Palma: Pandemic brought out altruism, strengthened families

·2 min read

CEBU Archbishop Jose Palma in his 2020 Christmas message video said the faithful can “discover in their hearts” that they can rise above the pandemic and continue to serve the community.

The prelate said amid all the struggles this year, there is still a reason to smile and believe that the people of Cebu will not only survive, but will also “thrive and revive.”

Palma, in his message to the Cebuanos, noted the various challenges Cebu has faced—being tagged as the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in the middle of the year, and experiencing various natural disasters, including typhoons that claimed lives and destroyed properties.

The prelate said he opened his 2020 full of enthusiasm as the Roman Catholic Church dedicates this year to ecumenism and inter-religious dialogues.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic happened, changing activities and celebrations, church-related or not.

Despite the bleak year, Palma highlighted the good things still happening amid the current crisis—the different forms of “wonderful service” the people have done for each other to survive the different impacts of the pandemic.

Borrowing the words of Pope Francis, the prelate said even with pandemic and calamities, “if the faithful look into their hearts and discover the Christian values, then they know that they would have discovered the antidote to the pandemic.”

Palma enumerated the sacrifices of the medical frontliners; the kindness of individuals and groups that gave food to the hungry and served the persons deprived of liberty.

He also highlighted the efforts of generous people who helped the church in its call for donations of masks, vitamins and other basic needs.

The pandemic, he said, has another effect—bringing a chance to old friends, who used to have no time for each other, to reach out to one another even if online.

Palma also took note of how the “churches at home,” his term for domestic churches of Catholic families, have become strong despite pictures of empty parishes when mass celebrations with the public were still prohibited. (WBS)