Bishop: Don’t be afraid of struggles

Bishop: Don’t be afraid of struggles

Canon lawyers from different dioceses across the country gather for the 26th National Convention of the Canon Law Society of the Philippines in Davao City. JOHN FRANCES FUENTES

By Roy Lagarde

CBCP News
February 28, 2018

MANILA, Philippines

Everyone experiences suffering but priests and consecrated persons need to focus on fulfilling their role, even if that means greatest of sacrifice, a Catholic bishop said.

Urdaneta Bishop Jacinto Jose, chairman of the CBCP’s Commission on Canon Law, said that following Jesus is not something they ought to do half way, but giving one’s self to the point of a total sacrifice.

Reflecting on a reading from Matthew’s Gospel in which Jesus told his disciples that those who want to be great should serve first, the bishop said that God knows what he was saying and he lived it.

“Sometimes we are in that position that we emphasize our sufferings but never the reward,” Jose said. “But that is what we are, we struggle to be good. Let God repay the goodness that we do.”

“We experience sadness but that sadness is transient, temporary. The reward is eternal. All of us are longing for that but we have to submit ourselves,” he said.

The prelate made the statement in his homily during Mass at the third day of a gathering of canon lawyers in Davao City, Feb. 28.

About 90 priests and some bishops attended this year’s convention of the Canon Law Society of the Philippines with the theme, “The clergy and the consecrated persons towards the new evangelization”.

In the day’s first reading from Jeremiah, the prophet spent his ministry teaching the Israelites but the people of Judah instead conspired to kill him “and this is a struggle that each one of us has (experienced)”.

“I find this very true especially to us who have been chosen to become models of people. Sometimes we go at the middle and seek compromise. But that compromise often times do not give good results,” he added.

“May this convention be, for us, a moment of strengthening to be able to suffer but yet strengthening to lead people to Jesus,” Jose said.