Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on the Catholic faithful to “heed the Risen Lord” as the Christian world celebrates Easter.
“I call on all Christians, especially the lay faithful to heed the Risen Lord who sends us to bring His word, peace and hope to all strata of human life and society,” Tagle said in his Easter message.
He noted that Easter, which marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ, is a missionary event that has transformed “timid and fearful disciples into bold and determined missionaries.”
He added that Jesus has sent peace to “frail, weak, and sinful disciples.”
“Peace is an offer of mercy and reconciliation to those who have been unfaithful. It expresses the hope that the sinner may become whole again. It is a plea to start again,” he said.
Through real peace, people will be able to begin a new life, the bishop added.
“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 said.
“If peace and new life are elusive in our time, it is partly because we do not fulfill our mission. So at Easter we also pray, “Risen Jesus, send me as your co-worker,” Tagle said.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also called on Filipinos to renew their faith in Christ.
“Corruption is death. Integrity is new life. Dishonesty is hell. Integrity is heavenly.
Violence is self-defeating. Self-sacrifice is live-giving,” CBCP President and Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said.
Villegas noted that Easter reminds the faithful about love, which is stronger than death.
He said the body is sacred but the soul is immortal and eternal life is waiting to everyone after death.
“We are not destined for the grave. The plan of God for us is to have joy and peace forever,” he noted.
Vice President Jejomar Binay also called on Filipinos to “reflect on the theme of sacrifice that the Lord has espoused.”
“This day, for Christians, symbolizes hope and salvation borne of the Savior’s total sacrifice.Let us be men and women for others, as Christ teaches us. This, I believe, is a trait that is crucial if we are to succeed in building a nation that is not only progressive, but more importantly, bound by love and peace,” Binay said in his Easter message.