Manila Archbishop Cardinal Jose Advincula called on Catholics to seek peace and build a “culture of care” in the new year, as the world continues to face conflicts and calamities.

“We continue to be in solidarity with those who continue to suffer due to the pandemic and those severely affected by typhoon ‘Odette,’ along with the victims of violence and armed conflicts in Myanmar and all over the world. We beg the Lord for the grace of peace,” he said in his New Year message.

Advincula urged the faithful to embody the “model peace-builder” Mary, whose solemnity was celebrated on Jan. 1, and put into practice her three spiritual virtues: welcoming, caring and praying.

He said that prayer was the “most fundamental act of peace-building” and peace “can only come from God.”

“Kahit anong pagpupunyagi natin, kapag wala ang Diyos sa mga pagsisikap natin para sa kapayapaan, hahantong lamang iyon sa bulaang kaginhawaan at kawalang-katarungan, sa panandaliang katiwasayan para sa iilang tao lamang,” he said.

“Kailangan natin ang Diyos upang magkaroon ng tunay na kapayapaan at kabutihan para sa lahat. We need God to offer us the peace that this world cannot give,” he added.

In his homily during the Mass for the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God at the Santisimo Rosario Parish Church, Fr. Senen Ecleo, O.P., regent of College of Commerce and Business Administration, said Catholics should embody Mary’s courage in accepting God’s will. 

“Hinayaan ni Mama Mary na gawin ang Diyos ang tungkol sa kanya. [T]hat’s a very important challenge for everyone hayaan nating piliin tayo ng Diyos,” he said.

“Let us allow ourselves to be believed, accepted, cared for, and, most especially to be loved by God in spite of our limitations, sins and imperfections. ‘Pag gano’n ang ginawa natin magagaya natin ang Mahal na Birhen,” he added.

Ecleo also reminded the faithful to be grateful and have renewed hope this new year. 

“We are alive… you are alive and your family is alive … and that is a very important reason for us to thank God. I hope we continue to be alive not just physically but most especially spiritually,” he said. Ma. Alena O. Castillo and Allyssa Mae C. Cruz


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