AS we come to the end of the year 2007 we are challenged to assess ourselves, to evaluate ourselves as individuals and as community. Everyone must examine his conscience. A litany of questions along the line of the corporal works of mercy may be asked: such as what have we done regarding feeding the hungry and malnourished, helping build shelters for the homeless, supporting the education of poor students, creating employment and health security for the sick, releasing those unjustly imprisoned, liberating the oppressed and exploited, and doing away with all abductions and extra judicial killings.
Despite the good-willed efforts of government and church, the sinful root causes of our social problems continue to challenge both individuals and society to conversion and social transformation.
The birth anniversary of the God-Man, Jesus Christ, reminds us not only to celebrate but also to respond to its call for a change of heart and conversion to justice and charity. Among the many corporal works of mercy, “Pondo ng Pinoy” and “Gawad Kalinga” are non-government initiatives that have grown almost nationally. These and other social initiatives including the silent and unseen ones are also transmitters of the “new presence” of God and give our society “reason to hope” in the coming New Year 2008.
By our response we become reflections of God “who is the foundation of hope: not any god, but the God who has a human face and who has loved us to the end” (Pope Benedict XVI, Encyclical Letter, “Spe Salvi”, no.31)
+ANGEL N. LAGDAMEO, DD
Archbishop of Jaro
December 31, 2007