A couple of weeks back, I read about Fr. Fernando Suarez's healing mass at Landmark and last Sept. 17, I thought that maybe I'd check it out without even being sure if there was one scheduled that day. Thankfully, and to my surprise, the mass was just about to start and it was moved to the Glorietta Activity Center. But before I get into that, I'd like to show what was at the same venue just a week before:
There weren't very many people that watched it and most of those who did were parents with their kids. But going back to my healing mass experience, I was surprised at how many devout Catholics were present that day.
It felt really good being there and I didn't mind standing far from the altar. Apparently, those who were able to get seated near it had to register beforehand.
Fr. Suarez had just arrived from America but he didn't seem tired at all. Should I have been surprised? He's the healing priest after all. Just a few nights before, I was interviewing Fr. Johnny Go, Director of Xavier School in San Juan and he said that when the healing priest touched him on the arm when they first met, it felt really warm.
There were a lot of surprising things I found out about Fr. Suarez. One that didn't surprise me, however, was his love for tennis. A very good friend of mine, artist Joey Velasco, spoke of Fr. Suarez in one of our mid-afternoon meriendas and he even wanted me to meet the priest since we both shared this common passion.
Needless to say, I really felt at peace while listening to Fr. Suarez's homily. It was, in a word, reassuring that I was still doing well considering everything.
Just by looking around, how can one tell who's feeling ill? Did they attend this mass with the hope that, much like those who Fr. Suarez has healed, whatever sickness they may have would go away? Or were they merely passing by and just decided "oh what the heck, I have nothing better to do anyway so why don't I just listen to the mass?" But Fr. Suarez was very emphatic in saying that all of us who attended that day were "called." Nobody was there by accident. And I couldn't be more in agreement with that because the only reason I was there that day was because I "felt" the urge to go even though I didn't know if there would be a healing mass scheduled. Or if there was, what should I expect? Well for one, I expected to be seated right in front.
And while listening to Fr. Suarez finish his homily--where he shared stories of people whose faith have healed them and also talked about the parable of the workers in the vineyard--I already accepted the fact that I won't be able to get communion from him because I was so far away. But to my surprise, Fr. Suarez made his way to where I was and he was handing out "communion wafers" or "host". Reaching out amidst the crowd, Fr. Suarez put one on my left hand. But as I was about to move away from the cluster of people, I felt two hands touching my back, pushing even. To my surprise, I saw that a small, old lady owned those hands and she was trying to make her way to Fr. Suarez--who was already moving farther--to get a piece of the host. Seeing her struggle felt like a jolt and I found myself once again making my way towards Fr. Suarez. Reaching out my right hand, I was able to get another piece and I went back to the old lady and handed it to her, not knowing if what I did was even proper. I didn't stay to see if she would actually put it in her mouth though.
Here is part of Fr. Suarez's homily:
I would definitely recommend to everyone to attend even just one of Fr. Suarez's healing mass. Don't expect much, I guess, and just believe in the Lord's healing powers. Because just like what Fr. Suarez said, it doesn't matter whether you're in front or in the far back for the Lord is always near each and everyone of us who seek Him.