By Francesca Merlo
In an Easter message, published on the Caritas Internationalis website, Cardinal Tagle invites the faithful to take this time to “reflect deeply on what ‘Body of Christ’ means for each of us. Due to the lockdown measures put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19, people around the world are facing Easter “without the possibility of celebrating the Eucharist physically together”, he writes.
Faced with these difficult times, Cardinal Tagle encourages everyone to pray “for the serenity” to accept what we cannot change, “the courage” to change what we can, and “the wisdom” to know the difference. “Let us pray to find the deeper meaning of this challenge…which is calling us to faith and to resurrection”, adds Cardinal Tagle.
Turning his thoughts to the most vulnerable, Cardinal Tagle notes that the pandemic is making their suffering “even deeper”. For this, he says, we urge our governments to ensure access to healthcare and social protection for everyone and “pray that our leaders rise to the challenge of promoting unity and a shared responsibility”. “Can our governments admit that many of them got it wrong when they didn’t allow everyone to belong to the human family in a dignified way?”, he asks.
The bonds that create this human family are coming to light now more than ever, writes Cardinal Tagle. “The global suffering we are seeing has made it startlingly apparent to us that we need other people and other people need us too”, he adds.
At the same time, changes that would have been unthinkable three months ago are actually happening. “Air quality has improved” and in some countries “warring parties have called ceasefires”, writes the Cardinal . Though these may be temporary, “they remind us that seemingly irresolvable human problems aren’t eternal”, he adds.
“We are reminded that Jesus stayed in the tomb for a brief time before rising to eternal life. Death does not have the final say when you make space for hope”.
Cardinal Tagle concludes his Easter message by thanking Caritas workers and volunteers and all those helping the sick and the vulnerable. “Caritas christi urget nos” – the love of Christ urges us on (2 Corinthians 5:14), says the Cardinal. “This love, seen in small and large gestures of hope and solidarity, is calling us to a new future and a new way of living. Covid-19 knows no borders, but neither do faith, hope and love”.