MANILA, Nov. 14, 2016— As the Year of Mercy draws to a close, a top Filipino churchman encouraged all believers to continue doing acts of mercy, no matter what year it is.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila said the most basic way to be merciful is to practise the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
“Let us continue our pilgrimage of mercy and compassion by encountering the hungry, thirsty, homeless, sick, imprisoned, dying, confused, lost, lonely, and desperate,” said the prelate.
The cardinal’s message, who is currently in Rome, was read after a liturgical celebration to officially close the Jubilee Year of Mercy at the Manila Cathedral on Saturday, Nov. 12.
With the Jubilee Year of Mercy officially ending on Nov. 20, Holy Doors around the world that have been opened since Dec. 8, 2015 closed.
Over 20 million people participated in the year-long celebration at the Vatican and a billion people may have participated in churches across the world.
In Manila, former Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales presided over a Mass, along with Papal nuncio Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto and visiting Syrian Bishop Antoine Chbeir and Auxiliary Bishop of Blantyre Montfort Stima of Malawi.
Over the past year, thousands of people have also made pilgrimages to designated churches nationwide and walked through the Holy Doors.
Tagle said the ritual of closing the holy door does not close the heart of God, which remains open “for us as haven of mercy, consolation, and new life.”
“So we should not be afraid to approach God who is caring and tender. Let us also keep our hearts open to the poor, to those we have offended and to those who have hurt us,” he said.
“Through justice watered by mercy, the wounds of persons, families, communities, nations and the whole of creation would be healed,” added the cardinal. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews)