MANILA - Former Archbishop of Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle on Sunday urged Filipinos to share and not waste God's gifts and love in his first mass celebration since recovering from COVID-19 and coming home from Rome.
Tagle tested positive for the virus when he arrived in Manila last September 11. The cardinal, who has been staying at the Vatican as part of the Roman Curia or the pope's Cabinet since February this year, went back to the Philippines for a late summer break and to visit his elderly parents.
"Let us appreciate what we have. And if what we have is more than what we need, share with others," Tagle, the current prefect of the Holy Office's Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, said in his homily at the Manila Cathedral.
"My dear brothers and sisters, during this moment of crisis, this pandemic, when resources are scarce, when some people have even lost jobs, we are being asked to review our lifestyle, our priorities. Baka ang dami nating sinasayang (Maybe we are wasting too many things)."
Tagle urged Filipinos to be grateful and to open their eyes to God's love through other people.
"Yung mga may edad, may sakit, hindi sila pabigat; regalo ng Diyos. Mahalin, igalang, alagaan. Sana, we will never say again, 'What a waste', because we will all learn how to value God’s presence and love," he said.
(The elderly and the sick are not dead weight, they are gifts from God. Love, respect and take care of them.)
"Every act of love is a gift that must be appreciated, nurtured, valued and not to be wasted. Every brother or sister is a gift. Kahit na yung pinakamakulit na tao sa buhay ninyo, regalo pa rin yan ng Diyos. Wag sayangin. Wag itatapon."
(Even those who bother you most in your life, they are a gift from God. Don't waste them, don't throw them away.)
"Yung mga babae na matutuklasan na buntis sila, hindi problema yan. Hindi mo pinaglilihi ang problema. Ang pinaglilihi mo buhay, tao, regalo ng Diyos. Hindi 'yan dapat tinatapon, 'yan ay dapat inaalagaan," he added.
(Women who discover they are pregnant, it's not a problem. You are not growing a problem but a life, a gift from God. It should not be thrown away, it should be taken care of.)
The Philippines as of Saturday reported 319,330 cases of COVID-19, with 255,046 recoveries and 5,678 deaths.