‘AMBAG 2021’: Combat greed, seek real salvation, faculty and staff urged in UST retreat

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University faculty members and staff venerate the image of the Black Nazarene after a procession on the first day of the University-wide retreat. Photo by Miah Terenz Provido.

UST faculty and staff were urged on Wednesday to combat greed and seek salvation amid life’s detours, on the first day of the University-wide retreat at the Quadricentennial Pavillion.

In his homily during the Eucharistic celebration, UST Rector Fr. Herminio Dagohoy, O.P. said everyone’s goal should be salvation, despite the many challenges in society.

“Maraming detours. You can never have a straight way. At sana sa huli, sa dami ng ating dinadanas at pinagdaraanan, magtatagpo-tagpo rin tayo sa iisang landas, ang landas ni Jesus, ang landas ng buhay,” he said.

Dagohoy urged University employees and faculty to pray for courage and trust in the Lord’s will.

“Bakit ang pag-ibig ng Diyos ang kailangan nating baunin sa ating paglalakbay? Kailangan siguro nating lahat, sa pagsisimula ng ating retreat ngayon, is to pray for courage and belief that God has no exit. That we only need to jump and with God,” he added.

Fr. Enrico Gonzales, O.P., former dean of the UST Faculty of Philosophy, cited the annual Traslacion procession of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo as an example of people’s journey in reflecting on their struggles and re-orienting their lives toward God.

“Ang dahilan ng Traslacion, ibabalik sa kaniyang tahanan ang Nazareno. We are fixated with our problems. Nakalimutan na ibalik ang Nazareno sa bahay niya kaya di makausad-usad pero natututo rin tayo, ‘yan ang struggle natin,” he said in his keynote speech.

Gonzales warned of too much preoccupation with life’s daily problems, which might ignore the “ultimate concern” in life — salvation.

“Daily concerns don’t mean [these are] not important, however it is just a part of our life, because once people are fixated with survival then the law will only be that of the jungle…only the strongest will reign,” he said.

He called greediness an abnormality and challenged Thomasians to journey and empathize with others.

“Mga Tomasino, are you moving or are you fixated? Nagpru-prusisyon ba kayo? O nakatayo lang kayo binabantayan, fixated on your material possessions? You’re not growing normal, you’re growing abnormally. Because greed is an abnormality,” he said.

Titled “Ambag 2021: The Waze of Faith,” the event is in preparation for the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the Philippines in 2021

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