MANILA, September 9, 2014—The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Social Communications and Mass Media (CBCP-ECSC) reminds the faithful to focus on the message the Pope will be bringing on his upcoming apostolic visit to the Philippines.
According to Fr. Lito Jopson, CBCP-ECSC executive secretary, more than just getting to know the Holy Father better, Filipinos should take the rare opportunity to learn and internalize God’s promise of mercy and compassion which the papal visit is set to occasion.
“We are all excited for the coming of the Pope, and CBCP is doing its best to prepare us for it. Let us keep in mind that the Holy Father’s visit has less to do with his personality, but with the message of mercy and compassion,” he said in an interview over Church-run Radyo Veritas.
In order to make the event more meaningful, Jopson believes Church groups should come out with various formation programs for the laity, which will acquaint them on the significance of practicing mercy and compassion in their everyday life.
Meanwhile, in an episode of his television program “The Word Exposed”, Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle described the Holy Father’s motto “Miserando atque Eligendo”, which roughly translates to “having mercy on him and choosing him” as being worthy of note.
He explained the motto captures the profound humility of “our Pope who believes that his being chosen is an act of God’s mercy”.
“The message of his first apostolic exhortation, ‘Evangelii Gaudium’, ‘The Joy of the Gospel’, on evangelization reminds us that in encountering Jesus in the Gospel, we are filled with joy and love, enabling us to reach out to our brothers and sisters,” Tagle said
According to Tagle, Pope Francis’ book The Church of Mercy urges us to joyfully go out and sow God’s mercy, where there is suffering, division, and injustice,” he added.
Tagle stressed the CBCP’s call to revive the Works of Mercy by making an act of mercy everyday in order “to make mercy our national identity.”
“We are encouraged to revive our Christian values like being polite and considerate, to frequent the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, to visit and adore the Eucharistic Lord at the Adoration Chapel, and to restore personal and family prayer,” Tagle shared.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the country on January 1 5-19, 2015, roughly four months away. (Raymond A. Sebastián)