MANILA Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo reminded Christians that Ash Wednesday is a call for change, as he called on Filipinos to repent for their gravest sins.
“It seems okay for us that there are corrupt people. It seems that we are okay with series of killings around us,” Pabillo said.
“Ash Wednesday is a call for change, let us repent not only our sins but the greatest sin we have committed as a Filipino, we failed to protect our country and to watch over it,” he further said.
Priests and lay ministers placed ash on the foreheads of the faithful following special Masses for Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the 40-day Lenten season during which Catholics are encouraged to observe fasting, abstinence and charity.
Lent commemorates the 40-day prayer and fast of Christ in the desert prior to his death on the cross for the salvation of mankind.
Pabillo also reminded Filipinos that it was their responsibility to stand and speak up against what is wrong in society.
“We are a Christian nation. Why do extrajudicial killings exist? Why are human rights set aside? Nobody’s talking. Nobody’s opposing, and that’s why they continue doing what they’re doing,” he said.
The former president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, urged the faithful to reflect on love on Ash Wednesday, which coincided with Valentine’s Day.
“Let us move from cheap love to true love. Let us fill Lent with love. Let us fill Valentine’s Day with the Lenten spirit,” the prelate said in a statement.
“Let us relocate love from romanticism to heroism. Let us move our gaze from Cupid with his arrow to Jesus Christ on the cross. Let us move from cheap love to true love,” Villegas added.