“Be the messengers of mercy”, delegates reminded

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Delegates of the Fourth World Apostolic Congress on Mercy were sent as messengers of mercy in the Eucharistic celebration with mission sending ceremony by the sea held at the Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar on January 20, 2017.

In the congress’ final talk entitled “Being sent as a Church of God’s Mercy to the World”, papal envoy Lyon Archbishop Philippe Xavier Christian Ignace Marie Cardinal Barbarin emphasized on three important points. In his opening statement he mentioned five matters that every messenger of mercy should be aware of.

“God is full of love and it comes from His guts; The beauty and grace of God is always present everywhere; God sometimes becomes angry to us wherein there are times that we need it; God’s love is always flowing to the world despite our sinfulness; and God shows us that he is always faithful to us,” Cardinal Barbarin said through Fr. Patrice Chocholski as his interpreter.

He expressed the importance of the vision of Pope Francis as seen in the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, that the Church be an expression of God’ mercy. This, according to the Cardinal, is present in the two parables of mercy – the Parables of the Prodigal Son (Lk. 15) and the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10). He said that this stresses deeply the mission of all the Catholic faithful, “we are sent to spread God’s mercy everywhere!”

Coming from his personal experience, he mentioned how he felt God’s goodness while seeing the street children in Manila. He visited some houses for them and he gave much time to be with them.

“In experiencing mercy, we let the grace of the mercy of God operate in you and you will experience many marvels,” he added.

Here he was inspired with the examples of two saints who cared for the poor: St. Vincent de Paul and St. Teresa of Kolkotta.

“In order for us to become new witnesses, we need to open our eyes to the misery of people. Like Jesus, as soon as He saw misery, He immediately takes care of people.”

In his homily for the concluding Mass of the congress, Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos expressed deeply on the matter of silence not as a message of fear but as way in order to see better the value of mercy.

“Reflecting deeper, the common denominator of the seven corporal works of mercy is to sustain life not to make it suffer: to prolong and not to suppress it; maintain it not to destroy it. This is the basis of the Church’s battle for the right of life. It supports the Fifth Commandment, “Thou shall not kill!” a clear opposition to the culture of death occurring in the country,” the bishop said.

Bishop Santos also said that the common denominator of the seven spiritual works of mercy is about words. These words are fitful and liberating. They build up the character and uplift human relationships. They renew the person. He expressed the fact that the rampant acts of cyber bullying and Internet buzzing are not mercy but acts of violence.

“Verbal gossiping is in fact not mercy but simply character assassination that does not bring about any good,” the bishop added.

Finally, reflecting on the waves coming to the shores of Bataan province, he said that the waves that will hit the Church are turbulent, yet in trusting in the name of Jesus, everyone will be guided and sent back home through His grace.

Barbarin, the official envoy of the Holy Father for WACOM 4 is the Primate of France and works for the Divine Mercy Apostolate in Europe. Santos is also the chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People.

Also, WACOM Secretary General Rev. Fr. Patrice Chocholski announced earlier that in the year 2020 the fifth World Apostolic Congress on Mercy will be held in Apia, Samoa, Polynesia.

Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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