Thursday, 24 January 2019 10:36

Welcome Message of Cardinal Tagle during the Opening Ceremony of PACOM 4

Welcome Message (via video) delivered by Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Cardinal for the Opening Ceremony of the 4th Philippine Apostolic Congress on Mercy held at the Filoil Center Flying V Arena in San Juan City on January 24, 2019.

Good day to all of you my dear brothers and sisters, this is Cardinal Chito Tagle of the Archdiocese of Manila, welcoming all of you to the 4th Philippine Apostolic Congress on Mercy, PACOM 4.

We are very happy in the Archdiocese of Manila, to be able to host this congress, and we want to thank in a special way the wonderful team of Archdiocese especially those who are centered in the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Msgr, Albert Salonga, Fr. Jojo Panelo and all of their collaborators, all of you servants ministers of Divine Mercy. We want to extend a special greeting for the delegates who come from other parts of the country.

The theme of the gathering is Mercy. Divine Mercy in the Year of the Youth kasi alam po natin na sa Pilipinas bilang paghahanda sa 2021, ang ikalimang daang anibersaryo ng pagdating ng Kristiyanismo sa atin ay nakalaan para sa kabataan ngayon, Year of the Youth at katatapos lang po ng Synod of Bishops on the Youth kaya po napakaganda bagamat hindi po ako makakasama sa inyo ngayon in person dahil nasa World Youth Day po ako sa PANAMA, ibig ko lang po na hindi lamang magbigay ng pagtanggap sa inyo kundi kaunting pagninilay din o kaya’y paanyaya sa pagninilay, galing po sa Synod of Bishops at sa atin po sa CBCP at lahat ng mga naglilingkod sa kabataan ngayon, ilang paala-ala lang po.

Photo by Eric Paul Guanlao/RCAM-AOC

Una, let us listen to the Youth. During this PACOM, let the youth speak, not only to the elders, speak to themselves, and speak to the whole church. Let us listen to their experiences of Mercy, how were they’re shaped and formed by mercy and compassion from God and from neighbor and from the church. Let us listen to them also, how they have been broken, how they have been wounded by the lack of mercy.

Again, beginning with the family and friends and in the wider society, what are the instruments, the experiences of mercy to the youth where do they find mercy and where do they unfortunately not find mercy? Let us listen to the youth. Let us listen to ourselves to who are young in the past and let us connect our experiences and voices.

Secondly, after hearing all of those stories, let us listen to Jesus, the word of God, the incarnation of mercy. Pakinggan natin si Hesus, pagkatapos mapakinggan ang karanasan ng kabataan ano naman ang sinasabi ni Hesus, dahil si Hesus ay nagging kabataan din at siya’y namatay, pinatay na bata.

Let us listen to Jesus’ experience as a young person. How did mercy come to him especially through Mary, through Joseph, through his friends, through society. What were the experiences of the lack of mercy, the lack compassion, the lack of forgiveness, the injustice, the discrimination that the young Jesus saw, and how did he transformed him to be God’s living parable of mercy.

How did He face this lack of mercy in His crucifixion? What was the source of His words, “Father forgive them” when He was being cursed lowly by unmerciful acts. Let us listen to Jesus, who was also young. And then third moment, how will listening to Jesus drive us to be individuals, disciples of mercy, especially to the young who’s stories we have heard. How can our families, parishes, and the wider Filipino society be the hope of mercy that will give hope, new life to our young people in the midst of the wound? How could we be merciful to creation, to nature that we are treating with so much disrespect?

I am very much bothered when we hear young people subjective to all types of abusive behavior. I am amazed and to unbelief that some of them still survived as wholesome human beings in spite of what they have gone through. I am disturbed that young people are being subjected to violence, bullying, shaming, and they are being told that that is normal. I am ashamed that young people are being sold to prostitution by their own parents and people whom they trust, I am ashamed that society is not a safe, kind, and more loving, a bold for our young people.

But it is not just lament. It is a call to mission. After listening to the youth and listening to Jesus, then, out of love and concern, out of mercy, the mercy that we have all experienced, then we will be missionaries of mercy.

We welcome you once again in the Archdiocese of Manila and may the merciful God bring to each fruition this wonderful fourth Philippine Apostolic Congress on Mercy. At ipagdasal din nyo po kami sa World Youth Day. God bless you all. (RCAM-AOC)


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