MANILA, April 7, 2014 – Live life to the fullest. This is what Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle encouraged Filipino-Chinese youth to do, letting go of sins and addictions.
“What are the tombs of your lives? Where are you buried? Some are buried in their gadgets, in their cell phones. Some are buried in vices, some are buried in gambling,” Cardinal Tagle said April 6 at the closing mass of the Filipino Chinese Catholic Youth (FCCY) National Convention at the St. Jude Thaddeus Shrine in Manila.
No God, no life
Speaking to some 500 FCCY leaders, Tagle explained, this sense of being only half-alive, buried in personal sins and addictions is the “story of each one of us.”
But he said the secret to living life to the fullest is accessible, because the secret is God Himself.
“It is not eating that keeps you alive. It is not dating that keeps us alive. We are alive if we are in God,” Tagle added.
“The God who was revealed by Jesus Christ is really the God of life. To belong to God means to live. That is the full meaning of living,” he said.
Explaining the nature of sin and death, Tagle said, every person dies because everyone sins.
Death = sin
“We sin, we die because of sin. We suffer the consequences of our sin like the Israelites, but God through Ezekiel promised, ‘I will lead you out’,” he said.
According to him, the good news is that despite personal failings and sin, “God will make sure that we are led back to life.”
Drawing from the Gospel reading on the raising of Lazarus from the dead, Tagle encouraged the young people to be fearless in approaching Jesus, who is the source of life.
“Like Martha we are ashamed, embarrassed.. [We think], ‘Oh no, mabaho eh. (It stinks.) I don’t want You to smell my stench,’” he said.
But, according to Tagle, Jesus “has no problem with our stench, He wants to visit us so that we can be led back to our lives.”
In closing, he encouraged the participants to invite Jesus to their “tombs” and to leave them soon as possible, while they are still young.
“Let yourself live. Do not be afraid, when you are still young, get out of the tomb. When you are used to that, it might become your home. While you are young, get out because you belong to the light,” Tagle said. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz with reports from Sky Ortigas)