MANILA - At a time when hate and fake news abound, be the bearer of good news.
This was Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle's message at the Chrism Mass at the Manila Cathedral on Thursday, as he appealed on everyone to learn how to treat each other as "beloved" or someone "dearly loved," especially the youth.
Speaking of challenges that the youth face these days, Tagle spoke of how "young people never hear good news... they only hear criticism."
“Hindi makatapos ng paga-aral, kulang sa pera. 'Yung nakatapos, wala namang mahanap na trabaho. Yung iba, binu-bully (They cannot finish school because they don't have money. Others who finished could not find work. Others are bullied)... so many young people never hear good news. They only hear criticisms. They only hear their incapacity to meet the expectations. Expectations which are not realistic,” Tagle said, pointing out pressure from parents and peers.
“Ang dami-dami na tagapagdala ng bad news, fake news, hate speech (There are so many bearers of bad news, fake news, hate speech).
"We today, all the consecrated, all the baptized bearing the Holy Spirit, we’ll say 'I will not deliver fake news, hate speech. I am consecrated by the holy spirit. I will bring good news to the poor and the suffering',” he said in his homily.
He spoke of how parents at times imposed expectations that were too high on their children, prompting the young to think they are not loved.
Tagle spoke of God's love, saying this defined the word "beloved."
“God loves us very much. I discovered that that’s the meaning of the word ‘beloved’. Beloved means 'I love you very much.' If not very much, you just say, love you, love you. But very much you say, 'beloved,'” Tagle told those in attendance at the early morning Mass.
Mother of four Riva Garvida, among those who attended the Mass, echoed Tagle's message, saying the young at times lose their way for lack of direction at home.
She made sure this would not happen to her children by encouraging them to be active church volunteers like herself, she shared.
The Chrism Mass is celebrated every Maundy Thursday to mark the “baptismal consecration” of Catholics and the “ministerial priesthood” of priests to spread God’s teachings and thank all His blessings.
During the occasion, three oils to be used during sacraments are blessed.
In his homily, Tagle also pointed out challenges that people face amid the rise of materialism in the world.
He said many people today, especially the youth, are so addicted to their mobile phones that some cannot help but check their gadgets even during Mass. In contrast, some could be dismissive of God's call many times.
“Yang cellphone parang guard. Para kang binabantayan lagi. 'Pag tumunog 'yan, para tayong ano lagi, ‘yes Lord, speak Lord.’ Pero kapag ang Diyos ang nagsasalita kung minsan hindi nakikinig. Pero 'pag ang cellphone, hindi mapakali,” he says.
(The cellphone is like a guard. It's like it's guarding you all the time. When it rings, we're like 'yes Lord, speak Lord.' But when it's God who's talking to us, sometimes we don't listen. But when it's the cellphone, we can't help it.)
During the Mass, he also asked everyone to pray for priests whose vocation is being renewed today. More than a hundred priests under the Archdiocese of Manila were present at the Mass.
Those who celebrated the Mass with Tagle were retired Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales and Apostolic Nuncio Gabriele Caccia.
-- reports from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News