“Why are you frightened…weeping?” – Tagle Easter message

Paco, Lament,NJ Viehland

Prayers of lament, San Fernando de Dilao Church, Paco, Manila, Nov. 2013. NJ Viehland Photos [click photo for story]

DOCUMENT:  MESSAGE – EASTER 2015

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila 

The annual commemoration of Jesus’ resurrection and glorification gives us a glimpse of the eternal life that He, who became human like us, now possesses – a life that will not be touched by sin, destruction and death again. His risen life is our hope, the pledge of our future glory. But Jesus’ resurrection does not cut us off from our earthly life and concerns. It is not an excuse to ignore and to be indifferent toward our world. Rather the light from Jesus’ resurrection makes us see more clearly the truth about our complex human condition while urging us on towards a glorious future.

NJ Viehland Photos

Teacher from Aeta cultural community trained by Franciscan nuns. NJ Viehland Photos [Click photo for story]

Some words spoken by the Risen Lord during his appearances to various people seem to be addressed to us Filipinos in our present situation. The eternally reigning Lord is speaking to us now. Let us listen to some of these words. To the disciples gathered in a room he asked, “Why are you frightened and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” (Luke 24:38). To a troubled Mary Magdalene he said, “Why are you weeping? Who are you looking for?” (John 20:15). The Risen Lord offers the same questions to us especially in moments of fear, doubts, distrust and grieving. He leads us to our hearts so we could reflect, explore and find meaning. Outbursts of panic, phobia, worry and sorrow need the calming influence of reflection and meditation. The Risen Lord asks questions that make us pause and look into the reasons (or lack of reason) for our terror and anxiety. Let us listen to Him.

DSA nuns, NJ Viehland

Fatima Center for Human Development of the Daughters of Saint Augustine, Iriga City.  NJ Viehland Photos [click photo for story]

To the disciples still unable to believe that He was indeed alive and standing before them He asked, “Have you anything here to eat?” (Luke 24:41). The glorious Lord comes to us through our humble, simple, poor and suffering brothers and sisters. Even while possessing all authority and power, he deems it worthy to reside among the lowly, those who lack basic necessities of life. He invites us not to allow worries and cynicism to blind us to the needs of the poor among us. Let us behold the Risen Jesus in every needy person and see a neighbor, a brother or sister.

Ed Gerlock Photos edgerlock@yahoo.com.ph

Contributed: Ed Gerlock Photos edgerlock@yahoo.com.ph

I pray that this Easter we may promptly respond to the Risen Lord’s greeting, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21). Let us go to all the corners of our country as missionaries of peace.

Manila,NJ Viehland

Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila        NJ Viehland Photos

+ Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle 

Archbishop of Manila

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Gov’t agency to repatriate workers from ‘tense’ Yemen – OWWA

The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) is ready to extend airport assistance to returning OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) from Yemen, who registered for the mandatory repatriation offered by the government as tension escalated in the said country.

“OWWA is part of the Crisis Management Team (CMT) composed of officials from the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE). The CMT continuously monitors the situation of countries experiencing crisis to ensure that our OFWs working there are safe. If immediate action is needed, the CMT automatically activates its committees to respond to the situation,“ OWWA Administrator Rebecca J. Calzado explained.

Calzado disclosed that as of 26 January 2015, there are a total of 2,391 OFWs working in Yemen as nurses, household service workers (HSWs), supervisors, technicians, mechanics, engineers, among others.

The continued occupation of the capital city of Sana’a by Houthi rebels and the recent suspension of many embassies in the Yemeni capital was the basis for the DFA’s heightened alert level.

OWWA appeals to the relatives of OFWs working in Yemen to convince their loved ones to come home to safety. In 2011, OWWA extended assistance to about 1,000 OFWs who returned from Yemen due to the political instability in the said country.

OWWA NEWS RELEASE, Manila, March 3