MANILA, Jan. 16, 2017 – Coinciding with the second anniversary of Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines, the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM) 4 opened with a message to the faithful to be “disciples of mercy.”
“…(W)e are the disciples who Jesus wants to be with His mercy…We are the disciples of Mercy,” said Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle who gave the homily during the opening Mass of the international event earlier today at the Manila Cathedral.
“Let us continue to show the face of the world through mercy. Like Mary, let us be attentive to those in need. We are made whole because God is merciful,” said the prelate.
Not about us
Speaking to thousands of official delegates of the worldwide congress on mercy, he likewise encouraged the faithful to live mercy with humility.
“When we do our acts of mercy. It is not about us, it is not your work, it is the work of Jesus. So that no one may boast,” said Tagle.
According to him, an individual’s belief in God’s personal signs of mercy to him is crucial to his own witnessing of mercy.
“Please reflect on how God has been merciful to us, how God has revealed the faces of mercy… So those who have been victimized, abandoned.. would know that they have a family. A family born at the hour of Jesus, at the foot of His cross, the mercy of Jesus,” said Tagle.
“The Spirit who enables us to understand the work of the blessings that we’ve received shows God, with Jesus is rich in mercy.”
According to Tagle, there is no crisis, issue or reality beyond God’s power.
Faith as a response
“Even in death, Jesus comes with the mercy of God…There is no human need or crisis or difficulty that Jesus cannot [touch]. Jesus is the face, the voice, the hands of the mercy of Father,” he stressed.
In the face of God’s far-reaching mercy, said Tagle, man’s response should be faith.
“The invitation to us is, ‘Would you put your faith in Him?’,” he asked.
“Let us not be afraid to lift up to Jesus the situations we hide. Invite Jesus, He will reveal to us the face of the merciful Father,” added Tagle.
Among the clergy and bishops present were Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto; CBCP president Archbiship Socrates Villegas; Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles; Balanga Bishop Ruperto Santos, WACOM-ASIA episcopal coordinator; Malolos Bishop Jose Oliveros, WACOM national episcopal coordinator; WACOM secretary general Fr. Patrice Chocholski; and Fr. Prospero Tenorio, WACOM-Asia secretary general.
The Philippines will be hosting WACOM4 from Jan. 16 to 20. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCPNews)