QUEZON City, April 10, 2016 — During his annual Easter recollection, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle explains how modern ills exist not just because of hurting individuals but because of a largely “wounded society.”
“Our world still has a lot of wounds. Wounds remain wounds, even the Risen Lord does not eliminate wounds … Wounds are everywhere,” said the prelate during Jesuit Communication’s “Rise Up in Mercy” Easter recollection on April 10 at the Araneta Coliseum.
According to the prelate, there is a need for the faithful to “see and touch” the wounds of society to truly live mercy and compassion.
Wounds of society
“It is seeing and touching others’ wounds that we see and touch our wounds,” explained Tagle, who said identification with those in need is what ignites true mercy for others.
He enumerated the following issue as “wounds of society” that need to be seen for what they are:
- Infidelity in the family
- Lack of nutritious food
- A sense of cultural superiority
- Misuse of social media
- Abuse and neglect in the Church
Failed relationships in the family inflict wounds, stressed the president of Caritas Internationalis, saying these “wounds can be passed on to the children, the grandchildren.”
Tagle said a lack of nutritious food inflicts wounds on children not only physical wounds but also developmental ones, producing learning difficulties in the future.
“There are so many kids who go to school without eating breakfast,” he said, noting now this results in low academic performance, which then leads to dropping out of school, yet another wound.
Tagle also noted how indigenous cultures are wounded by cultures “pretending to be superior to them” as in the case of lumads and other cultural minorities around the world.
“‘Our culture is being killed because we, they say, are inferior … The feeling is one of worthlessness’,” the prelate said, describing indigenous peoples’ sentiments.
The call to mercy
The prelate also explained how individualism causes wounds because sometimes, it gives undue focus on “personal rights instead of caring.”
Tagle also critcized ethnocentrism and nationalistic xenophobia, which is prevalent in areas which are seeing an influx of refugees.
Despite obvious benefits, he also said the misuse of social media and technology is most evidently wounding when it is used for money laundering and the exploitation of women and children through cyber sex.
Lastly, Tagle observed abuse and neglect in the Church have also caused much hurt.
According to him, redemption can only happen when the faithful consciously desire to immerse themselves in the wounds of society.
“The Risen Lord is telling us, ‘Look at my wounds and touch them.’ That’s how we will rise and that’s how we show mercy. [It is] rising up through a merciful seeing and touching, seeing and touching the wounds of the Risen Lord present in the wounds of our brothers and sisters.” (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCP News)