ARCHBISHOP Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of Manila called on the faithful not to be quick in condemning anybody, but instead, “find gifts” in people often discredited by society.
In his homily during the recent closing Mass of the third Philippine Conference on New Evangelization, Tagle said there are many people who are being treated like worthless and no one cares for them.
“Let us be careful. The person we want to discredit might be a gift of God. You don’t throw away gifts. Gifts are treasured,” Tagle told the crowd gathered at the University of Santo Tomas Quadricentennial Pavilion in Manila. The cardinal asked the people to be merciful like Jesus who sees a gift even in “wounded sheep.”
“Jesus sees a gift even in Judas,” he said. “There’s hope even in someone who had betrayed Jesus.”
Reflecting on the Gospel of John, the Manila archbishop said God does not want to condemn anybody, but rather seeks salvation of all people. “Jesus did not come to discredit sinners. Jesus came to save them,” Cardinal Tagle said.
This means, according to him, that Christians were also sent not to become signs of damnation but of mercy and love that saves.
Like Jesus, he said, the faithful are being called and sent to people “that the world considers as not worthy of God.”
“But Jesus came precisely for them and so we have to accept that. We will be called and we will be sent to be missionaries of mercy to them,” he added. Cardinal Tagle became teary eyed when he recalled a young refugee he met in Greece last October.
The Syrian boy, he also said, was alone because his parents told him to go. “They wanted to save him. Sometimes when I think of that boy, I ask myself where he is now. If he will get to see his parents again,” Tagle said.
“These are people who are thrown away by situations that they did not create, they did not intend, but they are victims,” he said.
Image credits: Maria Tan/CBCPNews