MANILA, Jan. 18, 2017 – Afraid of running out? God’s mercy never does.
This was the message of Lingayen – Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas during his homily for the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM) 4′s day 2 Mass on Jan. 17 at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
A sure symptom of “self-mercy”, as the prelate called it, is when a person fears scarcity, nothingness, or being nothing.
“When we think we are the most deserving of all mercy and we are afraid that mercy will run out when we start to give it,” said the CBCP president who spoke to around 5,000 delegates who came from all over the world for the international event on mercy.
Villegas stressed: “We are afraid to empty ourselves. We are afraid to follow Jesus in his kenosis. In this generation that grabs, that accumulates, we are afraid to have nothing.”
Contrary to being a death sentence this embrace and acceptance of nothingness, he explained, is the key to true mercy.
“The great obstacle for the world becoming a merciful world is self-mercy…When was the mercy of God showed to its height and its depth? In the emptiness of the tomb…the mercy of God is proclaimed,” said the prelate.
“It is only when we have nothing can we truly allow the Gospel of mercy to shine through us… When we become so full of our attachments, our ambitions…mercy becomes impossible to live, impossible to share,” he said.
Papal legate to WACOM4 Archbishop of Lyon, France Philippe Cardinal Barbarin presided over the Eucharistic celebration, extending Pope Francis’ apostolic blessing to all those present. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCPNews)