MANILA, Aug. 13, 2015—Manila Archbishop Luís Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle has expressed disappointment that many Christian Filipinos fail to draw inspiration from the Good News that they miss the “Good” in it.
“We always pray that we become members of His kingdom … That’s the Good News, and we must abide by it. But we are also called upon to share this Good News with renewed vitality despite the temptations of this world. While many of us admit to reading the Gospel, few glow with the joy that can be found in it,” observed the prelate in his homily for the 11th anniversary of Pondo ng Pinoy celebrated on Aug. 8 at the Paco Catholic School Auditorium, Manila.
According to him, it is unfortunate that many parishioners often grab the opportunity to nap when the Gospel is being proclaimed at Mass.
“It seems to me that the Good News drains them of their strength that they can’t help but sleep,” Tagle lamented.
Different good news
The cardinal bemoaned further that Christians tend to have an increasingly secular understanding of the Good News, stripped of its spiritual significance.
“Look how many of the faithful are more excited by an announcement of a 50 percent sale, or when they hear this concert king or queen is coming over two years from now. They make an effort to save, going so far as to borrow money. They don’t mind either if they have to stand hours in line,” he said.
“When it is rumors or intrigues we cannot wait to tell others about it. But when it comes to the Word of God, we do not exude the same energy. We become tongue-tied,” he added, reminding Catholics this is not the time to be complacent.
Tagle explained Pondo ng Pinoy is part of a larger movement called “New Evangelization.”
Joy of the Gospel, Christ
Quoting St. John Paul the Great, he pointed out this noble enterprise is only possible if every believer tries to rediscover the “Joy of the Gospel,” using New Expressions and New Methods at his disposal to impart it to others, especially the “unchurched.”
In “Evangelii Gaudium” (Joy of the Gospel), his 2013 apostolic exhortation on the “Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World,” Pope Francis counsels evangelizers against looking like “someone who has just come back from a funeral!”
He stresses, “Let us recover and deepen our enthusiasm, that ‘delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing, even when it is in tears that we must sow… And may the world of our time, which is searching, sometimes with anguish, sometimes with hope, be enabled to receive the good news not from evangelizers who are dejected, discouraged, impatient or anxious, but from ministers of the Gospel whose lives glow with fervor, who have first received the joy of Christ’.” (EG 10) (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)