Bishop-Emeritus of Novaliches
Good morning to all of you again. I am very very happy to see you. Again, after our celebration of the Mass. Let us first sing this song. 
Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy me;
Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy me;
Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy me;
Glory to God, Glory to Christ Jesus!
Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy you;
Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy you;
Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy you;
Glory to God, glory to Christ Jesus!
Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy we;
Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy we; 
Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy we;
Glory to God, glory to Christ Jesus!
Are you happy? Do you want to be happy? Okay! Let’s be happy! 
You remember Steve Jobs who died? He died poor. Why? Because he had to leave all his riches behind. He had a lot of money, but when he was about to die, he had some sort of a testament, which went viral on Youtube. One of the things he said was, educate your children to be happy. Educate your children to be happy. 
That is not only good education. That is very good Christianity. Because first of all, our God is a happy God. Secondly, this God who is completely happy, perfectly happy, created us in order to be happy. Any grade 3 pupil in Catholic school, if you ask him why God made him, should be able to answer, “God made me to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him and to be happy with him forever and ever.” 
He did not create us only to be happy, but also to be completely happy. We are not contented or completely happy in this world. 
I was happy to meet Mr. Sonam. Ah! I am so happy to meet you. In Bhutan, people are not after gross domestic product. But Filipinos are. The people of BHUTAN look for gross domestic happiness product. That is what we should look for. 
Where does happiness lie? It is not to be found in riches. Many very rich people are unhappy and even commit suicide. 
I heard from a girl whose parents built a P750 million home. (That was the estimate of the mother.) Only three people live in this house. You know, one daughter said to me, “it is very sad. There is not much happiness in that house; so little love in that house.” They built a house where no one wants to live, where nobody wants to stay. 
There are families where the children apparently are united until the parents die. And when they die, the children fight tooth and nail to get as much money as they can. 
In the United States, a certain person stole about one billion dollars. He was caught and he was sentenced to 70 years in prison. He was so famous and prosperous already. Then, he lost everything. He was imprisoned. Two years afterwards, his son, a very handsome man, married, hanged himself. What happened? Greed. 
It’s not money that makes happiness. And certainly, it’s not power. You look at President Duterte. He has power, lots of it. But you can see his face. He is not a happy man. 
“From the abundance of a man’s heart, the mouth speaks.” And the man likes to spit out bad words. There is so much that is troubling him. 
It is not popularity either that makes us happy. Many, many celebrities are unhappy. You can see that from the frequency of divorces among celebrities. A good number have even died of drug overdose which they used to kill their pain. 
A parish priest, Fr. Tony Astudillo loves to say, “At the end of the day, what matters is relationships.”  I would say “At the end of the day, what matters is the right relationships.” He says, “Suppose you have a couple who are very rich, have a big house with a beautiful view. In the evening, they have beautiful romantic music playing. If they are not in love with each other, they will not make love.”
“But if you have a couple who are truly in love, even though they have very little to eat, they will make love even when they have only a mat.” 
Pope Francis says in paragraph 66 of “Laudato Si” that the biblical creation accounts “suggest that human life is grounded in three fundamental and closely intertwined relationships: with God, your neighbour, and with the earth itself.” And that’s what I want to discuss with you. 
Three fundamental interconnected relationships.  
The human being did not make himself. We say in the creed which we recite every Sunday, I belive in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. 
Our first and most fundamental relationship is with God, he made us. If He had not created us, we would not even here. 
Sabi nga ni Julie Andrews sa (So as Julie Andrews would say in the movie) the sound of music, “Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever will…”
Scientists can come back to the Big Bang. But they cannot explain where that original miniscule matter came from and why it exploded. Who made it explode?
Everything ultimately comes from God. And from God alone. 
This is the relationship that permeates every atom of our being. Every human being, everything comes from God. And why did God create us? Not because He needed you and me. 
God did not need you. God is completely happy. Why did He make you and me? In order to share His happiness. To make us also happy. 
Out of love, He did this. There is not a single atom of my being that I can claim to come from me. There is nothing of me, nothing in me that I did not receive from God’s love. 
What does it mean? Everything! Wow! Everything in me comes from God except my sins. 
When I was a parish priest, there was a flower vendor who used to sell flowers outside the church in Paco. And one Sunday, I came out of the church, and she handed me a dozen long-stemmed roses. And she didn’t even say how much. “No, that is my gift to you,” she said. And when the other parishoners saw me with the flowers, they said, “Uy may nag mamahal kay Bishop” I was only holding a dozen long-stemmed flowers, and they already recognized that I am loved by somebody. 
Relationships work two ways. 
God has loved me. Therefore,” You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength.” You must love God with everything. You must love God above all things. Love God with a love that is supreme and unrivalled, and all inclusive. 
Pagdating ng New Testament (in the New Testament) we are not only creatures of God. We are his sons and daughters, partakers of God’s life, of his nature.
