tuyo; O Corazon Divino. El pueblo Filipino, Te da su corazon." May we not lose heart in this difficult pilgrimage of life, more so during this time of trials; but with profound faith, hope and courage, convince ourselves that as we go through the authentic reform and renewal of our people and government leaders, indeed, the tears, fears and worries of today, will bring us joy, fulfillment and smiles tomorrow, as we look forward to the dawning of a new day in our beloved native land, our very own "patria adorada," our one and only "lupang hinirang." In the course of our life, may we take to heart the great advise of St. Paul in his Letter to the Thessalonians on how we should live. He wrote: "Be joyful always; pray at all times; be thankful in all circumstances. This, is what God wants from you in your life, in union with Christ Jesus." (1 Thess. 5: 16-18). May this admonition be our Filipino People's wellspring: of inspiration, hope and guiding light, that could possibly propel us to unprecedented height, in the days and years to come. Amen.
(Fr.) Raymond T. Sabio, M.S.C.
Inchon Port Catholic Chaplain