UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. talked about the need to save fallen relationships through God’s transforming love on Ash Wednesday, which coincided with Valentine’s Day this year.

In his homily during the Ash Wednesday Mass at Plaza Mayor, Dagohoy said Christ’s sacrifice on the cross transforms an individual because it is the “greatest love story ever told.”

“Kung tayo ay nasasawi sa pag-ibig, the best way we can actually return and save that fallen relationship is to promise to our loved one that we are going to change. Dahil mahal kita, handa akong magbago. ‘Yun naman ang dapat nating sasabihin sa Diyos, ‘Dahil alam kong mahal Mo ako, alam kong ‘yung pag-ibig na ‘yan ay pag-ibig na nakapagbabago’,” he said.

Although the sign of the Cross is a reminder of the human reality of death, Dagohoy said the greatest loss is what dies inside of people while they are living.

“Ang kamatayan daw ay hindi ang pinakamalaking kawalan sa tao. Ang pinakamalaking kawalan ay ang pagkamatay ng ating loob habang tayo’y nabubuhay,” Dagohoy said.

Dagohoy challenged Thomasians to wear sign of the cross on their foreheads as a proclamation of belonging to Christ and belief in God’s redemption of man from eternal death.

As an act of penance and in solidarity with the poor, offerings during the Mass were donated to the Caritas Feeding program of the Santisimo Rosario Parish.

Ash Wednesday begins the 40-day period of Lent, which recalls Christ’s 40 days in the desert. During Lent, Catholics are enjoined to perform acts of penance and almsgiving, as well as observe regulations on fasting and abstinence from meat.

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