The papal nuncio to the Philippines said on the eve of Lent that the face of Jesus pushes people towards those who suffer, according to CBCP on March 5, 2019.
Speaking during Mass for the local feast of the Holy Face of Jesus, Archbishop Gabriele Caccia said that Lent is the commemoration of Christ’s passion and death as an expression of His love for mankind.
“So anytime we look at the face of Jesus we should be able to recognize him in all people who are suffering,” Caccia told the mass-goers at the Shrine of the Holy Face of Jesus in Manila’s Quiapo district.
Pointing to the shroud image of Jesus at the altar, he asked the devotees why they are seeing somebody who has suffered and disfigured by violence, mockery, and injustice.
“How can it be the face of God? God is beauty, God is justice. Why the face of God shows something different?” he said.
According to him, the Way of the Cross shows Christ’s embrace of everyone who suffers or is unjustly persecuted.
“It was a gesture of love and it transforms everything. Even injustice, even evil could be transformed by love,” said Caccia.
Catholics across the country are expected to attend Masses and receive ashes on their foreheads on Ash Wednesday, March 6, which marks the beginning of Lent, the 40-day period of penance for Catholics before the Holy Week and Easter.
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila urged the faithful to “prepare to journey with Jesus to Jerusalem where He will show His love for God the Father and for us until the end”.
Like Christ, he said that it is important to “travel light” and without heavy bags and baggage.
“Almsgiving, fasting, and prayer will help us leave behind unnecessary bags and baggage on our Lenten journey with Jesus,” Tagle said.