“A TIME to see, a time to decide, and a time to live.”
These were the “three invitations” made by Pope Francis that Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma reminded the Catholic faithful of during the Pontifical Mass held at the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño in Cebu on Sunday, January 21, 2024.
Palma urged the public to put God at the center of their lives and to show love, compassion, and peace.
Palma also reflected on the challenges faced by Cebu and the Philippines over the years. These include the 2013 earthquake and Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) devastation, the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, and Typhoon Odette (Rai) that struck Cebu and other areas in the Visayas.
He said that despite these challenges, Cebuanos have remained strong in their faith and love for the Holy Child Jesus.
He also reminisced of the successful events that took place in the Cebu Church, such as the 2016 Eucharistic Congress and the celebration of Cebu's 500 years of Christianity.
He highlighted how these events demonstrated the Cebuanos' unwavering commitment to God.
The Archbishop expressed his gratitude to the Augustinian friars of the Basilica for allowing the Holy Family to participate in the seaborne procession on Saturday, January 20.
He encouraged devotees to follow in the footsteps of Sto. Niño, who was an obedient son to the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, and urged everyone to appreciate their families and to start their journey in life with this fundamental value.
“May we treasure the opportunity to work. We are reminded, man is born to work as the bird is born to fly. So salamat, mahimong kaminero, sapatero, sorbetero, cook, teacher, engineer, tanan. There is dignity in every work because of the dignity of the person, the son of God, our Lord,” Palma said.
The Pontifical Mass was held Sunday morning, just hours before the start of the Sinulog 2024 Grand Parade and Ritual Showdown, which is being held at the South Road Properties (SRP). (HIC)