By Leslie Ann Aquino
Lingayen – Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas on Monday said 2019, as well as every other year should be treated as the Year of the Lord.
“Every year is year of the Lord,” Archbishop Villegas said in his pastoral letter for the Year of the Youth.
In fact, he said every day is the Lord’s and that all ages and seasons belong to Him.
Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle is praying for peace in 2019.
“It’s saddening sometimes there is chaos because we lack the real essence of service,” he said in a video message.
“In every level, we want a peaceful year. Let us put back the real essence of service in the family, school, business, government, church and everywhere,” added Cardinal Tagle.
Year of the youth
And since the Philippine Catholic Church declared 2019 as the Year of the youth, Villegas expressed hope that the youth will become an instrument for people to see the Lord.
“Show us Jesus and be our guide to see Him more clearly, to love Him more dearly, to follow Him more nearly,” said Villegas.
He said the youth must be given avenues to participate in the mission of evangelization in the parish.
“It has been said that the face of God is mercy. Today we say that at the forefront of the Church of mercy are the faces of the young. Let us give the Church a young face. Let us give the youth a space to be heard because true love listens,” said Villegas.
“When the young criticize us priests, I encourage you my brother priests to listen to their young voices as the voice of Christ himself calling us to conversion and renewal. All young people are in God’s heart even if some of them do not share our visions of life. An attitude of humility and willingness to listen will open new avenues of renewal for us,” he added.
Villegas also encouraged priests and educators, parents and guardians to allow the youth to express their creative restlessness with an encouraging welcome and a respectful accompaniment.
He said the youth can teach the elders the power of the cyberspace digital world while elders accompany them in this daily reality of their young lives.