Pabillo on Easter Vigil: ‘Sickness, stupidity won’t have the final say’

Bishop Broderick Pabillo, temporary head of the Archdiocese of Manila, urged pandemic-weary Christians during Easter Vigil Mass Saturday, April 3, to let the risen Christ move them to hope and action, even as he hit the government’s COVID-19 response.

Pero kahit nandito tayo sa kalagayang ito, huwag tayong mawalan ng pag-asa. Kumikilos ang Diyos. He will not allow sickness and stupidity to have the last say (Even if we are in this condition, let us not lose hope. God is moving. He will not allow sickness and stupidity to have the last say),” said Pabillo in his homily during the Easter Vigil Mass

For the second year in a row, churches in Metro Manila and surrounding provinces were empty during Holy Week because of a government-imposed lockdown. The quarantine was aimed to curb the runaway surge in COVID-19 infections. 

Catholics consider the Easter Vigil Mass as the height of the Paschal Triduum, a three-day commemoration of the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The Mass began at 3 pm, an unusually early time as the service was traditionally held in the evening of Black Saturday. The archdiocese made the move to account for the 6 pm curfew in Metro Manila.

The customary adornments were there but the cavernous Manila Cathedral was mostly empty.

The outspoken Pabillo said that Jesus’ resurrection demonstrated God’s awesome power over death, a message of hope which strongly resonated today in the face of the government’s failure to effectively address the pandemic.

“We truly need this message now. Tayo na nawawalan na ng pag-asa sa harap ng pandemya. Malubha ang virus na palaging nagbabago, nagmu-mutate. Pero ang tugon ng mga leaders natin, pareho pa rin: lockdown at curfew. And they expect things to get better by mandating the same measures that brought us to this sad story first of all?”

(We truly need this message now. We who are losing hope in the face of the pandemic. The virus is severe, it continues to mutate. But the response of our leaders is the same: lockdown and curfew. And they expect things to get better by mandating the same measures that brought us to this sad story first of all?)

Despite this, Pabillo urged the faithful to help one another, in the spirit of the Risen Christ. “Paano tayo kikilos? Magkaisa, magtulungan, mag-encouage sa nawawalan ng pag-asa. Magbigay ng comfort sa mga nalulumbay o naulila. (How do we move? Unite, help one another, encourage those who are losing hope, give comfort to those in sorrow and those left behind,” he said.

“We need to move! Jesus is risen! Let us allow the energy of the Resurrection to move us all. Ang ating Panginoon ay hindi naiwang nakapako sa krus. (Our Lord did not remain nailed to the cross),” the bishop said.

“In a word, let us support one another. Help from God will come, meanwhile let us help one another.” – Rappler.com