Bishop seeks prayers for priests serving the people during pandemic

Published June 19, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Leslie Ann Aquino

Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Manila Bishop Broderick Pabillo on Friday asked the faithful to pray for the safety of priests who continue to serve the people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo (CBCP / MANILA BULLETIN)
Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo (CBCP / MANILA BULLETIN)

The prelate issued the call during the Chrism Mass at the Manila Cathedral for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart which is also a Day of Prayer for the sanctification of priests as declared by Pope John Paul II.

“We pray for priests. May they be safe from the coronavirus as they serve the people,” said Pabillo.

He also asked the faithful to pray that priests will be true to their duty so that they may become “holy.”

“May our hearts be formed according to the heart of Jesus, always burning with love even when we are hurt, discouraged, and rejected,” Pabillo said.

“I ask all the faithful who are joining this celebration to offer this mass and make some sacrifices during the day for the sanctification of priests,” he added.

During his homily, Pabillo reflected on what the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is and its message.

He started his reflection by talking about the tendency of some people to question God when something bad happens to them like when they get sick.

“The question is why me? Why us? Why should it happen to me or my family? This question often has the tone that this misfortune is unjustified. I don’t deserve this. Then a litany of our good deeds come out,” said Pabillo.

“But has the opposite occurred to us? When we experience a promotion,a salary increase, the passing of an important exam or winning a raffle, rarely do we acknowledge that we don’t deserve this good luck,” he added.

Pabillo said the Lord did not choose us because we deserve it but it was because of His grace, love, and fidelity.

“I think we will get the same answer if we ask ourselves why God chose me to be a priest, to have this style of life, to have a good family. Why did God continue to guide the Archdiocese of Manila in spite of all the shortcomings and scandals? Why did God sustain the church?” he said.

Pabillo added: “It is because of His love and fidelity.”

This, he said, is the message of the Sacred Heart.

Pabillo said one can return God’s love by following His command to “love one another.”

“The devotion to the Sacred Heart calls for reflection and reparation for our sins and the sins of others,” he said.

This, Pabillo said is done by prayer and penance as well as works of justice and charity.

“Part of the devotion to the Sacred Heart is to work for justice because there cannot be true love if there is injustice,” he said.

Usually held on Holy Thursday of the Holy week, the Chrism Mass was earlier postponed after the government declared an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon last March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chrism Mass is one of the principal expressions of the fullness of the Bishop’s priesthood.

During this Mass, all the priests gather at their respective diocesan cathedrals as a sign of unity with the bishop as well as the brotherhood among the priests.

But Friday’s Chrism Mass was limited to the members of the Board of Consultors and the Vicars Forane due to the prevailing general community quarantine in Metro Manila.

The chrism oil and the oil of the sick were also blessed during the mass.