MANILA, Nov. 16, 2016 — To truly follow Jesus, praying and reading Scripture are not enough, said the head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
Archbishop Socrates Villegas said prayer without concrete action to help others, especially the needy, is useless.
In his homily during a Mass to launch the Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) Philippines at the Manila Cathedral Tuesday, Nov. 15, he said the faithful are called to demonstrate kindness not just in thought but in deeds.
“Playing blind to the poor is playing blind to Christ,” said Villegas, who also heads ACN Philippines.
“You want to go to heaven? Help. You want to go to heaven? Reach out. You want to go to heaven? Care,” he said.
Prayer, according to him, is very important but the practice [of prayer] “will not bring people to heaven” if they play blind to those who need compassion.
“The pathway to heaven is prayer with love. The pathway to heaven is prayer with generosity,” said Archbishop Villegas.
The archbishop also said the poor are not burdens to be avoided but “blessings to look for.”
“If we cannot find the poor we must look for them because they are our doors to life everlasting,” he added. (CBCPNews)