MANILA, January 9, 2018–Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila denounced greed and hunger for power, warning that forgetting the importance of serving God is gearing towards “false path”.
At a midnight Mass held few hours before the annual procession of the Black Nazarene, he said that unless wealth and power are used at the service of society, they risk becoming instruments of abuse.
“Life does not lie on power. We were born without power, and when we die, we are powerless as well. Let us live without being greedy for power and you will be a real person,” Tagle said in his homily at the Quirino Grandstand.
The cardinal has urged the faithful to be more altruistic and to better look out for the poor and hungry instead of living on “false lives” and selfishness.
“Be an instrument of life for others,” he added during Mass attended by thousands of devotees and some top government officials including Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia pray before the statue of the Black Nazarene before the midnight Mass at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, January 8, 2017. ROY LAGARDE
Also in attendance were dozens of priests and Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia.
A priest said this marks the first time in recent memory that a Papal Nuncio attended the celebration, the biggest of its kind in the world.
“It’s a great honor for us all devotees that the representative of the Pope is present in this special occasion,” said Fr. Regie Malicdem, rector of the Manila Cathedral.
As early as Monday, devotees already gathered at the grandstand where a replica of the 410-year-old Black Nazarene image was brought for an overnight vigil.
More than 5,000 police and volunteer marshals were stationed within the six-kilometer stretch of the “traslacion” from the grandstand to the Quiapo Church, the minor basilica that has housed the Black Nazarene since 1787.
The traslacion commemorates the transfer of the venerated image from Intramuros to Quiapo Church. CBCPNews