MANILA, March 8, 2016 – Filipinos have pointed out Pope Francis’ current intention for evangelization has taken on added meaning in light of the recent killing of Christians in Yemen which included four Missionaries of Charity (MC).
“The Universal Church can offer prayers for these unsung heroes, the missionaries who pursue their ministries in spite of the many hardships they meet. Like the early Christians, many of them risk their lives in martyrdom. They are never afraid to give witness to the faith,” said Nesty Limqueco in an interview.
While not everyone has what it takes to be martyrs, the religious educator from the Archdiocese of Manila (RCAM) stressed that all Catholics are called to become living witnesses of the faith through the lives they live in and with Christ.
“Our role and mission are to share the love of Jesus for the sake of solidarity and communion. Conversion today is secondary. What is needed more is a dialogue of life, culture, and faith. But we have to continue praying to the Holy Spirit despite our differences, so that one day we may all be one Church,” added Limqueco.
Bemoaning the anti-Christian forces at work in the Middle East, China, North Korea, and elsewhere, accountant JM Tuazon from Bulacan went on to remind suffering Catholics of the hope they can find in Jesus, Who Himself had a taste of persecution firsthand.
Carrying one’s cross
“What is the key to be strong to the faith we are holding to? It is hope. Hope gives us reason to move forward and the source of it is the Lord Himself. He showed it in His Resurrection,” he explained.
According to Tuazon, Christ knows all too well what it means to be discriminated against and to suffer.
“We, Christians, just like our Master, are called to carry our crosses in life,” he explained.
The Holy Father’s intention for Evangelization in March is dedicated to persecuted Christians, and reads: “That those Christians who, on account of their faith, are discriminated against or are being persecuted, may remain strong and faithful to the Gospel, thanks to the incessant prayer of the Church.” (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)