MANILA, Dec. 13, 2016— Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila said God does not give up on sinners and “neither should we”.
As death toll of the “war on drugs” nears 6,000 and amid the government’s plan to revive the death penalty, he stressed that good Christians work with those who have issues and try to restore them in good faith.
In an Advent recollection on Sunday, the Manila archbishop strongly deplored killings as “an act of hopelessness and despair.”
“A people that has hope will never kill,” said the prelate.
According to him, hope means that despite life’s challenges and human imperfection, there is new life. “But when you kill the person, how will you see new life?” he asked.
“Every life has hope. Every life has an opportunity to be transformed, if only we believe, if only we believe. Because the center of faith is not in the accomplishment of things. The center of faith is Jesus.”
“May we not give up, especially on human lives and may we not give up on every single sinner. There is hope for transformation,” said Tagle.
The cardinal added that hoping “is not the certainty of human sight” but something that is “nurtured by faith”.
Reflecting on the life of St. John the Baptist, he explained that even those who have been drawn into vices, especially the youth, are not beyond the hope of God’s grace and of Divine Mercy.
“And even if we do not see now the fruits of our hope, we will continue hoping,” Tagle added. “And we should not declare that they’re beyond hope.”
“God can do wonders. Keep on hoping. And this is hard. Difficult. But it can happen.”
“Keep on hoping and believing that it is God who will accomplish it. Hope for the poor. Hope for the sinners. Do not give up on them. Do not give up on their lives,” he also said. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)