Priest: More than preaching, reach out to others
ILOILO City – The 24th CFC – Singles for Christ International Conference (SFC ICON) opened on Feb. 17, Friday, with a message on discipleship that exhorted thousands of singles to not just preach but to reach out to others.
“Sometimes we meet people experiencing hopelessness but Pope Francis reminds us to be more welcoming, to accompany and so as disicples of Christ, building His Church not only through preaching but reaching [out],” Fr. Randy Doromal, Jaro Archdiocesan Commission for Family and Life (CFL) director, told SFC ICON 2017 delegates coming from some 21 countries gathered at the West Visayas State University.
He added: “We strive to accompany to make others feel our presence, our connectedness.”
‘Language of love’
Concelebrating the Mass with other priests, including Fr. Ian Rosal, SDB, Doromal said reaching out is possible through the “language of love.”
“In our Gospel today, Jesus challenges us to become His disicples…The prerequisite is denial of self, not to build the name but to build His Church. Using the language of faith, using the language of love and hope in our very own words, not to preach but to reach [others],” said the priest.
Speaking to attendees from all over the Philippines and countries like Canada, U.S., Poland, Papua New Guinea, Australia, among others, Doromal said: “Using the language of love, let us give them the hope of reconciliation with self, with God, with others.”
According to him, there is a need to “make others feel that we belong, and in this Church we belong.” “Through the language of love, we are called to care for each other not according to our interest and our good, but let us also have the interest of other’s good.”
Asking the Mass attendees to go and live the Gospel, Doromal expressed the hope that “our presence starting today until Sunday will be a source of reaching out that we are able to become apostles of reconciliation through the language of faith, love.”
“Let us give each other the opportunity and the reason to hope,” he stressed.
Being of agents of reconciliation
The priest specifically pointed out the need to heal damaged relationships.
“…(W)hile people experience [a] rift of relationships, through the language of love, through the language of faith, we give them hope, the hope of healing. Building the mystical body of Christ not only through preaching but to reach,” stressed Doromal.
Ending his homily, he called on singles from around the world to work towards “reconciliation, empowerment, accompaniment, caring for one another.”
This year’s SFC ICON themed “All Out for Christ” is inspired by 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 “Be on guard, stand firm in the faith. Be courageous and strong. Your every act should be done in love.”