Albay folk urged to help ‘Nona’ victims as thanksgiving
LEGAZPI CITY – “Make efforts and reach out to them.”
This was the message of Bishop Joel Baylon of the Diocese of Legazpi urging Albayanos to help the victims of Typhoon “Nona” (international name: Melor) during his homily in the first day of Misa de Gallo (Simbang Gabi), the nine-day dawn Masses to usher in Christmas Day.
The first Misa de Gallo, held at the St. Gregory Cathedral in this city, was essentially a Thanksgiving Mass that Albay was spared from the wrath of Nona.
But Bishop Baylon stressed that Albayanos should “turn thanksgiving into greater concern for the poor among us and the typhoon victims in other places.”
While the Albay province might have achieved its ‘zero casualty goal,’ the prelate said there are families who lost their houses especially in coastal areas and farmers who lost their crops.
“We can make efforts to reach out to them, ask them what they need. Our way of helping need not to be special, spectacular and extraordinary. The most important is it comes from our hearts,” he added.
Baylon said the “Oratio Emperata,” the prayer of Bicolanos in times of disasters, and the faith of the people were the main reason why Albay did not suffer as much as the other areas hit by Nona.
Baylon also urged the people to always bear in mind the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in the celebration of “Jubilee year of Mercy.”
“Mercy is forever, yes God’s mercy is forever. As we wait for the birth of Jesus, let us continue to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and help the poor. We can see the body of Christ through that, we can feel the mercy of God and that is the gift of Christmas,” the prelate said.
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