THE faithful must not be stopped by the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic in celebrating Easter as it is “the greatest feast in the Catholic church,” Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said in his homily for the Easter Sunday mass on April 4, 2021.
Easter Sunday in the Roman Catholic church marks the end of the Holy Week and the end of Lent; it is also the beginning of the Easter season of the liturgical year.
“The Covid-19 (pandemic) that has claimed thousands of lives and robbed the hope and enthusiasm of many of our brothers and sisters, and (caused) various difficulties and struggles of many should not hinder our joy in celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and the celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity (YoC) in our country,” the prelate said.
Palma then encouraged the faithful to treat the pandemic as a challenge and an invitation to “share the joys” of Easter Sunday and Christianity’s 500 years in the country by sharing their “giftedness” or talents and blessings with others.
“The gift of faith that is Christ Himself, the gift of love that He brought to us and the gift of hope that is His resurrection share the good news that it is the love of God that thrives. That in the end, it is life and not death that reigns,” Palma said.
The prelate reiterated that even with the absence of the traditional “Sugat” presentation, the celebration on Sunday was still significant because of the simultaneous opening of the Holy Door of the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and the other designated pilgrim churches throughout the Archdiocese of Cebu and the formal launching of the Year of Grace.
The Archdiocese of Cebu also unveiled the Jubilee cross as the faithful recall the planting of the Holy Cross in the island’s shores 500 years ago.
Palma also hoped that all of the church’s efforts in this Year of Grace would alleviate the pain and the suffering of the less fortunate. (WBS)