MAKATI City, Oct. 20, 2016 – Stressing the communal nature of the Catholic faith, Daet Bishop Gilbert Garcera said everyone who goes to heaven brings someone else with them.
“Love is not for the self. No one goes to heaven alone. There is no such thing as going to heaven by myself. If you want to go to heaven alone, you go to hell. Because in hell is selfishness,” CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life chairman told some 64 members of the Couples for Christ (CFC) Elders’ Assembly in a workshop earlier today on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
“Because in heaven, it’s a community … the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit. So [when] you go to heaven, you go with your family,” stressed the prelate, who will be giving part II of the workshop tomorrow, Oct. 21, also at the Lay Force Center, San Carlos Seminary.
“I go to heaven with my diocese, with my parishioners. I won’t go to heaven just because I’m a bishop, I go to heaven with my priests.”
According to Garcera, who was one of the Philippines’ delegates to the Synod on the Family convened by Pope Francis in Rome, October 2015, this is “simply because the Trinity is a family.”
“Our God in His deepest mystery is not solitude but family, for he has within Himself fatherhood, sonship, and the essence of family, love.”
Quoting Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Garcera said, “God is not solitude but perfect communion.”
“If we are love each other, it’s because we were first loved by God… The standard is not because I love you today… When there’s money, I love you today, when there’s no more money, there’s no more love,” said Garcera in Filipino.
He added: “[It is] simply because we are part of God, and God is part of us.”
Released on April 8, 2016, Amoris Laetitia is Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation on love, marriage, and family. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCPNews)