President Duterte urged Filipino Christians to draw inspiration from Christ’s life and sacrifice at the cross and renew their faith as the country overcomes the threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Duterte made the statement as Christians around the world commemorate Holy Week this week.
In his message, a copy posted by Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) on its Facebook page on the evening of Good Friday, the President said the life of Christ will serve as an inspiration to everyone during the global health crisis.
“The passion, death, and resurrection of Christ provide us with much-needed inspiration to lead meaningful lives amidst the trials and challenges that come our way,” Duterte wrote in his message.
He hoped that Christ’s crucifixion will renew everyone’s faith as COVID-19 continues to threaten the country.
“As we take a moment to reflect on the message of Lent, may we find a renewed sense of compassion that is rooted in the ultimate sacrifice of Christ at the cross. Let this example of a pure act of love renew our faith as we overcome the current COVID-19 pandemic,” he added.
The President urged the public to be there for one another, especially to those who need help.
“I urge you to inspire one another to become channels of peace and generosity to our people, especially those who are suffering,” Duterte said.
“Together, let us continue pursuing a more inclusive and humane society anchored on solidarity and genuine concern for each other,” he added.
This is the second year that Filipino Christians had to drastically tone down, if not relegate to the background, their Holy Week traditions because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque urged the public to make use of the reimposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to rekindle their relationship with God.
“Sana po gamitin din natin itong pagkakataon na ito magdasal, magmuni-muni at pag-isipan kung ano talaga ang ating relasyon sa ating Maykapal (I hope that we will use this time to pray, reflect, and think about our relationship with God),” he said.
The Palace official added that God will not forsake the people as he echoed the question of why God let this pandemic happen.
“Ang tanong po ng marami: Bakit kaya pinayagan ng Panginoon itong pandemyang ito (A lot of people are asking: Why did God allow this pandemic)?” Roque said.
“Gamitin po natin itong ECQ at itong Semana Santa para bumalik tayo sa ating pananampalataya at tanggapin (We should use this ECQ and the Holy Week to return to our faith and accept) that ‘Thine will be done,'” he added.
“Mahal tayo ng Panginoon at may dahilan po itong lahat na ito (God loves us and all of these have a reason),” he continued.