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Tagle to Catholic faithful: Know how to love and learn meaning of suffering

By: - Reporter / @JLeonenINQ
/ 01:49 PM February 03, 2018
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle—EDWIN BACASMAS

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. INQUIRER file photo
/ EDWIN BACASMAS

“People who love but are afraid of suffering do not know how to love.”

This was the statement of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle as he led the Feast Day Mass of the Blessed Justo Takayama Ukon, who was exiled from Nagasaki to Manila in 1614 amid persecution of Christians in Japan.

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Ukon, who was a Japanese Roman Catholic feudal lord as well as a samurai, faced hostility against his faith in his homeland after a warlord ordered the expulsion of all Christian missionaries and ordered all others to renounce their faith.

However, Ukon was defiant as he refused to give in to anti-religious sentiments, saying that he would rather give up everything he owned. In 1614, Ukon was expelled after the ruler at the time prohibited the Christian faith.

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“Blessed Ukon Takayama knew the dangers. He was given the chance to turn away from Jesus and his faith, but he said: ‘No. I will keep my faith. I will remain faithful to Jesus,’” Cardinal Tagle said.

“The world would say: ‘Ukon, are you crazy? Why not save your life?’ Yes, he might be crazy, but he was crazy because of love. He became foolish because he loved. He paid the price of love. Now, his foolishness is wisdom for us,” the archbishop said.

Tagle said Ukon’s wisdom would give the world an understanding why Christians glorify the suffering of martyrs as well as that of Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ’s mission, Tagle said, was to fulfill the will of God so humanity may be saved, and “if suffering is involved in fulfilling his mission, he says ‘yes.’”

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“We say in the gospel that Jesus has integrated suffering with his mission. It is not accepting suffering in itself but in the context of mission he finds meaning in suffering,” the archbishop said.

“When you love, you will have the strength to suffer. People who love but are afraid of suffering do not know how to love. It is love for God and for others that gives the strength to love, even to die,” he said. /jpv

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TAGS: Catholic Church, Manila Archbishop, Nagasaki, Tagle
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