Monday, April 2, 2007


Palm Sunday
Alay Kapwa Sunday
April 1, 2007
Pastoral Letter

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

In this season of Lent and on the occasion of Alay Kapwa Sunday, I invite you to reflect on the teachings of Jesus on love and service for others. Love one another as I love you. By doing this, men will know that you are my disciples.

How shall we love our neighbor? Suppose that there are brothers and sisters who need clothes and don't have enough to eat. What good is there in saying to them, God bless you! Keep warm and eat well, if you don't give them the necessities of life? Love should not just be in words and talk. It must be genuine, a love that shows itself in action.

Alay Kapwa Sunday is an opportune time for us to collectively reach out to others. Alay Kapwa means offering to our neighbor who are and what we have as an expression of solidarity with the poor. Hopefully, this opportunity will enable us to open our hearts and minds towards genuine acceptance, particularly of the poor.

Share your time, talent and treasure. Whenever we see people hungry, thirsty, homeless, sick and oppressed, it is our duty to act. I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink, homeless and you gave me shelter, sick and you visited me. Truly, I say to you , as you did it to the least of my brethren, you did it to Me.

In sharing remember that no one is poor that he has nothing to give and that no one is so rich that he has nothing to receive. And as we always say in Pondo ng Pinoy, anumang magaling, kahit maliit, basta't malimit, patungong langit.

Get involved! Join the Caritas volunteers in implementing social services and development programs in your parish!

Your Alay Kapwa love offering will support Caritas Manila's programs, namely Scholarship of 5,500 poor but deserving students, operation of Parish Health Clinics, Livelihood and Job Placement Centers and the Prison Ministry Restorative Justice Program.

Your contribution also support and sustain nationwide social initiatives on peace, advocacy, governance, ecology, sustainable agriculture, children's rights and disaster management.

As we do works of mercy, let us also seek and promote truth and justice, which is the challenge of this year's Alay Kapwa theme Katotohanan at Katarungan: Hamon sa Sambayanan tungo sa Pagkakaisa at Kabanalan. Begin by asking why poverty and injustice exist in our country. Then commit yourself in helping transform our nation to become one and holy. May Christ be our inspiration who gave His life to heal the brokenness of our world and to restore God's reign of love and justice for all.

Lastly, I pray that more people would support CARITAS and its work for the development of the poor. Together let us spread Christ's message of love, truth and justice in our community, not just in words and in deeds. CARITAS is the Latin word for Love. Where there is Love, there is Christ.

God Bless us all!

Archbishop of Manila

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