Mercy knows no religion.

This was the message of Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, archbishop emeritus of Manila, during the closing of the Jubilee door at the Manila Cathedral last Nov. 12.

“Mercy belongs to everyone. It is not only the task and mission of Christians,” Rosales said in his homily during the Holy Mass.

Through mercy, God reveals His love to humanity through His son Jesus Christ, the 84-year-old prelate said.

“The identifying mark of Jesus is mercy. He was merciful to everyone, even to those who faulted Him,” Rosales said.

The celebration of the Jubilee Year does not end with the closing of the Holy Doors, Rosales added, calling on the faithful to continue doing “little acts” of mercy.

Fr. Reginald Malicdem, parish priest of the Manila Cathedral, called on the faithful to continue doing simple acts of mercy in their respective fields.

“’Yung maliliit na bagay na ginagawa natin [are] expressions of mercy. So kahit tapos na ang Jubilee Year, patuloy pa rin nating gawin iyon,” Malicdem said.

“The doors of our hearts must remain open to love, to understand, to be patient, and to forgive,” he added.

Encounter Jesus in the poor, enemies

Malicdem read the message of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, who was in Rome.

In his message, Tagle reminded the faithful to encounter Jesus in the poor, recalling the opening of the cathedral’s Holy Door last year in which he was accompanied by Glyzelle Palomar and Jun Chura, the former streetchildren who met Pope Francis in his visit to UST in January 2015.

“Jesus will never close the door of his heart to those who seek his mercy. The need of a poor person is our door to the heart of Jesus,” he said.

Tagle reminded the faithful to be empathetic and recognize the “wounds” of enemies and persecutors.

Tagle said the closing of the Holy Door “does not close the heart of God,” urging the faithful to continue seeking and approaching God through others.

“Let us also keep our hearts open to the poor, to those we have offended and to those who have hurt us. Through justice watered by mercy, the wounds … would be healed,” he said.

The Dominican church of Santuario del Santo Cristo in San Juan also closed its Jubilee door on Nov. 12, led by Msgr. Bong Lo, a Thomasian alumnus and vicar forane of St. John the Baptist Vicariate.

Three other churches in the Manila archdiocese closed their Jubilee doors: the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Mandaluyong, the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Makati and Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Pasay.

Fr. Jason Laguerta, director of the Office for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, said the five churches in Manila were able to collect sufficient donations from pilgrims for institutions performing works of mercy such as providing care for the homeless and the sick.

The Vatican formally announced the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy last April 11, 2015 through a Bull of Indiction signed by Pope Francis titled “Misericordiae Vultus.”

The Holy Year ended with the closing of the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Nov. 20.


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