QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Cubao Bishop, Honesto Ongtioco, led the faithful in the online mass for the 4th Sunday of lent also called the “Laetare Sunday” at the Nativity of Our Lady Chapel in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Cubao.
Bishop Ongtioco reminded the Catholic faithful that despite the pandemic Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), the hard time brought by the crisis is just temporary.
Although the present virus has weakened the people’s spirit, he assured the faithful that the victory of the Lord will be seen in the end.
“We are in a present crisis, it makes us sad, it put us down. But yet let’s look forward to the victory of Jesus. With our cooperation, with our prayers the power of God’s love, the victory of Christ will be seen.” Bishop Ongtioco said.
The prelate also emphasized that the faithful is never alone in fighting their battles for the Lord continually gives hope and strength.
“Kapag tayo ay dumadaan ng Krisis, pagsusubok hindi tayo nag iisa kasama si Kristo. Kaya sa kabila ng ating paghihirap andon yung tuwa na balang araw alam natin magtatagumpay tayo kasama ni Kristo. Kahit ganito ang krisis hindi tayo nag iisa.” He added.
Moreover, Bishop Ongtioco encouraged the faithful to immitate the blind man in the gospel who keeps his faith in the Lord, so in this lenten season, this faith may grow stronger.
He ended his homily reminding the faithful of God’s presence, giving them help, guidance and hope during this crisis brought by the COVID-19
“Harinawa, sa panahon ng Coronavirus, sa ating paghihirap, o minsan pag-iyak makita natin ang kamay ng Diyos, gumagabay, nagbibigay ng tulong, nagbibigay ng buhay pag-asa sa ating lahat.” Bishop Ongtioco said.
Laetare Sunday, which means “rejoice”, expresses hope and joy during the Lenten fasts and penances. On the other hand, Online Masses will continue to be broadcasted by the Social Communications Ministry on a daily basis, to cater liturgical services to the faithful during this period of enhanced community quarantine.
Story by: Sophia Castañeda (Immaculate Conception Parish, GSIS)