BORONGAN, Samar, Nov. 11, 2014 — Hope. Courage. According to the Bishop of Borongan, these two virtues mean a lot to typhoonYolanda survivors, especially in light of the first anniversary of the natural calamity on Nov. 8.
“Let us grow in being resilient Christians by growing in our courage to hope,” said Borongan Bishop Crispin B. Varquez during a celebration of the Holy Eucharist he presided over together with the priests of the diocese on Nov. 8 at the Town Plaza of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
He described the faithful present as “rising up with faith, smiling; [people who] have overcome.”
This was met with the crowd’s applause.
In his homily, Varquez said that “although we are not remembering a happy memory, we are celebrating this holy sacrifice in a spirit of thanksgiving because we are the witnesses of God’s mysterious ways, of His unfathomable wisdom and goodness.”
“We have come to realize the importance of our faith. Without faith, we would not be able to see through the darkness of the situation,” he added.
Attended by hundreds of people from all over Eastern Samar, the bishop reminded everyone to be thankful amidst the difficulties and problems brought by the typhoon.
“Let us be thankful that in the midst of terrible experiences because of the devastating typhoon, we are still here — slowly rising up,” Varquez said in Filipino.
The Bishop also thanked everyone who helped, are currently helping and those whose help are still coming. “Many thanks to all of you,” he said in the vernacular.
He also emphasized that through the assistance and support from different people, “we have become convinced that God loves us.”
Varquez admonished everyone to “help each other and work together so that everybody will rise and be saved.” In the midst of the supertyphoon, “we have seen the importance of helping one another,” the bishop said.
In the end, Bishop Varquez told everyone that “Resiliency is the key.”
He said that it is important to become “resilient individuals and families…build resilient communities…raise resilient livelihood.”
“Let us ask for the grace to firmly believe that God will never abandon us,” Varquez encouraged everyone. (Roel Joe E. Abonal)