MANILA, Jan. 26, 2015—Nearly a week since Pope Francis’ departure from the country, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Thursday urged Filipinos to continuously reflect and act upon the Holy Father’s words by applying his teachings in their daily lives.
“The glow will fade slowly in the media…But if we continue to reflect on the words he left us, if we continue to etch in our memory his loving smile, his tender embrace for the children, the sick, the elderly, the destitute; if we continue to act on his words, the glow will ever remain in our hearts,” Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said in his post papal visit statement.
According to Villegas, the glow arising from the Holy Father’s visit gives Filipinos “the joy, the hope, the faith and the peace that comes from Jesus” whom the Pope “brought to (them) in those five glorious, grace-filled, joyful, jubilant, ecstatic days in January.”
The joy felt by Filipinos can be greatly seen with the jubilant welcome they gave the Holy Father during his five-day state and apostolic visit to the country, the prelate noted.
“We have seen the people in the streets; everywhere the Pope turned he saw multitudes of people, the children, the elderly, the families, young men and women, even the disabled,” Villegas said.
Reflection and action
“They happily cheered, clapped their hands, waved their handkerchiefs or bandanas, raised their children, and shrieked, and cried,” he added.
More than reflecting on the homilies shared by Pope Francis, Villegas said the faithful must learn to act upon his words and live by the virtues of mercy and compassion in their daily lives.
“The Holy Father spoke to us with his heart, in his beloved language. In the following days we will collate all these words in very readable form and send them out to all parishes, schools and communities, where, led by their pastors, the faithful can reflect on them as a community or with their families and friends,” he said.
“We will encourage that from their reflection they come up with ‘actions’. Pope Francis was very emphatic, he would often say, to priests at the Cathedral, and to the people in other events, ‘act!’ ‘Acts’ are important,” he said. (Jennifer M. Orillaza/CBCP News)