1184 Bishop St, Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 585-3300 Fax: (808) 545-5063
Roman Catholics

Roman Catholic Church in the state of hawaii

Diocese of Honolulu

Witness to Jesus

News & Events

News & Events

Help me find...

News Articles

Bishop's Homily for the Second Sunday of Easter (Sunday of Divine Mercy)

April 16, 2023

[Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Peace (Consecration of Lorraine Manlolo as a Virgin Living in the World)]

It is amazing how Jesus works!  He had come to establish the Kingdom of God, a kingdom that would put to shame all other powers and principalities.  It would be a kingdom of justice, love and peace, encompassing every nation on earth.  To build this magnificent kingdom, God himself becomes a man, chooses followers, is rejected by many who felt he was a threat to the kingdom they wanted to build, is crucified, and is even abandoned by his dearest friends at his greatest hour of need.  Then he does something unheard of:  rises from the dead!  On the day of his resurrection, he appears to his so-called friends, who had abandoned him and who were now locked away for fear of being hunted down themselves.  Instead of scolding them for their cowardice, however, he says, “Peace be with you!”  He rejoices to see them and to have them see him risen from the dead.  And then he breathes the Holy Spirit upon them and sends them out on mission to bring forgiveness and healing to all the world in his name, sending them to do the same work of his heavenly Father that he had been sent to do.  Amazing!  Anyone else who wanted to start such a noble project would probably have fired them all and chosen others who would be more faithful.  Yet Jesus chose these weak people and gave them the power of the Holy Spirit to be his bold witnesses to the ends of the earth.  It is amazing how Jesus works!  This Divine Mercy is truly remarkable!

What changed everything for them was their encounter with the risen Jesus.  But we must never think of the Gospel as only a story of the past.  Since Jesus is risen from the dead, he is still alive and still with us.  We can actually encounter him right here when he makes himself physically present under the guise of bread and wine.  It is true we cannot put our fingers into his nailmarks or our hands into his side, but we are truly blessed when we have not seen yet believe in his real presence with us.  It is a presence that also can change our lives, so that we, too, can go out on his mission, to boldly proclaim him as Lord and to build his kingdom wherever we may find ourselves.

Lorraine Manlolo has been a faithful follower of Jesus all her life.  Yes, she has her faults, as we all do, but she has known the risen Lord and has fallen in love with him.  Today in a special way, Jesus, with his Divine Mercy, breathes the Holy Spirit upon her to consecrate her to be his special witness in the world.  She could have happily lived as a close friend of Jesus without making any public consecration aside from her Baptism, yet the Lord has called her to be a special kind of witness for the sake of all of us.  Today Lorraine will be consecrated as a Virgin Living in the World.  This is what she has been called to do for her own salvation and spiritual welfare, but this public consecration is not just for her, but is to inspire all of us and remind us to nurture our relationship with Jesus as carefully as a wife nurtures her relationship with her husband.

Lorraine will continue her life as medical doctor and will be involved in other ministries, as so many are.  Yet today she will take the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience so that she can be a living witness that laying down our lives for Jesus and for one another is the greatest freedom we can achieve.

She will pledge lifelong chastity, in a real way witnessing a nuptial relationship to Jesus.  She will even receive a ring to signify her spiritual marriage with him.  In these days, when we are so conditioned to think that real intimacy must lead to sexual encounters, she witnesses that real intimacy – even for married people – can only be achieved by making God the center of our lives.  She will vow poverty, to witness to all of us that the goods of this world, even if they are abundant, are to be dedicated to the praise and service of God first.  She will vow obedience to the bishop and the Church, witnessing to a world where so many think their greatest fulfillment is to make all their own decisions and choices, that true happiness only comes in doing God’s will.

We heard the beautiful account from the Acts of the Apostles today about the early Christian community living in great love, sharing with each other and the poor, and celebrating always the continuing presence of the risen Jesus.  They were witnesses to all around them.  And today, the Lord Jesus is calling our sister Lorraine to be his special witness for the rest of her life, that nothing is more important than being in love with Jesus, risen and living among us always.  She will need our prayers and support, indeed the support of all the heavenly host, which we will pour out on her as she lies before us in humility as we sing the Litany of the Saints.  She will then be consecrated to the Lord alone, so that she can be a living witness to his Divine Mercy and to the amazing ways he has chosen to love the world.

It is amazing how Jesus works!  He chooses humble witnesses so that we can all be witnesses of his Kingdom of justice, love, peace, and Divine Mercy!