TACLOBAN City, June 30, 2015 -– “All the work that we have [is] sacred, and it is our way of giving service to God and giving service to our people, if we do justice and love in our daily work.”
These are the words of Fr. Gwen Lovelino Padagdag, media coordinator of the Sto. Niño Parish in Tacloban City, to explain the theme of the 126th feast of Sr. Santo Niño de Tacloban today, June 30 “Look at Jesus: Do justice and kindness” (Mic. 6:8).
“…We would like to encourage the people to do justice and kindness in their ordinary work,” he said.
According to the priest, God wants people to offer up their ordinary lives of taking care of their families to Him, saying this is “not beyond our capacity”.
Padagdag said work done well could be the “greatest offering to God.”
The priest also downplayed the importance of materials things, saying: “In the end what we offer to God are not the material things that we have. We offer to God our life and part of these offerings are the work that we have.”
“We would like to thank God for the graces that he has given us. We would like to thank God that in spite of the difficulties and trials that we have encountered, we still [feel] His great love and mercy for us,” Padagdag said.
Strength in prayer
He attributed the people’s resilience to their being prayerful. “The visit also of Pope Francis in January this year did help, you could see the faith of the people, the faith that helped them stand up and move from that very difficult situation,” he remarked.
“The Filipino people are people of faith, (after the storm) they still went to churches to pray even if the churches were destroyed, to ask for strength,” the priest added.
Each of the novena Masses featured sub-themes focusing on man’s responsibility to God, his neighbors, and nature, such as “Responding to Jesus’ Call: Protect the integrity of every creature”; “Introducing to children their mission for the poor and needy and to follow Christ”; “To become protectors of the poor, the weak and the people in need”; and “Looking into Jesus by being good stewards of treasure.”
Priests invited to celebrate the novena Masses include Vicar-General Msgr. Rex Ramirez, Archdiocesan Chancellor Ric Marpa, Matrimonial Tribunal magistrate Fr. Filomeno Borgueta, Sacred Heart Seminary Rector Lito Maraya, and former SNP pastor Alex Opiniano. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCPNews)