1. CBCP President’s Message, Year of the Poor

Most Rev. Socrates B. Villegas, Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan and CBCP President opened the Year of the Poor on 30 November 2014, First Sunday of Advent, the beginning of the Ecclesiastical Year.

Salient points:

  1. Title: “The Gaze of the Crucified Lord”. Subtitle: “Love and Compassion, Forgiveness and Challenge.”
  1. Quotation from the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius “When you gaze into the eyes of the Crucified Lord, and he gazes into yours, you encounter the love of the Resurrected Lord.”
  2. Behold Jesus, poor. Stripped of his clothes, dignity, possessions, power and strength.  “He is fully one with the unwashed, the oppressed, the scorned, the powerless, the miserable, the outcast.”
  3. You who are poor. They live in “makeshift houses near muddy roads, infested by rats and cockroaches.  Hungry, naked, suffering.  In spite of backbreaking work “your debts continue to grow.”    Look at Jesus.  His love for you will inspire you to “labor on in love.”
  4. You who are rich. Some of you acquired your wealth by oppressing the poor, exploiting their weakness and depriving them of their rights to a just wage and other benefits.  “For you, there is no common good, only your good!”  “For not feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, succoring the sick, sheltering the stranger, visiting the imprisoned, the Lord the Just Judge, may say to you, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire…’”
  5. Behold Jesus poor. “Turn away from your haughtiness, your pride, your selfishness, your idolatry of money, your all consuming fascination with power.  In love work to build the Kingdom of God on earth.”
  6. “In the Philippines, this means, urgently stop corruption, stop the misuse of People’s funds. Stop the wanton destruction of the environment.  Fight the poverty of the poor.  “Build an inclusive economy with equitable distribution of wealth.”  Provide jobs, relevant education for all.  Promote unity in diversity.  “Build a society of peace.”
  7. Shepherds looking into the eyes of the Good Shepherd. “In this Year of the Poor, may our neediness be turned to sanctity, and may our arrogance be turned to service.  In all, may the love of the Crucified Lord, triumph as he gazes into our hearts and we dare to look into his.”

Back to: COMMUNICATIONS from the Bishop (No. 801 January 02, 2015)

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About bishopdinualdo

Bishop Dinualdo D. Gutierrez is the Bishop of the Diocese of Marbel
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