MANILA, March 2, 2015—Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Wednesday called on the Filipino people to heed the call towards continuous change and conversion in the country through sowing peace and solidarity among the faithful.
Commemorating the 29th anniversary of the first People Power Revolution (EDSA I) in the country, Tagle described the 1986 uprising as an offer of God’s “grace and salvation” to Filipinos.
“EDSA I could be such an experience to be interpreted as an offer of God. Instead of allowing the Filipino people to get destroyed or to destroy each other, God offers salvation—the grace,” Tagle said in his homily during the EDSA Shrine Mass held last Wednesday.
“This is what we call the grace or the offer of salvation rather than damnation and condemnation. I think we have always faced this grace of an offer of new life, an offer of salvation in our personal lives and in our corporate lives,” he added.
But alongside this offer of salvation is a great responsibility that must be fulfilled so the gift will not be put to waste, the cardinal noted.
“With grace comes tremendous responsibility and tasks… Let us rejoice at the gift, the grace that God gives us. But let us also awaken ourselves the sense of responsibility: what will we do to every grace or blessing that we get?” Tagle said.
Path to peace
The prelate urged Filipinos to foster peace and solidarity among themselves by working towards the eradication of a mentality that promotes disputes among people, and regarding others as one’s own brothers and sisters.
“The path to peace is finding a neighbor, a brother, a sister. When I don’t see anyone anymore as an enemy, I don’t have to fight. I don’t have to wage any fight. Why will you fight a brother or a sister?” Tagle said.
He challenged the faithful to learn how to perceive someone as a friend, and not as an enemy against whom they will wage war with.
“During the first glorious EDSA, the Filipino showed the world our deep capacity to see a brother, a sister, a neighbor in anyone,” Tagle said.
“Probably, we started standing on different sides of the divide, thinking that on the other side was an enemy. The part of the grace of EDSA I was the capacity to transcend that and we saw only a brother, sister, Filipino,” he added.
Listen to God’s word
Tagle noted the importance of being humble and listening to God’s word as means to heed the call towards change and conversion.
“We need to listen to God’s word. We need to be humble. We need to realize our need for God’s saving word and when that is put into action and salvation, erupts, literally erupts before our very eyes,” he said.
“We embrace the grace again and let us together embrace the responsibility. Let us all look at each other as brothers and sisters. We are friends. We are all Filipinos. And Filipinos have a mission to the whole world,” he added.
EDSA I refers to the momentous series of events in the country from Feb. 22 to 25, 1986 which toppled the dictatorship of then president Ferdinand Marcos. It represented civil resistance against regime violence and electoral fraud during the Marcos rule. (Jennifer M. Orillaza/CBCP News)