In his Easter message for this year, the Archbishop of Manila reflects on concrete acts of love and kindness, and invites us to share the journey with migrants and refugees.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle is not only the Archbishop of Manila in the Philippines, he is also, among other things, the President of Caritas Internationalis. Which explains why the themes of loving kindness and encounter are central to his message for Easter this year.
Like Jesus on the cross, writes Cardinal Tagle, we can sometimes find ourselves in a dark place, “and our lives can seem loveless”. But “if we look more carefully at people and at situations, it is then that we see love revealing itself”.
Examples of loving kindness
The Cardinal proceeds to give concrete examples of loving kindness that accompanied Jesus’ journey to the cross, despite “the sea of hate surrounding Him”. These examples include: the women and St John, who braved the sorrow of standing at the foot of the cross; the good thief, who broke the stereotype of the unrepentant delinquent; Joseph of Arimathea, who overcame his fear of being an open follower of Christ; Nicodemus who gave the myrrh and aloes to embalm Christ’s body; the women who went to the tomb, even though they had no idea how to move the boulder blocking its entrance; and even Pilate, who saw the injustice of the situation and wanted to release Jesus.
All the difference in the world
Even the smallest act of kindness can make all the difference in the world, writes Cardinal Tagle. He connects these acts to the culture of encounter: “We are called as Christians to encounter others and walk with them humbly, without judgement or notions of having the answer to all their problems”, he says. “It is through these encounters that our hearts are opened and presented with a new horizon and a renewed energy to move forward”.
Sharing the journey
Referring to his own experience as President of Caritas Internationalis, Cardinal Tagle describes how, over the past year, “Caritas has planted thousands of actions of love across the world through its Share the Journey campaign. These seemingly small actions, like the mustard seed, will grow and reach far beyond our time on this earth”, he says.
The Cardinal concludes with the invitation to “seize the power of love unleashed by the risen Christ this Easter”, spreading seeds of hope across the world. He also invites us to Share the Journey with migrants and refugees by walking with them.
“Caritas is love”, he writes, “but love is not just a word, it’s a lifestyle of really seeing, encountering and understanding other people”. Love is believing “that light will always overcome darkness so that we can be one together”. (Vatican News)
– Cardinal Tagle