MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle warned against arrogant “kings” who resort to violence in asserting leadership over the weak, as he led Palm Sunday rites at the Manila Cathedral to start Holy Week 2018.
“Sa mundo natin namamayagpag ang mga haring puno ng kayabangan, kapos sa kapakumbabaan. Sa panahon natin ngayon, kay dami-raming sumusunod sa mga hari na ang ginagamit ay dahas, armas, pananakot – kapos na kapos sa pag-unawa at pakikiisa sa mga mahihina,” Tagle said in his homily in a jampacked Manila Cathedral on Sunday, March 25.
(In our world today, we have many kings filled with arrogance, lacking in humility. In our time, many of us follow kings who use violence, weapons, fear – truly lacking understanding of and solidarity with the weak.)
Tagle then alluded to Barabbas, the notorious prisoner whom the Jews chose for Pontius Pilate to free instead of Jesus, who was nailed on the cross.
“Tinatanong tayo ni Pilato: Sino ang pipiliin ninyo – ang mga Barabas ng panahon ngayon, o si Hesus, ang Hari?” Tagle asked. (Pilate is asking us: Whom will you choose – the Barabbases of today, or Jesus, the King?)
With this warning, Tagle urged everyone to pray in silence and ask, “Si Hesus nga ba ang aking hari? Handa ko ba siyang tanggapin at sundan?” (Is Jesus really my king? Am I ready to accept and follow him?)
Tagle, the country’s most influential cardinal, did not name specific modern-day “kings” who espouse violence. His warning comes as President Rodrigo Duterte’s critics accuse him of condoning killings to boost his anti-drug campaign.
How to find Jesus
In his Palm Sunday homily, Tagle gave a guide on how to find Jesus, or at least people who follow him, in the present day.
The cardinal referred to the First and Second Readings on Palm Sunday taken from Isaiah and Philippians, respectively. (READ: Holy Week 2018: Mass readings for Palm Sunday)
“Sa mata ng mundo, siya ay hari na walang lakas at kapangyarihan. Nasaan ang kanyang lakas? Nasaan ang kanyang kapangyarihan? Sa Unang Pagbasa, nakita natin ang kanyang lakas, kapangyarihan ay galing sa tiwala sa Diyos. Ang hari natin, hindi nagtitiwala sa dahas, hindi nagtitiwala sa armas, hindi nagtitiwala sa tabak, hindi nagtitiwala sa bala at baril. Nagtitiwala ang hari natin sa Diyos,” Tagle said.
(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 weapons, bullets and guns. Our king trusts in God.)
He added: “Sa Ikalawang Pagbasa, siya ay may kapangyarihan bilang anak ng Diyos, subalit hinubad niya. Hindi niya kinapitan ang kanyang dangal. Bakit? Upang makipag-isa sa atin. Nagpakababa. Iyan ang kanyang lakas, ‘yan ang kanyang kapangyarihan: ang solidarity, ang pakikiisa, sa mga mabababa.”
(In the Second Reading, he is powerful as the son of God, but he chose to strip himself. 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.) – Rappler.com