For the past few days and for the rest of the coming Novena of Masses before Christmas such as what we will do this afternoon it will be a Nation at Prayer with hundreds of thousands of people flocking to our Churches and barangay chapels praying for themselves and for the country.
Some people were trying to persuade the CBCP to call off this afternoon’s Prayer Rally, because, as they said, the plan for Con-Ass has been withdrawn. What more do we want? But because of what is happening around us and the crises we are in, we have all the more reasons to WATCH AND PRAY. How good God is to our country, even before we could utter a word, God has already answered our prayer. And so we THANK GOD for the signs of positive developments.
Did I hear it from an official of Catholic Education Association of the Philippines (CEAP) that more than a political CHA-CHA, we need first and foremost an educative, a moral CHA-CHA. That means, if our Charter Change is not preceded, accompanied and productive of Character Change, then it would be useless exercise.
In this thanksgiving Prayer Rally, we must avoid any feeling of triumphalism, even of anger, hatred, bitterness, because we know we cannot achieve anything in this world of religion, politics, business and social life, without the blessing of God. We therefore pray with humility and magnanimity of heart.
Because of so many prayers received by our country, in her history crises become Kairos, moments of grace and liberation, this prayer rally is needed. We do not want to be like the nine lepers in the Gospel who after they received what they were praying for forgot to return to thank Jesus, unlike the Samaritan.
We need more importantly and more urgently this educative and moral CHAracter CHAnge. Call it repentance from sin, call it reform of morals, call it renewal of values. All of it… and our nation will rise up with hope, right vision, and confidence
Archbishop Angel N. Lagdameo
Rally at the Luneta
December 17, 2006