MANILA - Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle yesterday called on the faithful to help spread God’s message of peace this Easter Sunday.
Tagle said the faithful should fulfill their mission as instruments of peace as the nation celebrates the resurrection of Christ.
In his Easter message, Tagle said peace is a gift from the risen Christ to his frail, weak and sinful disciples.
“It is also an opportunity to offer mercy and reconciliation to those who have been unfaithful. It expresses the hope that the sinner may become whole again,” he said.
“We call on Jesus to breathe the Holy Spirit on the Filipino people so that we may experience a fresh start in our quest for peace, especially in the Bangsamoro autonomous region, in communities ravaged by earthquakes, typhoons and armed conflicts, in our fight against corruption, unscrupulousness, human trafficking, new forms of slavery, abuse of children and women, dehumanizing destitution and the wastage of creation, to name a few,” he added.
The Manila archbishop said the people should be ready to take on a mission, just like Jesus who was sent by the Father to save the people from sins.
Meanwhile, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas has reiterated the Church’s position on the controversial Reproductive Health (RH) Law.
Villegas said the passage of the RH Law prompted the Church to lay down its teachings about the Christian understanding of health.
“While we respect and recognize the duty and right of the State to pass laws, it is our duty as pastors to teach the people about the Christian understanding of health, which the RH Law seems to misunderstand,” the CBCP president said in his Easter Message titled “Easter Pastoral Instruction on Stewardship of Health.”
He urged the people to renew their faith in God.
“As we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, let us renew our faith in the resurrection of the body. This body, as we have it, is a gift from God. This body will be resurrected and will be changed. Taking care of the body is not always an exercise of vanity. Taking care of the body is a spiritual duty as good stewards of health,” Villegas said.
He said human bodies are not only “material vessels for souls but are integral and essential aspects of who we are as persons created in the image and likeness of God.”
“A person with good health will have more time and energy to participate in the life of the Spirit and in the saving mission of Christ,” he added.
Villegas said human life should be protected from the time of conception.
Catholics should live by the four virtues, namely prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude, he said.
Villegas, meanwhile, told priests in his archdiocese that priesthood is a spiritual gift from God during the Chrism Mass held Thursday at the St. John Cathedral in Dagupan City.
He, along with retired Bishop Jesus Cabrera, blessed the oil placed in golden urns carried at the altar by deacons and seminarians that would be used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, ordination and the anointing of the sick. – With Eva Visperas