Priest: Avoid retaliation, attain peace

Priest: Avoid retaliation, attain peace
The miraculous image of Señor Sto. Niño de Tacloban, the El Capitan, goes on fluvial procession every feast day on June 30. EILEEN BALLESTEROS

TACLOBAN City – Avoiding retaliation and praying for one’s enemies are steps towards geniune peace.

This was the essence of Msgr. Bernardo Pantin’s homily on the 8th day novena in preparation for the 128th feast day of Señor Santo Niño de Tacloban, patron of Tacloban City and of the province of Leyte.

The war in Marawi and in other parts of the world, the priest said, persist because people do not practice forgiveness but instead harbor the desire to retaliate.

Exhorting the faithful, Pantin, a former parish priest of Sto. Niño Parish located in downtown Tacloban, further stressed, “We should learn how to forgive and pray for those who persecute us” in order for the faithful to be in communion with one another.

“It is only in following God’s ways [that] the faithful will be able to attain unity and peace that only Christ could give,” he explained.

He said that God’s way may be difficult, but it is the only way humanity can attain true peace.

“When God sees that it is already difficult for us to forgive others, and to love people who are difficult to love, God will be with us, He will give the grace and the strength,” added Pantin.

The priest said during pre-colonial times, people would retaliate in even more severe ways to get back at those who have wronged them.

“Christ has taught us also to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” he said, noting that this is not what people normally do.

In Tacloban City, the feast of the Sto. Niño is celebrated on June 30, marking the day when the miraculous image of the Infant Jesus, dressed in silver and gold vestments, was returned to the city from Semirara, after getting lost at sea 128 years ago. CBCPNews