In the distress and crises which our people are experiencing at this time, more than and in addition to turning to government and to one another, let us turn to the great icon of social charity, which is the Sacred Heart of Jesus that we are celebrating today. For compassion and acts of mercy we need not a political or social symbol that is imperfect or even corrupted, but a spiritual symbol like Jesus Christ who allowed his Sacred Heart to be pierced out of love for mankind, and who gave Himself as Eucharist to be the symbol of the love of the Trinity for us.
On this occasion, we invite the Parish Priests leading the people’s devotion to the Sacred Heart in this month of June to consecrate his people and the leaders of the people to the Sacred Heart towards an “inventive charity,” a charity that distributes the bread which God is causing even now to be multiplied. If we are ready to distribute the bread, God is more than willing to multiply them. Our selfishness, our desire to simply hoard the treasures of this earth, is one cause why the bread is not multiplied and why it does not reach the table of the poor. When the Sacred Heart said to the twelve “Give them food yourselves,” he is telling them when you are ready to distribute even the little resources that you have—five loaves and two fish—then I will multiply them for the thousands to eat.
Pope Benedict XVI writing in 1981 as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, challenges us to nothing less: “In the Heart of Jesus, the center of Christianity is set before us. It expresses everything, all that is genuinely new and revolutionary in the new covenant. This Heart calls to our heart. It invites us to step forth out of this futile attempt of self-preservation and, by joining in the task of love, by handing ourselves to him and with him, to discover the fullness of love which alone is eternity and which alone sustains the world.
When will the bread of economic development so popularly professed reach the table of the millions of poor in the Philippines?
+ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, DD
Archbishop of Jaro
June 15, 2007