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𝐄𝐱𝐜𝐞𝐫𝐩𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐑𝐞𝐯. 𝐁𝐨𝐤 𝐀𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐢𝐚'𝐬 𝐕𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲 𝐀𝐝𝐝𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐬:
What we were learning in our Theology classes actually compelled us to act, to do something. Remaining sheltered and detached from the plight of the poor was contrary to the nature and work of our God. Our classes in LST challenged us to do as Christ did – to be with those who were suffering, to serve the neglected and marginalized. Making do with what was possible during that time, many of our religious communities, parishes, organizations started setting up community pantries, donation drives, feeding programs to extend assistance to those in need. We tried our best to extend to people the needed pastoral care and accompaniment during that time, employing different online platforms, visiting homes and communities with all the health protocols and safety precautions in place. Through these little initiatives and responses, we have sought to put Theology into practice.
This practice of Theology is something we have witnessed in the work of our very own Fr. Manoling Francisco, S.J., our professor in several Systematic Theology courses and in our STB Comprehensive Exam Review. During the pandemic, his LST classroom was extended to the Ateneo College Covered Courts, where goods, rice and other necessities were repacked for distribution to different underserved communities through the Tanging Yaman Foundation. I even remember Fr. Mano looking for a corner there to hold his online classes. In between classes, he would arrange the procurement of produce from besieged local rice and vegetable farmers, ensuring fair profit for their harvest. He rescued tons of dried fish from being wasted to benefit fishing communities from Bantayan, Cebu and Roxas City. Yes, a theologian did all of that! Theologizing is brought to where people are, where it is needed the most, immersed in the struggles and agonies of God’s people, proclaiming the Good News of God’s reign more in deeds, than in words.
May we always remember that the theological knowledge we acquired must not just remain ideas and concepts. These principles, truths and values are not just meant for academic discussions and rhetoric, for scholarship and research, they must be incarnated, exercised, lived out. We are called to cultivate a lived, a living Theology that continues to offer light, consolation, and direction to our weary world.
𝙍𝙚𝙫 𝘽𝙤𝙠 𝙩𝙤𝙜𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙍𝙚𝙫 𝙆𝙚𝙣𝙯𝙡𝙚𝙚, 𝙅𝙚𝙥𝙤𝙮, & 𝙍𝙞𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙧𝙙 𝙬𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙗𝙚 𝙤𝙧𝙙𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙞𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙤𝙙 𝙩𝙤𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙧𝙤𝙬, 𝙅𝙪𝙣𝙚 1, 2024 𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝘾𝙝𝙪𝙧𝙘𝙝 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙂𝙚𝙨𝙪, 𝘼𝘿𝙈𝙐, 𝙌𝘾. 𝙒𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙖𝙮 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙚 𝙅𝙚𝙨𝙪𝙞𝙩 𝙫𝙤𝙘𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨. 𝘼𝙈+𝘿𝙂
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