FR. SOC COULD BE THE FIRST-EVER FILIPINO POPE: The first thing that entered my mind as I was reading the Inquirer.net’s story about the installation of Socrates Villegas as the fifth archbishop of the diocese of Lingayen-Dagupan of the Roman Catholic Church was that, Fr. Soc (as he wanted to be called even with his present lofty position) could be the first-ever Filipino Pope of the Church.
I do not know why that thought came to me, for I hardly knew---personally or otherwise---the youthful archbishop, but then, he is young (he is only 49 years old and he is already an Archbishop!), he is intelligent, his rise in the Philippine Catholic hierarchy is nothing short of phenomenal, and he is untainted by any scandal or any impropriety.
More importantly, he seems to have the backing of the Almighty God, no less, in his priestly duties, as shown by the succession of the important assignments that have been given him since the heady days of Jaime Cardinal Sin as the archbishop of Manila.
And then, the time has indeed come for an Asian (and, particularly, a Filipino) to become Pope to lead the billions of Roman Catholics worldwide, so the Philippines can fulfill what to me is its destiny as the present-day evangelizer of the world through its millions and millions of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and immigrants.
FILIPINOS HAVE THE CAPACITY TO FULFILL THE “GREAT COMMISSION” OF JESUS: In Matthew 28:19 of the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ gave His disciples what has come to be known as “The Great Commission”. He said: “…Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…”
This is an awesome responsibility, coming from an awesome God, and it is clear that only an awesome number of disciples could ever hope to carry it out, given the very big number of people now inhabiting the planet.
The question now is, is there a sufficient number of people who can be mobilized to comply with that responsibility?
If you look around you today, it would become indubitably clear that among all the nations on earth, it is only the Philippines which has the capacity to assume that responsibility, in view of the fact that its people are now regularly being sent to other countries, either as OFWs (about 15 million) or as permanent immigrants (about 8 million).
GOD WILL ACT TO ENABLE FILIPINOS TO EVANGELIZE THE WORLD: Unfortunately, however, the country has not put to good use this great number of its people yet, when it comes to evangelization or spreading the Word of God.
While they are now bringing in billions of dollars to the Philippines and are thus responsible for propping up its economy, our OFWs and migrants have not claimed yet the responsibility of preaching the Bible.
I believe that in His time, God will do something about this, to allow Filipinos to claim that responsibility and fulfill their ultimate destiny as God’s workers and therefore lead the whole world in making the nations His disciples.
Of course, we can start something by ourselves, like getting immersed in the Word of God, reading and understanding and ultimately living each and every command written in Its pages, but then, if my intuition is correct, God Himself will intervene.
That Godly intervention will come by the installation of Fr. Soc in the near future as the Roman Catholic Pope.
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