Mercy and Compassion
POPE Francis will not set foot in Pangasinan but his presence in the country is enough to make all Christians feel special in the eyes of the Holy Father. But to deserve his blessings, we must take to heart the message that he brings with him – to imitate Christ in His Mercy and Compassion.
The Pope will be in the country principally to comfort the victims of the devastations wrought by turmoil and natural calamities that hit Southern Philippines.
And as our Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas said, “the most distinctive way to prepare spiritually for the coming of Pope Francis is for the country to become “a people rich in mercy.”
Looking inward, as a preparation for the papal visit, our communities are reminded of the need to make an act of mercy every day. Giving food to the hungry, helping build homes for the disaster victims, visiting prisoners or patients in the charity ward of hospitals, drug rehabilitation centers, homes for the elderly, and orphanages are just a few of the things that privileged families can do.
On a larger scale, the numerous acts of mercy described and suggested are in fact what actually comprise the mandate given our government and political leaders to perform. It would do well for our local leaders to be guided by the Holy Father’s call for mercy and compassion, to be more sensitive to the needs of their constituents, particularly to those who need government services for decent survival.
Let the needs of our people who have less in life be served first and last in the name of Christ’s mercy and compassion.
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THE world is in turmoil, exacerbated no less by terrorist attacks aimed, horrifically, at many innocent victims. The recent invasion on a Paris magazine office that killed 10 journalists and two cops was the latest of a spate of senseless assaults on humankind. It seems that any place now isn’t that safe anymore and, eerily, the Paris hit immediately sent shards of fear worldwide—the Philippines not being spared of such stigma and trauma especially in light of the papal visit here on Jan. 15-19.
Definitely, it deepened fears about a foolproof dragnet designed on Pope Francis, raising the ghost again of a security nightmare attendant to such event of scene-grabbing proportions.
We should all pray for a safe stay here of the pope if only to show to the world that faith in God, in whatever form you may want him to be, knows no religion. So help us God.
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