ACTS OF charity and service are futile if performed without self-emptying, Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula said, as he urged Catholics to emulate Jesus’ lifestyle of poverty and humility.
Advincula said attaining solidarity between the privileged and the deprived would remain ideal and romantic if not supported by concrete efforts of humility.
“Participation is meaningless if we are not ready to review our understanding of authority in the Church,” he said in his homily during the mass for the 70th anniversary of Caritas Manila on Friday, Nov. 25
“Authority is not domination, it is service. It is imitating [the] Chief Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ in His lifestyle of poverty, humility, and kenosis (self-emptying). It is accomplishing His mission of seeking out the last, the least and the lost,” he added.
According to Advincula, the mission of charity and service should always be directed to evangelization and the salvation of man.
Such services of charity, the prelate noted, involve the inclusion of the poor in dialogues and decision-making and not just in financial or material assistance. The poor are “not just targets of ayuda (aid)” but are witnesses of hope and bearers of good news, Advincula said.
“If we want to change the tragic situation of society and the poor, we need to deepen our life of faith and communion,” he added.
The 70th foundation anniversary of Caritas Manila was held at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion and was attended by volunteers from different vicariates in the city.
Caritas Manila, which is under the capital city’s archdiocese, is the social service and development ministry of the Catholic Church in the Philippines.
Established on October 1, 1953, the organization seeks to achieve total human development, poverty alleviation and the creation of a Christian community with a strong social conscience, according to its website. F — M.A. Selda with reports from Nolan Adrian Villamor, Jr.