QUEZON City, May 1, 2014—Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle delivered a touching sermon Sunday in which he reminded the faithful of God’s mercy and how—thanks to it—lives are transformed and souls saved.
“We see how we are saved by the extravagant, the lavish love of God without that all of us deserve only punishment and death…Thanks to God’s mercy,” Tagle said, noting that it was “Divine Mercy Sunday”, the first Sunday after Easter.
God always wins
The resurrection of Jesus on Easter, he explained, is the triumph of God’s compassion over the sin of the world and the “victory of mercy.”
“We are saved. We are restored to sanctity even when we are sinful and broken—thanks to the mercy of God… The resurrection of Jesus is the victory of God’s love over the atrocities of the world,” Tagle added.
Tagle made this statement at the Big Dome during a mass he celebrated there for newly-declared saints Popes John XXIII and John Paul II whose canonization thousands Filipinos witnessed via live streaming.
But the significance of the two pontiffs’ day of “raising to the honor of the altar” taking place on Divine Mercy Sunday was not lost on the cardinal.
According to Tagle, the lives of both of the new saints show the faithful the “extravagant” mercy of God.
From sinner to saint
“Divine mercy works wonders. It can transform weak human beings, sinful human beings into disciples, friends, and saints of Jesus Christ,” he observed.
Expounding on the Gospel story of the Risen Lord offering peace to his disciples even after they had abandoned Him, Tagle showed that God’s love is the kind that “you do not deserve”.
“The Risen Lord took the initiative of going to the disciples. Mind you. Jesus was the one offended. He was the one abandoned. But as soon as He rose from the dead, He took it upon Himself to approach the disciples… And what did He say to them? Peace be with you,” he said.
The cardinal pointed out, “The mercy of Jesus saved a Peter. It saved the disciples. The mercy of Jesus saved all of us. He offers peace, holiness. We can start again.”
The power to change
He dared those present, “You have sinned, but I hope in you. I know there is some good in you… You can change… And with that mercy of God, sinners like Peter became proclaimers of the Good News!”
Tagle invited the assembled faithful to look into their lives and see “how weak, sinful, and broken they are”, but in spite of which “each day spawns a miracle of new life and becomes an opportunity for doing something good”.
“God’s mercy gives us hope and the opportunity to live again,” he said. (Raymond A. Sebastián)