SHUN war and take the path to peace.
This was the exhortation of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle to Filipinos in his homily marking the 29th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution on Wednesday.
Tagle said peace will only be attained when “enemies look like brothers, sisters [and]friends.”
“The path to peace is finding a neighbor, a brother, a sister. When I don’t see anyone anymore as an enemy, I don’t have to fight. I don’t have to wage any fight,” he added.
The commemoration of the first EDSA revolt came exactly a month after the bloody Mamasapano operation, which left 44 police elite troops, 18 Muslim rebels and some civilians dead.
Tagle said the 1986 EDSA uprising showed the world the Filipino’s “deep capacity to see a brother, a sister, a neighbor in anyone.”
“Probably we started, standing on different sides of the divide, thinking that on the other side was an enemy. The part of the grace of EDSA 1 was the capacity to transcend that and we saw only a brother, sister, Filipino. What a grace, what a responsibility,” he noted.
“Ngumingiti tayo [We are smiling] but wow, . . . how do you move from looking at someone as an enemy against whom I will wage war to seeing a neighbor, a sister, a brother. There is no more need for war,” Tagle said.
Moreover, according to the archbishop, EDSA 1 is also an example of God’s offer of salvation instead of destruction.
“Instead of allowing the Filipino people to get destroyed or to destroy each other, God offers salvation—the grace. Hindi ang inyong kasiraan kundi ang inyong pagiging buo [Not your fragmentation but your wholeness],” he said.
While the prelate admitted that he was not in the Philippines during the 1986 People Power, he said he was in Washington, D.C.,where he joined his fellow Filipinos outside the White House as a sign of participation in the revolution.
“Kung nasaan ka man at mahal mo ang iyong bayan, nasa EDSA ka [Wherever you are and you love your country, you are already at EDSA],” Tagle pointed out.
Meanwhile, he urged Filipinos to listen to the Word of God and be humble in admitting sins.
“There is really something that we need to change . . . We need to listen to God’s word. We need to be humble. We need to realize our need for God’s saving word and when that is put into action and salvation, erupts, literally erupts before our very eyes,” Tagle said.
“We embrace the grace again and let us together embrace the responsibility. Let us all look at each other as brothers and sisters. We are friends. We are all Filipinos. And Filipinos have a mission to the whole world,” he added.