Tagle on Palm Sunday 2019: Follow humble leaders
MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged Filipinos to follow humble leaders like Jesus Christ, as he led the Palm Sunday rites at the Manila Cathedral to start Holy Week 2019.
In his homily on Sunday, April 14, Tagle said it is indeed easier to follow those who are popular, because people tend to hope for the latter's fame to rub off on them. But he said he hopes Filipinos would opt to become followers of modest leaders like Jesus, even if doing so is more difficult.
"Titigan natin ang Mesiyas na nagpapakababa. Susunod ba tayo? Parang mas attractive sundan 'yong nagpapakataas, humahanap ng pagsikat, kasi kapag kumapit ka doon, sikat ka rin. Eh pero kapag siya ay nagpapakababa, susunod ba tayo kasi pati tayo ibababa rin? Susunod ba tayo?" Tagle asked.
(Look at the Messiah who is humble. Will we follow Him? It seems more attractive to follow the high and mighty, to look for the famous ones, because if we hold on to them, we would be famous too. But if they become humble, will we follow because it means we would have to be humble as well? Will we follow?)
He likened this difficulty to the apostles who accompanied Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus had been in deep pain and anguish, knowing He would soon be betrayed and arrested. But when Jesus needed them the most, His disciples were asleep.
When Jesus was about to be arrested, one of His apostles cut the ear of the servant of a high priest that came to arrest Him. But Jesus said no to further violence, and even healed the servant's wound.
"Ngayon po nauunawaan natin bakit parang madaling ipagpalit si Hesus sa ibang mga hari at mesiyas. Imposible sa atin na sundan si Hesus kasi 'yong hubarin ang sarili, magpakababa, 'yong igalang ang umaalipusta sa iyo, 'yong hilumin ang sumusugat sa iyo, hindi iyan ang kalakaran ng mundo. Pero para sa Diyos, hindi iyan imposible," said Tagle.
(Now we understand why it seems easy to replace Jesus with other kings and messiahs. It's almost impossible for us to follow Jesus because for you to expose yourself and be humble, to respect the ones abusing you, to heal the wounds of the people hurting you, that's not the way of the world. But for the Lord, that's not impossible.)
While he did not name specific leaders, Tagle's homily comes a month before the May 13 polls, where popular and reelectionist senatorial candidates allied with the administration are dominating the preelection surveys. Most of the opposition senatorial bets are still lagging behind.
Not just vacation
Tagle said the public must not only take a break on Holy Week, but spend time to get to know Jesus, the humble Messiah. (READ: SCHEDULES: Masses and church services for Holy Week 2019)
"Bagama't tayo rin ay makapagpapahinga kapag Holy Week, sana ang Holy Week hindi lang bakasyon, hindi lang break, hindi lang pamamasyal, kundi panahon ng malalim na pagkilala kay Hesus," Tagle said.
(Even if we get to rest every Holy Week, I hope Holy Week is not just a vacation, not just a break, not just time for travel, but a time for a more intimate knowledge of Jesus. )
He added: "Mga kapatid, simula pa lamang ng Holy Week. Nakikiusap po ako sa inyo: Titigan si Hesus. Pati yaong mga mahirap, unawain at sundin sa kanyang salita at lalo na sa kanyang gawa. 'Wag pong iwasan; lalong titigan, lalong pakinggan, hanggang ang ating puso ay magkaroon ng kaunting liwanag at tayo’y makasabi: 'Panginoon, hindi kita lubusang nauunawaan. Natatakot akong sumunod sa iyo. Subalit alam ko, wala kaming ibang pupuntahan. Ikaw lamang, ikaw ang aming susundan.'"
(My brothers and sisters, it is only the beginning of the Holy Week. I ask you: Look at Jesus. Even with the poor, understand and follow His words, especially his actions. Do not avoid Him; look at him and listen to him intently, until the light will shine upon our hearts and we'd be able to say: "Lord, I don't completely understand You. I am afraid to follow you. But I know I have nowhere else to go. You are the only one I will follow.") – Rappler.com