MANILA—Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged Filipinos to "seize the power of love unleashed by the risen Christ" this Easter.
"Love is not just a word, it’s a lifestyle of seeing, encountering and understanding other people," Tagle said in his Easter message released Saturday.
"It is the lifestyle of Jesus, crucified and risen. It is the lifestyle of being with and living for others in the belief that light will always overcome darkness."
Tagle also urged the Filipino laity to be kind, as even the smallest "acts of care and love are crowned by the total self-giving of Christ crucified on the cross."
"We are called as Christians to encounter others and walk with them humbly, without judgment or pretensions of having the answer to all their problems," he said.
"It is through these encounters that our hearts are opened and presented with a new horizon and a renewed energy to move forward. It is through these encounters of love and caring that persons, families and communities are transformed from prisoners of despair into bearers of hope."
Tagle also shared a similar message, as he led the celebration of the Easter Vigil at Manila Cathedral.
This gathering of Catholics is a traditional service considered the first official celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“Love. No story is worth telling if it is not about love. God’s love prevailed. There is life and human beings were created in God’s likeness. God’s love is stronger than human misery. Pagibig — 'yan ang laging nagwawagi pagkat ang Diyos ay pagibig," he said.
The cardinal shared about the tale of Oliver Twist and how it impacted his childhood and related it to the youth of today.
“People nowadays ask, 'Where is that love?' This is the truth of the youth in the Philippines, many of them have surrendered,” he said.
Twist’s story is about misery and finding hope amid the challenges faced by a child, and Tagle said people often find themselves in similarly dark times and wonder where is that love that will save us.
“Could you give that love? Please give that love. Jesus is with you, bear that love," Tagle said.
“Even with your simple smiles, even a sign of respect and courtesy. Even just a wave of a hand could help someone who has not recognized love for ages.” — With reports from Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News