Remember typhoon victims on Christmas – Cardinal Tagle

MANILA, Philippines – Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urged Filipinos to remember people suffering from calamities, including typhoon victims in the Philippines, as the country celebrates Christmas on Monday, December 25.

In his homily in the Christmas Eve Mass at the Manila Cathedral on Sunday, December 24, Tagle said "brothers and sisters who are suffering must be in our minds and in our hearts" for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ to be complete.

"If we forget our poor and suffering brothers and sisters all over the world, and in our case in the Philippines, those suffering due to the typhoons in Mindanao and Visayas, Christmas will not be complete," he said.

REMEMBER THE SUFFERING. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urges Filipinos to remember the poor and suffering as he leads the Christmas Eve Mass at the Manila Cathedral on December 24, 2017. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

REMEMBER THE SUFFERING. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle urges Filipinos to remember the poor and suffering as he leads the Christmas Eve Mass at the Manila Cathedral on December 24, 2017.

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

The death toll from Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) – which later intensified into a typhoon – has reached 200. Massive floods and landslides struck Mindanao, with Lanao del Norte among the hardest hit. (READ: Pope Francis prays for Vinta's victims in Mindanao)

Shortly before Vinta battered Mindanao, Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak) left dozens dead in Eastern Visayas. Damage to agriculture was also pegged at around P1 billion.

Joy and goodwill

Tagle highlighted the importance of joy and goodwill – one manifested through God who gave His Son despite people's shortcomings. (READ: Admit your weaknesses, Cardinal Tagle says)

"Si Hesus ang larawan ng kagandahang loob, at kung saan may kagandahang loob, merong kaligayahan. At kapag merong baluktot at masamang loob, sira ang kaligayahan," he said.

(Jesus is the manifestation of goodwill. If there is goodwill, there is joy. If there is malice, joy will be destroyed.)

JOY, GOODWILL. Catholics line up to kiss the image of the Baby Jesus during the Christmas Eve Mass at the Manila Cathedral on December 24, 2017. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

JOY, GOODWILL. Catholics line up to kiss the image of the Baby Jesus during the Christmas Eve Mass at the Manila Cathedral on December 24, 2017.

Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

Christmas, added Tagle, is not the only season to show goodness to other people. Filipinos should always be kind to one another to further the teachings of God and to "experience peace and joy."

But the cardinal cautioned against "false joy" and the recklessness of thrills, pointing out that there is a world of difference between joy and thrill. (READ: Cardinal Tagle slams 'false gods' creating 'false worlds')

"We need that culture, the joy of sharing rather than the thrill of accumulating, the joy of saving persons and lives rather than the thrill of destroying, crushing human lives," he said.

"The joy of forgiving and reconciling rather than the thrill of taking revenge, of embracing and accepting rather than the thrill of isolating and cutting them off. This is the joy a person of goodwill experiences and spreads." (READ: Cardinal Tagle: 'We cannot govern the nation by killing'– Rappler.com

Jodesz Gavilan

Jodesz Gavilan is a writer and researcher for Rappler and its investigative arm, Newsbreak. She covers human rights and also hosts the weekly podcast Newsbreak: Beyond the Stories. She joined Rappler in 2014 after obtaining her journalism degree from the University of the Philippines.

image