Photo courtesy of Cloyd Villegas
Alleluia! The Lord is Risen!
Today the Church is radiant with joy and love. We are grateful to Lord for his love and mercy endures forever. However, the joy and glory of the resurrection will not be truly felt unless we have been with Christ on the cross to suffer and die with Him. Where our Lord is there shall we His followers be. We still recall how Pope Francis, during his visit to our country, directed us to contemplate on the crucified Christ who shows the real meaning of suffering. Fulfillment comes when one denies himself so he could reach out to others and be a source of joy to them. We should be like Jesus, the grain of wheat which fell to the ground and died so that others may live and grow. This is what dying and rising with our Lord is all about.
Our Lord did not remain on the cross and is no longer in the tomb for He has risen in the heart of His Church to continue His work of healing and nourishing through the sacraments, and to be with us forever. This always gives us a feeling of consolation every time we die to sin and rise with our Lord to a life of grace. He was glorified that we may share in His glory in heaven and even while on earth.
It is up to us now to make His presence felt not just by words but more importantly by our good deeds. Many of our brothers and sisters are more interested in what they see than what they hear. Let us then make Jesus alive through our hands and feet whether at home, workplace or in people we come in contact most especially those He identifies Himself with. Now is the opportune time to manifest God's great concern for the less fortunate given this year has been dedicated to the poor. After all, Christ came to bring glad tidings to the poor. Pope Francis said: "If we take away the poor from the gospel, we can't understand the whole message of Christ." (Manila Cathedral, January 16, 2105) More than our preaching about God who is love, what people need are food to fill their empty stomach, medicine to alleviate their pain, justice for those whose rights are trampled upon and our inspiring presence to bring joy and hope to the downtrodden. Indeed people seek for the living God who cares enough to protect them and provide for their everyday needs, mindful of His promise to be with His people until the end of time. To bring about a truly Church of and for the Poor, we need to have the merciful and compassionate heart of Jesus to welcome the least, the last, and the lost in our midst.
A Blessed Easter to all of you!
Most Rev. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, DD, MA, SThD
Bishop of Pasig
April 5, 2015