MANILA, Dec. 30, 2013—In helping survivors get back on their feet, it is important to be reminded that we are just partners with God in the work of rebuilding and reconstruction, a high-ranking Church official said.
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle noted during a recent gathering of religious women that everyone is zealous and eager to help survivors, and many things are being proposed for them, but he said it is good to be reminded that “ultimately it is the Lord our justice who will truly build the house.”
He stressed that we are just cooperators with God and eventually it is he who does the building, even quoting Scripture: “If God does not build the house, in vain do the builders labor.”
“So it is not really our project, but God. We care for people, we care for community that they get back on their feet. How much more is God! We cannot outdo God in his desire to rebuild his people. So let God do God’s work. It would certainly be according to the plan of Divine Justice,” Tagle said.
Several representatives from various communities of Religious Women and members of Societies of Apostolic Life in the Archdiocese of Manila attended the annual Eucharistic celebration at the Arzobispado Chapel on December 18 which Cardinal Tagle presided.
The Mass is a yearly activity that provides the chance for the Sisters working in the archdiocese to interact with the Cardinal and fellow religious.
Delivering his homily on the day’s readings, the Cardinal reflected on the justice and righteousness of God, noting that “the fruit of the coming of the Lord our justice is not just wise or good governance, but restoration.”
“I think this is an apt and timely message for us, as people here in the Philippines talk about reconstructing, recovery, rehabilitation, especially among the communities hard hit by the earth quake, the typhoon, even the problem in Zamboanga,” he said.
He talked of hope and the need to discern and “to cooperate with God’s wisdom and justice to be suitable partners in the reconstruction, but let God, the Lord our justice to do.”
Tagle said Jesus who is Emmanuel, God is with us, is also called the Lord our justice, which is a beautiful name “for a people, not just the people of that time but for us humanity that continues to journey in life and in history under the shadow of injustice, of discrimination, of prejudice, of bias.”
Joseph, a model of justice
Tagle also reflected on St. Joseph, a just and righteous man chosen by God to become the earthly father of Jesus.
He noted the deep respect and trust St. Joseph has accorded Mary despite knowing that she was with child, and when he received some explanations through a dream, he did not question God on the role that he was to play in the unfolding drama.
“It is a sense of justice which is also very spiritual. It is a justice that is sensitive to human dignity and to God’s action, God’s mysterious action,” Tagle said.
“Very often,” the cardinal said, “our transgressions come with a lack of listening, a lack of appreciation for the mystery of the person and a lack of appreciation also for the mysterious ways by which God works in the lives of people.”
“I think part of justice is deep respect for God and God’s mysterious work in the life of a human being. So like Joseph we have participated in the unfolding of God’s saving plan,” Tagle said.
God is “our justice who will reconstruct the nation and Joseph [is] a just person invited by God to participate in his story of rebuilding humanity and creation in Jesus,” he added. (CBCPNews)