QUEZON City, April 19, 2016 — Mercy seems to be the Church’s newest buzz word but according to a prelate it means more than just giving a few coins and “being good”, it means being ready to be hurt and misunderstood by others.
“If we want to be merciful to others they way Jesus was merciful, we should be ready to be wounded. When you want to show mercy and compassion to others, especially to those being belittled by society, you should be ready to be wounded,” said Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle during his annual Easter recollection on April 12 at the Smart – Araneta Coliseum.
The head of Caritas International said people who desire and go out of their way to show compassion and help others will eventually be judged and misunderstood.
The cardinal shared how after visiting the lumads protesting against land-grabbing and harassment they have been experiencing for years, in Manila, he was branded a Communist.
“‘Communista ka ba? Bakit ka bumibisita sa ganyan?‘ (Are you a Communist? Why do you visit the likes of them?)” read a text Tagle received from someone.
“Hindi na ko sumasagot sa ganon…Hayaan mo na. Pero nasasaktan ka. Hindi naman nila alam kung anong pinagusapan namin (I don’t reply to stuff like that… Just let it be. But you get hurt. They don’t even know what we talked about),” added the cardinal.
This kind of experience spares no one, explained Tagle, saying the best example for this would be Jesus himself.
“When you show compassion be prepared you will be wounded. The wounds of Christ are a reminder to everyone there is a type of wound that comes to you when you are compassionate.”
The wounds that offer hope
He said Jesus himself “became perfect as a compassionate brother because of what he suffered.”
According to Tagle, the “great source of [Jesus’] suffering was his woundedness. But contrary to hopelessness, bearing wounds because of compassion offers hope, said the prelate. “The wounded, crucified, and risen Jesus offers healing, forgiveness , reconciliation,” said Tagle.
This year, the Jesuit Communications-organized recollection gathered thousands of attendees from the Light of Jesus community, Couples for Christ, seminarians, catechists, Mother Butlers, and members of the religious. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz / CBCPNews)