Cebu archbishop urges faithful to ‘have faith over fear’

Cebu archbishop urges faithful to ‘have faith over fear’

Archbishop Jose Palma celebrates Mass on the Feast of Sto. Niño at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño in Cebu City on Jan. 17, 2021. PHOTO BY SAMMY NAVAJA/CBCP NEWS

On the feast of Sto. Niño, the head of Cebu’s Roman Catholic Church called on the people back to God and out of fear they may be experiencing during the pandemic.

In a restrained Mass due to Covid-19 restrictions, Archbishop Jose Palma said that through faith, people will not live in fear.

“Today, the Niño tells us to have faith rather than fear. Put your trust in this little child, small but powerful,” Palma said in his homily.

The celebration, which usually attracts millions of people, was held at the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño with very limited attendance due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The basilica has earlier suspended all public Masses to avoid coronavirus transmission, and instead urged devotees to participate online.

Despite the pandemic and the cancellation of the significant events for the fiesta, he said the day is still a “moment of thanksgiving”.

“We are assured of God’s continuing presence and support in our journey of faith,” Palma said.

The archbishop then challenged the faithful to “concretize” their devotion by reaching out to those in the peripheries.

Pointing to the centuries-old image of the Holy Child, he said the icon is a reminder to the other “littles in the society”.

To drive his point, the archbishop said that even the Sto. Niño needed the care of Mary and Joseph.

“So we have to care for each other, especially for the poor, the sick, the little ones, the marginalized,” Palma said.

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