Puedeng mo sigurong mahalin ang isang Presidente dahil benefactor mo. (You may love a particular President, because he or she is your benefactor.) But God is to be loved as our Father. 
You shall love the Lord your God with all your mind, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. We love God because he has loved us first and has given us himself in his creation, in sending us his Son and the Holy Spirit.
You can almost hear the thumping of the heart of the author of I John: “See what love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the children of God. And that is what we are”( I Jn 3:1-2). 
Then, there is the second relationship. Very important. When God created man the second relationship was born. Man is not meant to live in isolation but to form a unity with his fellow humans. 
Sabi mga ng mga Romano, “Vae soli!” ( kaawaawa ang nag-iisa) Pag nag-iisa ka, wala kang kasama, wala kang kasundo, pupunta ka sa Pasig River at aawitin mo ng malungkot, “Sa aking pag-iisa.” 
And do we not, sing, “The more we get together, together, together, the more we get together, the happier are we.”
In chapter II of Genesis Adam was given the best resort in the world, he was put in paradise. But God said, “It is not good to man to be alone.” So God made animals, but not one was found fit to be man’s fit companion. So God took a rib from him and made it into a woman. For the first time the man exclaimed with delight, “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of man this one has been taken.” (Gen; 2: 23)  Pope Francis playfully translates these words as, “This one is just right for me.” 
The biblical author then adds “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body” (Gen; 2:24).  
The relationship with our fellow human being is expressed in the command, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” For the Israelites, the neighbour was the fellow Israelites or the migrants peacefully living in Israel, but not their enemies Thus Jesus could say “You shall love your neighbour but hate your enemy.”    
You can see this in a psalm Old Testament: (Ps. 149)
Sing a new song to the Lord,
His praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
Let Zion’s sons exult in their king. 
Let them praise his name with dancing 
And make music with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
Shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips and a two-edged sword in their hand, 
To deal out vengeance to the nations
And punishment on all the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains
And their nobles in fetters of iron;
To carry out the sentence pre-ordained;
This honor is for all his faithful. 
Notice the pairing of the praise of God and vengeance on Israel’s enemies. 
But in the New Testament we read:
“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Lk.7: 27). “Love one another as I love you.” (Jn. 15: 12) 
Jesus did not love only the lovable. Jesus loves me from the cross. Jesus loves me. Even though I don’t deserve it. His love makes me lovable. 
There have been four stages in the human evolution towards love:
  1. The law of the jungle: Survival of the fittest. If anyone harms you, avenge the harm, and there is no limit to your revenge. Thus Lamech told his wives, “I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for bruising me. If Cain is avenged seven times, then Lamech seventy-seven times” (Gen 4:23-24).
  2. The law of Talion. “An eye for an eye and a tooth from a tooth.”  “Exact as punishment only the equivalent of the harm done to you,” no more than that. 
  3. The Golden Rule: “Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you.”  Or positively: “Do to others what you want others to do to you. Love your neighbour as you love yourself.” 
  4. The rule of Christ: “love one another as I have loved you.” Our love for one another is to be measured not by our love for ourselves but by the love of God for us as shown in Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit. 
Now the third relationship. This has only recently been emphasized: 
God says, “Take charge of the earth. Take care. of all the creatures of the earth” Undeniably, man is the greatest (see Ps.8)
The earth --- God has given it to us as a gift. But He entrusted it to our care. We are not the absolute owners.  You and I are only stewards (katiwala) of God. 
So what is our relationship with the world?
  1. Appreciate it, enjoy it. God made the world for the enjoyment of his children (1 Tim. 6:17: “God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment.”).
  2. Take charge of it. Improve it, develop it for the good of each and all human beings (Gen. 1: 28-29: Ps. 8) 
  3. Take care of it: “The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it” ( Gen.2:15) It is God’s gift to us, our common home. We are part of this world, of the cosmos, and we are destined to be glorified together. ( Rom. 8: 19-21)
  4. Praise God for his wonderful creation as the psalms do, and as St. Franci’s of Assisi did. “Laudato Si” are the first words of Francis song of praise to God for his creation. We are also charged to give voice to creation’s silent praise of God, its maker.
These are the rules of the relationships that the Lord asks us to fulfil. Don’t teach your students only to earn money, but to love God in all things and above all things, to love and serve others; to make use of this world for the good of all, improve it, and care for it. 
We live in a world of self-centered consumerism. Some people think that the more they have, the greater they care. Their favourite industry is “mining.” You are “mine” “this is “mine.” They do more in order to have more.
But while a good income and technology are important, the most important part of being happy is building and keeping the right relationships. 
  1. Receive God’s love and reciprocate it by loving God in all things and above all things.
  2. Love your fellow human as yourself, or better as God in Christ has loved you. 
  3. Love the world take care of it, develop it. Make use of it for the good of all men and for the praise of God.