PARAÑAQUE City, June 5, 2016 – A Catholic priest urged the faithful to ask themselves how quickly they respond to the needs of others, especially those who have fallen on hard times.
“Let us see how quick we are, how compassionate we are, towards those who are suffering. Have we done something to help them, or maybe their plight does not affect us a bit?” asked Fr. Jason Bill C. Valeza of his parishioners on Saturday, June 4, at St. Andrew’s Cathedral in La Huerta, Parañaque City.
Reflecting on Lk 7:11-17, he reminded the people gathered about the kind of compassion Jesus showed to the early Christians by bringing a dead person back to life as a way to console the latter’s widowed mother.
According to Valeza, while only God has the power to resuscitate the dead, those still living can do good just by being available to their neighbors.
“We should make others feel that they are not alone. We may not be able to bring a dead person back to life, but our presence is more than enough to lessen the pain of the bereaved even without saying a word,” he said.
“Jesus was moved. He felt the needs of people like they were His own,” he added.
Valeza pointed out that more than a heartfelt sympathy, compassion means the ability to see oneself in the shoes of others.
The priest went on to share that he found it funny that those who had passed away manage to make their presence felt, while the ones who are still alive hardly do the same.
“God does not take pleasure in the death of our loved ones … of anyone; for God is the God of life, not of death. He is God of the living, not of the dead,” he added.
Moreover, Valeza challenged the faithful to heed Pope Francis’ plea for human solidarity in his prayer intentions for June.
It reads: “That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find–even within the huge cities of the world–opportunities for encounter and solidarity.” (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)