‘In Yolanda-hit areas, Jesus is the face of suffering’

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A woman pitches her tent amid the rubbles in the aftermath of Yolanda.

MANILA, March 4, 2014— Lenten activities in typhoon stricken province of Leyte will be focused in preparing the faithful spiritually, a Church official said. 

Palo Archbishop John Du said that “in the midst of all these crises”, now is the time for seeking the spiritual well-being of everyone within the Church. 

“We really have to prepare the people spiritually that they would be strengthened and nourished not only in terms of material assistance… there should also be spiritual component,” Du said. 

In Leyte and other devastated areas, like everywhere in the world, the archbishop said that Jesus Christ is the face of the suffering. 

“We would like to at least give meaning to the situation and that the Lord is going to be seen in this situation. The face of Jesus would be seen in the face of poverty,” he said. 

The Catholic and other Christian Churches will begin the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday. 

Lent is the period of repentance, fasting and reflection that prepares the faithful for celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. 

While Catholics are called to sacrifice their excessive lifestyle, Du said typhoon victims already have their share of sufferings. 

Nevertheless, he said they still have some work to do during the 40-day yearly religious occasion. 

“Suffering without offering is different… The sacrifice is already there. But (we need) to incorporate that into the kind of redemptive, to make it into an offering,” Du said. 

One good “offering”, according to him, would be for the salvation of the country, including the public officials. 

“We are making our suffering now as an offering for the purification of our country, our government officials, our church people, everyone,” he added. 

Du also said that the repair of about 70 parish churches in the archdiocese that were destroyed has been ongoing since early this year. 

He said that utmost priority is given to those churches whose roofs were blown away by the typhoon. 

“Our rough budget is almost P500 million if we are to restore everything… but we cannot do it yet. We will start with the roofs first then one by one, part by part,” said Du. (CBCPNews)

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