MANILA Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on the faithful to be Christ-like and make a difference by embracing and helping the poor and the oppressed.
Tagle made the call in his homily during yesterday’s celebration of Palm Sunday, which marks the beginning of Holy Week.
He said the palm leaves “symbolize our acceptance of the son of God in his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.” However, he stressed that believers “should ask themselves if they were accepting the real Jesus Christ or the Jesus who is just in our imagination.”
“Ang pagtanggap sa tunay na Hesus ay pagtanggap sa kanyang presensiya sa mga dukha, sa mga dinuduraan ng lipunan, sa mga iniinsulto sa ating mundo, sa mga taong tahimik lamang kahit sila ay sinasampal pero sila’y may dangal dahil Diyos ang may batid ng katotohanan (Acceptance of the real Jesus is acceptance of his presence in the underprivileged, on those who are spit upon by society, on those being insulted, people who remain silent even as they are slapped but they have dignity because God knows the truth),” the prelate added.
Tagle pointed out that Christ’s sufferings were marked by repeated insults and physical abuse from people who behaved with pride and arrogance.
He noted that two of Jesus’ 12 disciples, Judas and Peter, betrayed him.
“Judas sold him. It was not a kiss, he spit on Jesus. Peter said he will die with Jesus but when asked if he is with Jesus? [He responded] I don’t know him! He (Jesus) was spit upon again,” Tagle added.
Despite being the son of God, Jesus chose to be a man and accepted all the verbal and physical abuse thrown at him to save the people from their sins
“People are weak, but Jesus still became one. He embraced the weaknesses and became man. Can we accept and follow the messenger of God like him? Who among you knows Jesus as the son of God?” Tagle said.
He stressed that a true servant of God should be humble, just and loving like Jesus.
Earlier, Tagle, in a circular, called on the faithful to join the Way of the Cross or the Penitential Walk of Life on Good Friday.
“Every step we take is a commitment to the value of life that Jesus offers to all, especially the poor and the neglected,” he said.