Cardinal Tagle warns vs arrogant ‘kings’ | Inquirer News

Cardinal Tagle warns vs arrogant ‘kings’

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 07:24 AM March 26, 2018

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle leads the Palm Sunday rites at the Manila Cathedral on March 25, 2018. INQUIRER PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged the faithful on Sunday to use the observance of Holy Week to get to know Jesus more deeply as he warned them against arrogant “kings” who employed violence to assert their authority over the weak.

“This Holy Week, let us focus on Jesus. Let us look and listen to him to get to know him again. It’s important that we again deepen our understanding of Jesus,” Tagle said in his homily for Palm Sunday at Manila Cathedral in Intramuros.


“Who is Jesus? Who is he that we follow? Why did he come and what is his mission?” he asked.


Entry into Jerusalem

Before the Mass, Tagle led the traditional blessing of the palms at Plaza Roma as he made his way into the cathedral in a procession reenacting Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.

Palm Sunday signals the start of Holy Week, Christianity’s holiest period that is marked by prayer, penitence and reflection on the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus.

In the Philippines, the fronds of young coconut leaves, their sections woven into decorative shapes, are used to simulate the palms used by the people of Jerusalem in the Gospel story to welcome Jesus into the City of David.

The kingly welcome and his frequent references to a coming kingdom would have tragic consequences for Jesus, as it was seen as an affront to the Roman emperor.

Five days later, he would be charged with lèse majesté and executed as an enemy of the state.


“In our world today, we have many kings full of arrogance, lacking in humility. In our time, many of us follow kings who use violence, arms, threats… clearly showing lack of understanding and solidarity with the weak,” Tagle said.

Jesus or Barabbas?

“Pilate is asking us: who will you choose—the Barabbases of today or Jesus the king?” Tagle asked.

In the Gospels, Barabbas is an imprisoned insurrectionist who is chosen by the Jews over Jesus to be freed by the Roman governor in a Passover custom unattested to outside the New Testament.

Tagle urged the faithful to reflect: “Is Jesus really my king? Am I ready to accept and follow him?”

“In the eyes of the world, he is a king without strength and power. Where is his strength? Where is his power? In the first reading, we saw his strength, strength that came from trust in God. Our king does not trust in violence or arms, bullets and guns. Our king trusts in God,” he said.

Tagle also encouraged the faithful to imitate the humility of Jesus, stressing that Holy Week is about humility.

Reflecting on the day’s second reading, which recounts how Jesus emptied himself and became human, Tagle said that God’s way was no other than humility.

Solidarity with the weak

“He is powerful as the son of God, but he chose to strip himself of power. He did not cling on to this power. Why? So that he may be one with us. He became humble. That is his strength, his power: solidarity with the weak and sinners,” he said.

“In truth, Pilate is no match for Jesus. But our king need not defend himself. His personality shows he has full trust in God and love for us. That is the true king. That is dignity. That is power,” Tagle said.

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“The serene dignity and silence of the person who trusts in God and who is full solidarity with sinful humanity, that is true authority. That is our true king. That is the king that will save the world,” he said.

TAGS: Holy Week, Lent 2018

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