MANILA, June 6, 2013— As Catholics all over the world united in prayer during the Holy Hour on the Feast of Corpus Christi, a church prelate called on the Filipino faithful to be reminded of the Divine covenant and to regard their physical bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit.
In a simultaneous Eucharistic adoration with Pope Francis held at the Paco Church, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle chided the evil acts prevalent in the Philippine society that desecrate the sacredness of the body and blood of Christ.
“This is my body and this is my blood. Those are precious Words of love and covenant. But what is happening in our world today?” he said, questioning the immoral acts that hound the nation.
“This is my body—the body of women being given to be sold as wares, bodies that are used not for covenant, but for desecration. Children abused, kidnapped, and their bodies mangled so that their organs can be sold,” Tagle said.
“This is my body—you drive around Manila you find emaciated bodies, children, families, not able to eat but to forget their hunger, they sniff rugby. What has happened to bodies that are supposed to be vehicles of love and covenant? What has happened to blood, donated for a fee and not freely donated out of love,” he added.
The prelate also noted the prevalence of violence all over the world primarily due to wars and atrocities, criticizing it as an insult to the gift of body and blood temporarily given to mankind.
Yet, Tagle remained hopeful that despite the saddening realities faced by the contemporary world, there is still hope for these acts to be changed.
“We, a Eucharistic people, must tell the world: there is hope because God has not forgotten His covenant with us,” he said. “For as long as Jesus is present in the Eucharist, for as long as His Word is proclaimed and His body and blood given to us as the pledge of eternal glory, there is hope, there is recreation, there is rebirth for humanity.”
‘Faith must be understood’
With the celebration of the year of faith this liturgical year, Tagle urged the lay people to deepen their faith to have a clear grasp of the Christian mission and to successfully hurdle challenges along their way.
“We have heard a lot about the faith, to believe, the demands of mission, the demands of an ethical and social involvement coming from the Eucharist,” he said.
He noted that the manifestation of faith among each Catholic makes the presence of the Church all the more present and alive.
“Faith celebrated in prayer, in processions, in gatherings—they warm the heart. They tell us that the Church is alive because Jesus is alive,” Tagle added.
The Lord’s offering of His body and blood signifies the sacrifice He is willing to give to His people, Tagle said, further noting that people are also called to sacrifice and do good just like how Christ did.
“We are the people of the new covenant. We are asked to spread His Word. We are asked to be His body, living His love and commitment especially to those people who live in the darkness of betrayals and in their calvaries,” the cardinal said, urging people to be true to the Divine covenant and to live by the example of Christ.
“In union with the whole Church, we behold the Body of Christ, the Blood of Christ, the offer of a new covenant, a new humanity. Let us be what we celebrate. Let us be what we receive. Let us be what we contemplate. Let us be the body of Christ, the body of the covenant of Christ, for a world that is weary, for a world walking in darkness,” Tagle added. (Jennifer M. Orillaza)