[COLUMN] Jubilee year

IT’S a jubilee year in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. It’s because we are celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the first California mission, Mission San Gabriel.

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez has called for a yearlong celebration of this jubilee and has marked it as an invitation “to make a new start” to go forward in mission as disciples of Christ.

He calls the clergy, ecclesial workers, and lay leaders to offer prayer and spiritual renewal opportunities to the faithful, especially in these challenging times of the global pandemic.

Twenty-two parishes around the archdiocese have been designated special jubilee year pilgrimage sites, including Holy Family Church here in Glendale. Those who enter one of the pilgrimage sites are invited to spend time there at least to pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be with the intention of uniting themselves with the missionary spirit of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Star of the New Evangelization, and St. Junipero Serra, founder of Mission San Gabriel Arcangel.

With the approval of the Holy See, a plenary indulgence, which removes the temporal punishment due to sins already forgiven, is granted to those who enter the holy door of any of these pilgrimage sites to pray with the condition that they have confessed their sins and have received Holy Communion.

Additionally, the archbishop encourages us to do three simple missionary practices 2×2: Gospel reflection, prayer, and acts of charity and justice. The jubilee website, www.forwardinmission.com, outlines clearly these three missionary practices 2×2. Log in to the website to be familiar with these practices.

The website states, “Reflecting together on the life and words of Jesus in the Gospels awaken faith and helps us share Him with others. Praying together aloud open hearts to Jesus. Doing acts of charity and justice together with intentionality shows the love and mercy of Jesus. Engaging in these missionary practices will form hearts for mission and increase confidence in proclaiming the Gospel.”

At Incarnation Church, we initiated these practices in the past months through the faith sharing of some of our parishioners after Communion, praying 2×2 before Mass and at the time of the General Intercession, and participation in the walk and prayer for unity and peace last summer.

I wish that we exercise these missionary 2X2 practices in our home and among our friends to spark a renewed faith in Jesus Christ—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Let’s move forward in faith and mission. Let’s live the motto of St. Junipero Serra: “Siempre adelante, nunca atras”— Always forward, never backward.

Let’s live this purpose-driven and missionary spirit in our society during this jubilee year and beyond!

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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.

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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.


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