Find hope in Christ, says new Manila archbishop
MANILA, Philippines—Amid the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm Sendong, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle reminded Filipinos on the eve of Christmas that Jesus Christ remains the source of hope.
Tagle said the archdiocese of Manila was praying not just for victims of natural disasters in northern Mindanao but also for the poor, the unjustly treated, and the neglected.
“We also need to be reminded of the core of Christmas hope. We long for Jesus, the God who saves. He is Emmanuel, the God who is with us. In the midst of the ruins of life, society and creation due to human sinfulness and pride, the Word of God deemed it worthy to become one of us, not to condemn but to save us as a compassionate brother,” Tagle said in his Christmas message.
“Let us behold in prayer this great love, totally undeserved, but truly given to us. Let us welcome Jesus and allow His light, justice, truth and mercy to transform us and society. Let us not be afraid of Him. He comes only to free us from what destroys human life and dignity. We need Him,” he added.
Bishop Efraim Tendero, national director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, urged the faithful to pray for peace in the country.
“Christmas means peace. The host of angels declared this when Christ was born,” Tendero said in his Christmas message.
“We need this Divine intervention as we face so much unpeace in our nation: continuing unrest in Mindanao, protracted conflict between the government forces and the New People’s Army, the division of our people brought by the call for accountability in the co-equal branches of the government, and the continuing hardships of the people punctuated by the uncalled-for devastation of Storm Sendong,” he added.
Tendero urge believers to become “agents of peace” by being “God-centered rather than self-centered.”
“Let us continue to lessen the pain of those who suffered from natural and man-made calamities by sharing with them our resources. Above all, let our focus be on Christ and let Him bring peace in our nation, in our communities and in our families, because He is the Prince of Peace,” Tendero said.
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