ALONG with the celebration of the Year of Faith and Era of New Evangelization, national shrines, cathedrals and parishes throughout the country participated in the National Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary last June 8.

With the theme “Isang Bayang Sumisinta Kay Maria,” Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle focused on the impact of consecration— association of the faithful to the Divine— to the Filipino people.

Tagle said being consecrated to God is not about a ritual of attending the celebration, but the changes that implicate after the celebration.

“After the celebration, ask yourself, what are the changes that happen to you, your family and to the Philippines,” Tagle said. “You can’t say you join this act of consecration to God, but you don’t love who God loves like those who hold on to him,” he added.

Moreover, Tagle called for a country free of discrimination and corruption that destroy moral rights.

“Let’s clean the heart of the Filipino people. Let us clean the Philippines from corruption,” Tagle said.

According to Tagle, corruption and discrimination have no place in the heart of this country, Mary and Jesus.

Essence of Consecration

Tagle emphasized that consecration begins with God and a response to His call.

“No one can consecrate one’s self to God. You can’t make the action even. God must do it first. It is God who consecrates Himself to us,” Tagle said. “God consecrating or claiming us as our own, demands a response. This is now our act of consecration,” Tagle said.

Tagle also reminded the faithful that material things like “power, luxury and self-gratifications” can interfere in drawing close to God.

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A life and work in progress

“We would not allow ourselves to belong to other gods, no matter how inviting they appear. You are our God and we belong to You,” Tagle said.

Moreover, Tagle challenged the youth to lead their fellows to God.

“To the youth, I hope that you don’t just spend your life with hang-outs, parties and vices, I hope that like Mary, bring yourselves to God,” he said.

He encouraged the faithful to set Mary as an example of sinless heart and spirit.

“The heart of people are like the heart of Mary, it should never be a home of sins, but of Jesus’ spirit, guidance and blessings,” Tagle said. “Mary will lift us up to the Lord and our hearts and life will also be pure.” Angeli Mae S. Cantillana and April Joy E. Dy

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